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Today we conclude a week of daily WWDC posts with a recap of all the non-iOS stuff that got announced at Apple’s conference. That includes much-anticipated hardware reveals and a whole bunch of new features for Apple’s other product lines. It’s not all iPhone and iPad, you know!
If you missed our previous coverage, check out our other recaps below:
In just a few months, Apple will release new software for its Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac ranges. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from those updates!
The bestselling wearable has become “a daily part of our lives,” according to Apple. And with watchOS 6 on the horizon, it’s about to become more powerful than ever. Here’s what’s new this year.
Finally, developers are able to create completely independent apps that run entirely on the Apple Watch with no need for a companion app on the iPhone.
Apps, apps, apps
Apple introduced some new first-party apps to expand the default functionality of the device. We can now play Audiobooks, record Voice Memos, and even figure out tips using the Calculator straight from the wrist. There’s also a fully-fledged App Store for Apple Watch, too – though we can’t imagine extended browsing on a tiny screen is much fun.
New watch faces
New face designs are coming, including a modern digital look, a classic “California dial” face, and one with a striking gradient that rotates along with the hour hand. There’s also a colorful Pride strap on its way that perfectly matches the rainbow watch face.
Looks like Apple is worried about its users’ ears being damaged by exposure to loud noises over extended periods of time. If the watch detects that “environmental noise” hits a certain threshold, it will flash a warning so you know it’s potentially dangerous to stick around.
It’s surprising it’s taken this long, really, considering it targets roughly half of the world, but Apple Watch now ties directly into the iOS Health app to provide menstrual cycle and fertility tracking.
Apple Watch can now help you track your physical health over the long term, with a 90-day rolling tracker keeping tabs on 9 key fitness metrics. Perfect for noticing gradual changes to your lifestyle.
The Apple TV didn’t get much airtime during the WWDC keynote, but what we did see could have some pretty big repercussions.
Redesigned Home screen
The first thing users will notice after updating their devices later this year is a completely rethought Home screen that gives more precedence to dynamic content – including room for full-screen videos.
Bring the family
Multi-user support is here, something we’ve been waiting for since this generation of the Apple TV first launched. That means everyone in the family gets their own “up next” list, as well as personalized recommendations for every user. There’s an all-new Control Center as part of the tvOS interface to make switching between profiles a breeze.
Under the sea
The range of stunning high-definition screensavers is one of the most-loved features of Apple TV. Now, Apple has teamed up with BBC Natural History to create a suite of beautiful underwater videos to add to its existing landscapes.
Big news for games
Apple TV – plus iOS and macOS, supposedly – will soon support PS4 and Xbox One controllers. That’s a huge boost for anyone keen on using the device as a games console, especially with the subscription-based Apple Arcade on the way later this year.
Apple surprised the WWDC audience by not just announcing the next version of macOS, but an entirely new range of super high-end computers, too.
It’s called Catalina
Apple’s operating system for Mac has drawn inspiration from California’s landmarks for years. We’ve had Yosemite, High Sierra, and Mojave to name just a few. This year’s big macOS update follows the same naming conventions: look forward to downloading Catalina this Fall.
iTunes is dead (kind of)
After 18 years of service, Apple’s flagship software – and the app that helped usher in a digital generation of music lovers – is no more. These past few years had seen the app get bloated and buggy, with too many featured crammed into a dated user interface. So instead, Apple has split its functions into three distinct apps: Music, Podcasts, TV. (And you can still sync your devices via Finder).
iPad as a second screen
There’s a new power feature for multitaskers coming in macOS Catalina. It’s called “Sidecar” and it will allow users to easily set up their iPad as a seamless second display for their Mac – or alternatively, to use it as a graphics tablet for creative work. Third-party apps have offered this kind of functionality before, but now it will be baked into the operating system for free.
New Mac Pro range
This has been a long time coming, and its unveiling drew a huge cheer from the crowd. This is a serious machine, aimed at industry professionals who need incredible power for tasks like video editing and music production. Mac Pro is certainly not your average consumer machine, but trust us that it’s an absolute beast specs-wise.
A pricy Pro Display
Apple also announced a high-end 32-inch Retina 6K display, with “extreme dynamic range.” This one again is aimed at businesses, but that hasn’t stopped the eye-watering $4999 price tag drawing some groans from the crowd. That doesn’t even include the accompanying stand, which will set purchasers back a further $999!