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WWDC recap: what’s new for Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac?

So we’ve already given you the lowdown on all the big iOS 12 announcements from Apple’s WWDC keynote – but the presentation wasn’t limited to just iPhone and iPad news. All of Apple’s major operating systems are being refreshed, and we saw demos of the upcoming versions of watchOS, tvOS, and macOS.

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 Apple Watch has been the #1 smartwatch in customer satisfaction surveys every year since its launch, and Apple is hoping to hold onto that advantage with a suite of small improvements. watchOS 5 is coming later this year as a free update for existing devices.

Exercise fans will be pleased to know that watchOS 5 includes better support for activities, including new features for yoga and hiking enthusiasts. There are a bunch of updates for runners, too, including pace alerts and cadence monitoring. watchOS 5 is also capable of automatically detecting when you start and stop working out, in case you forget to manually begin a workout. You can even get activity credit after the even. Plus, activity competitions should keep you motivated to beat your friends.

watchOS 5 also introduces a new way to communicate, called “walkie talkie.” This works exactly as you would imagine, treading the line between text message and phone call. Once a friend has approved the connection, you can speak to them in bursts by simply holding down the talk button on the watch face.

There are enhancements to the popular Siri watch face, including support for the quick actions enabled by Siri shortcuts in iOS 12. Third-party apps are now available on the watch face, too. Users will no longer have to say “Hey Siri” to speak to the Apple Watch, with a raise of the wrist alone enough of a prompt to initiate the assistant.

Interactive notifications are coming to watchOS 5, allowing you to quickly respond to alerts without fishing for your iPhone. For the first time, you can now preview web links on the Apple Watch itself, formatted for the small screen – though there are still no plans for a full version of Safari.

A few more tidbits for you: the Podcasts app is finally coming to Apple Watch; student ID cards will work on the device starting this Fall; and Apple has released a new rainbow edition watch band and matching face to support Pride month. That’s about it for watchOS!


The Apple TV didn’t get much airtime during the WWDC keynote, but there were still a few notable changes to report after Apple spent a few minutes showing off the impressive range of 4K HDR videos available through iTunes.

First up, the new update enables support for Dolby Atmos sound in addition to the existing Dolby Vision setup. This makes Apple TV the only device in the world to adhere to both these standards and should make for an incredibly high-quality viewing experience.

The TV app now includes live news and sports providers, and customers who get their cable subscription and broadband from the same provider will no longer have to type in a single password to get their services up and running thanks to “zero sign-on.” iOS 12 will offer quick access to the TV Remote app via the iPhone Control Center.

Finally, a small update but the one we were most excited about: the incredible high-definition ariel screensaver videos that come with Apple TV will now reveal where they were filmed, and there’s a new screensaver incoming of Earth shot from the International Space Station. It looks amazing.


Those of you with Macs and MacBooks will be interested to know the next version of macOS will abandon the mountain-themed naming convention of the past few years in favor of the desert. Forget Yosemite and friends; welcome macOS Mojave.

One of the most notable updates is the addition of an official “dark mode” for Mac. This is something iOS users have wanted for a long time, but it seems Apple wanted to trial it on Mac users first. Mojave also adds a dynamic desktop feature that can adjust your wallpaper throughout the day so the photography matches the time of day.

Messy desktops are a thing of the past with Mojave, as it can auto-sort all your files into smart stacks which open and close as you need them. There’s a new “gallery view” in Finder, perfect for sorting through media files, and a new quick actions bar makes it really easy to quickly rotate images, make PDFs, and more.

Screenshots are taking a leaf from the iOS handbook, with a similar markup feature to instantly adjust your snaps. And there’s a new “continuity camera” function that means you can take a picture on your iPhone or iPad and have it instantly appear in a document on your Mac.

Apple announced that over the next year it will pave the way for developers to easily port their iOS apps onto the Mac. To test the waters, the iPad versions of News, Voice Memos, Stocks, and Home are available in Mojave. This will be the first time Siri on the Mac can control smart home gadgets.

Mojave also includes improved privacy protection and alerts, plus an update to Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention to make it harder for data companies to recognize your digital “fingerprint” and track your behaviors.

There’s also a big update to the Mac App Store coming, with more editorial content like the iOS App Store. Microsft is bringing its Office 365 suite to the App Store later this year.

Apple finished off with a few more technical improvements aimed mainly at the developer crowd – but for the average user, that’s macOS Mojave in a nutshell!

Each of these software updates will be made available to regular users this Fall, with developers getting immediate access to beta versions for testing.