CEO Tim Cook and a number of other Apple executives contextualized the update as spanning hardware, software and services -- the three legs of Apple's evolving strategy as it shifts away from an iPhone-centric worldview. Apple shares were down 1.01% on Monday.
Here are a few of the biggest themes from WWDC's Monday keynote:
New Mac Pro is Here
Though it's a developer-focused event, Apple is known to sprinkle in hardware announcements at WWDC. And the new Mac Pro announced Monday has been a long time coming. The last major upgrade to Apple's high-performance workstation was in 2013, and Mac power users who use the system for video or photo editing have been clamoring for a new one ever since. The driving force behind the Mac Pro is modularity and customizability, two design ideals that Apple has traditionally avoided. With an Intel XEON chip that can support up to 28 cores and up to 1.5 TB storage capacity, its core specs will make power users drool. Paired with a new display called Pro Display XDR, however, the set will run you at least $12,000.
iOS Goes Dark
iOS 13 comes with an array of upgrades, including a dark mode long desired by many users and developers. The fresh OS also comes with a number of other improvements, notably a significant face-lift for Apple Maps that (at least based on the demo) brings it up to speed with competitor Google Maps in functionality, as well as improved photo capabilities. iOS13 also includes a number of new privacy features, such as the ability to grant location access to an app only once, a means of quickly creating an untraceable email address for an app, and other means of guarding your data more closely.
Apple Watch Strikes Out On Its Own
Apple wants Apple Watch to become a must-have device, not just an accessory. And watchOS 6, unveiled on Monday, is a big piece of that vision. The upgrade essentially gives the watch its own App Store, making it possible to download apps directly to your Watch without need for an iPhone companion app. In addition to design updates and improvements to key native apps like Voice Memos, Apple also previewed several personal health features Cycle Tracker, for monitoring menstrual cycles; a way of testing your hearing, and improved activity tracking and reminders based on your personal habits.
iPad Gets Its Own OS
It's official: The iPad has its own dedicated OS, called iPadOS. There are several ways the OS is distinct from its little cousin iOS, with many of them around task management. Better file management, an improved Safari that's more akin to the MacOS version, and support for USB thumb drives seemingly bring the iPad closer to a full laptop rather than a standalone tablet. The update makes the iPad a far more versatile device than it was previously.
The End of iTunes As We Know It
Towards the end of the keynote, Apple engineering chief Craig Federighi took the audience down a brief walk down memory lane with iTunes, an important piece of software for Apple that is rather past its prime. Amid rumors that Apple plans to kill off iTunes, Federighi said instead that for Apple, "the future of iTunes is not one app, but three" -- namely, Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts.
While it was left to speculation whether Monday's comments were part of an eventual phase-out of iTunes, a breakup into three apps is in line with industry trends, according to Amir Ghodrati, director of market insights at App Annie. Ghodrati noted that mobile spend has trended away from one-off purchases towards subscriptions: "Unbundling services from iTunes would fit into a larger unbundling industry trend we are seeing in the market," he said.