WWDC 2016 – My Highlights from Apple’s Keynote

The WWDC keynote is over and Tim Cook and his team presented all the news around WatchOS, macOS (new name), iOS and TVOS.

I am really excited about the new WatchOS (3). It has performance enhancements, quicker access to action items, improved Activity, new watch faces and you can scribble to reply to messages. WatchOS will automatically translate your handwriting (letter by letter) into text.

You will also be able to see your activity right on your watch face (big colored rings in the middle of your screen).

MacOS comes with the unlock feature. When you get close to your Mac with your Apple Watch (most likely also the iPhone), it unlocks automatically.

They also added Siri to Mac which was quite impressive. I liked how you could search for something with Siri, like a picture, and drag&drop it in an app that you were working in (like a presentation app).

They also improved continuity. You can now copy an item to the clipboard on your iPhone and then have it available on the Mac, as well.

iOS has been improved a lot and comes with 10 major features. Among them are:

Better usability

The Notification Center has been improved and 3D Touch has been integrated more deeply so that you can reply to messages right from your lock screen – I don’t know about security, though.

Enriched iMessage

You can create different bubbles to express loud or quiet messages, you can react to bubbles immediately by adding a heart for “like”, for example, you can make emojis out of words by just tapping the word that changed color and therefore suggest an emoji instead, and emojis got bigger.

Apple News

Apple News comes with more integration of news sources, a better layout and recommendations. They also offer subscription now so that you can read anything you like.

New APIs

Apple opened up Maps, iMessage and Siri for developers. So, apps could integrate maps, iMessage could get Stickers and Siri could do app specific tasks. There might be great new things coming out of this!

Apple Pay

Apple Pay will now be available on the web and customers can authenticate with their phones or Apple Watches. The purchase is only a fingerprint away.

Photo recognition

I also liked the photo recognition (face and landscape), the creation of albums, the placing of photos on a map so that if you are looking for photos of a certain vacation, you can find them easily, and they also introduced the creation of short slideshows / videos made of one of these suggested albums – basically iMovie automated. Cool stuff, especially as I never find the photos I’m looking for.

We could think that with these features (that Google announced, too btw.), Apple will create a huge data network of people hanging out together and traveling certain places. But Tim Cook confirmed that all this data will only be saved locally on the iPhone. So, Apple does not have access to it. I hope, this is true.

I am a recent and proud owner of the Apple TV and it was the first time I really paid attention to the Apple TV updates. Everything I took from it was that they offer more channels, Siri can search across apps and the remote is now available as an app for iPhone as well (they revamped the “Remote” app).

Something, I am looking forward to using is Swift Playgrounds. It is an app that should teach non-developers Swift on iPad. It uses Gamification and comes with small challenges that have to be overcome. This way, kids can learn Swift from an early age and without a big effort.

All in all, I liked the WWDC keynote, however, I knew many of the announcements before and there was nothing really dramatically impressing me – even though I liked the news about WatchOS 3. Cannot wait to install it.

Did you see it? How did you like it?

Good night from me.


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