Even by Apple's (AAPL) standards, its latest event Monday was a pretty lengthy and announcement-packed one.
As usual, Apple used the keynote address for this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to unveil and detail the latest versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, each of which will roll out to consumers this fall. The company also showed off a new Mac Pro, announced that the version of iOS powering iPads will now be known as iPadOS and disclosed plans to break up iTunes' features into three macOS apps.
Apple shares declined 1% on Monday on concerns about a possible government investigation. They were rising 0.7% to $174.51 in pre-market trading on Tuesday.
Here's a recap of notable new products and features unveiled by Apple during its WWDC keynote.
1. Nuts-and-Bolts Performance and Efficiency Gains
Apple says that the next version of iOS, known as iOS 13, will launch apps up to twice as fast and deliver a 30% improvement in Face ID unlocking speeds. It's also promised to enable a 50% drop in app download sizes, and a 60% drop in app update sizes.
And like the next version of Android (known as Android Q) iOS also adds support for a Dark Mode that stands to improve battery life on OLED devices such as the iPhone X and XS.
2. New iPad Features for Professionals
Continuing its efforts to pitch the iPad as a notebook alternative, Apple disclosed iPadOS will add several new multitasking features, including the ability to quickly browse apps that have been launched in Slide Over mode and the ability to place two documents running within the same app side-by-side. Also arriving: New Apple Pencil editing features; a revamped Files app that can access files from USB drives and memory cards; and a version of the Safari browser that supports desktop web browsing and contains a download manager.
3. Efforts to Integrate iPads and Macs
As expected, Apple unveiled a solution (known as Project Catalyst) meant to let iPad developers easily convert their apps into Mac apps, replete with similar interfaces. Twitter (TWTR) and Atlassian (TEAM) are among the first supporters.
The company also showed off Sidecar, a solution that lets Mac users use an iPad as a secondary display. The moves come as Apple reportedly works on ARM-architecture Mac processors that could conceivably allow the same app to run on iPads and Macs.
4. User Interface Improvements
Quite a few UI improvements were announced for Apple's operating systems and apps. Notable ones include Voice Control, which uses on-device Siri voice recognition software to let users interact with iOS, macOS and Apple apps; new iPad touch gestures for selecting and editing text; a swipe typing option for the default iOS keyboard; and an overhauled interface for CarPlay that (among other things) lets multiple apps appear side-by-side.
Apple also unveiled (to much applause from developers in the audience) SwiftUI, a new framework for its Swift programming language that's promised to both simplify the process of developing app UIs and significantly reduce the amount of code that's needed to do so.
5. Xbox and PlayStation Game Controller Support
iOS 13 will let Xbox One and PlayStation 4 game controllers be used to play iPhone games, and the next version of tvOS will allow the same for Apple TV set-tops. Given how large the installed bases are for the Xbox One and PS4, this move could prove a boon for Apple TV gaming activity, which in turn would boost the App Store transaction revenue generated by the platform.
6. A New Mac Pro and High-End Display
Six years after revealing its second-gen Mac Pro workstation, Apple took the wraps off a third-gen model. It will run on an Intel (INTC) Xeon CPU (between 8 and 28 cores), contain 8 PCI Express slots, support high-end AMD (AMD) Radeon Pro workstation GPUs and be able to pack up to 1.5TB of RAM. There's also an optional video-editing card that's said to be able to decode 6.3 billion pixels per second.
The company also showed off the Pro Display XDR, a 32-inch, 6K-resolution display said to feature a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a "superwide" viewing angle.
None of this hardware is cheap: The base version of the Mac Pro (it features an 8-core Xeon) goes for $5,999 and the Pro Display XDR starts at $4,999, with a version featuring a "nano-texture" matte display costing $1,000 more.
7. iTunes' Breakup
Making good on recent reports, Apple says that on the next version of macOS, known as Catalina, it's moving iTunes' media features into a Music app, a Podcasts app and a TV app. Activities such as iOS device backups and syncing will be handled by macOS' Finder app. The Podcasts app will use machine learning to index content and make it easily searchable.
8. New Health Features
The next version of watchOS, known as watchOS 6, will include a feature known as Hearing Health that notifies users if background noise is at unhealthy levels, along with a feature known as Cycle Tracking that's meant to help women monitor their menstrual cycles. Separately, iOS 13 will include a revamped Health app that features a summary view.
9. A More Versatile watchOS
watchOS 6 will allow Apple Watches to run apps without the need for a companion iPhone app. It will also bring a watchOS version of the App Store, along with calculator, audiobook and voice-recording apps.
10. Photos App Improvements and Editing Tools
iOS 13's Photos app will feature new controls for adjusting images shot in Portrait Lighting mode, as well as more than a dozen different settings (contrast, noise reduction, white balance, etc) for editing photos and videos in general. It will also use machine learning to hide duplicate photos, let users quickly browse photos by day, month or year and let users simultaneously browse through photos and autoplaying videos.
11. New Augmented Reality Developer Tools
ARKit 3, the third-gen version of Apple's AR developer kit that will ship with iOS 13, will support real-time motion capture and a feature (called People Occlusion that lets objects pass in front of and behind people within a camera's view). Apple is also rolling out RealityComposer, a solution meant to ease the AR content creation process, and RealityKit, a framework for integrating virtual objects into real-world environments.
These efforts come amid ongoing reports that Apple is working on an AR headset.
12. New Security and Privacy Solutions
Not surprisingly, Apple used its keynote to talk up its commitment to user security and privacy, and unveiled a few new relevant features and services. These include new location-sharing controls for apps, a sign-in service (known as Sign in with Apple) that lets users tightly restrict what info they share with developers and a solution that lets approved third-party routers act as firewalls for smart home devices relying on Apple's HomeKit platform.
Apple is also merging its Find My Friends and Find My iPhone features into a service called Find My; it will run on both iOS and macOS devices, and be able to use Bluetooth beacons to identify a device's location when it's offline.
TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa, Annie Gaus and Nelson Wang previously covered Apple's WWDC keynote through a live blog.Annie Gaus: Apple WWDC 2019: 4 Big Takeaways