As usual for its annual June World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple dumped a massive number of function and feature upgrades for its collection of operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch and Apple TV.
But what impact with this variety of these upgrades have on the industry?
Arguably, the mass media headline news from Apple’s so-call “dub-dub” event was the so-called breakup of iTunes into three separate content-specific apps – Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV for video content – with iPhone/iPad syncing moved to Mac OS X Finder.
See also: Apple’s AirPods 2 Are Here
But iTunes isn’t dead, and its breakup isn’t immediate or even mandatory; it will happen as part of the next version of Mac OS, Catalina, aka 10.15, which is due this fall. Mac users who stick with the current version of Max OS X Mojave – for as long as Apple supports it – won’t see any difference in how the single iTunes app currently operates.
Plus, Apple made no mention of a similar iTunes breakup and independent apps for Windows users.
The biggest change in the next version of iPhone’s iOS, iOS 13, is Dark Mode, essentially a negative view similar to Apple’s current desktop PC dark mode. But other potentially equally important iOS 13 enhancements include:
- faster Face ID screen unlock, app launching, new app downloads and upgrades
- a completely rebuilt Maps app with smooth Google Street-like video view navigation
- suspected spam calls or calls from unknown will be send directly to voice mail
- Text messages from unknown texters can now share emojis or photos for identification
- new editing functions and filters added to photos and, for the first time, videos, such as new lighting effects and video rotation/flipping
- an enhanced Photo app introduces Day, Month and Year views
- in the Music app, real-time music lyrics will scroll in time to the music playing
- a completely redesigned Reminders app
Apple also announced a new separate iPad iOS 13 that includes enhanced multi-tasking/multi-screen interactivity within apps (i.e. two Microsoft Word windows).
For retailers and accessory makers, however, the biggest opportunity is the ability for iPad’s new OS to now natively recognize Lightning-jack thumb drives, thanks to a more desktop-like Files app.
Stressing enhanced privacy across its operating systems, the company is adding a Face ID-powered AppleID sign in as a counter to privacy-challenged Facebook and Google social media sign-in options for web sites. Apple ID will hide your actual email address, replacing it with a randomly-generated and anonymous “privaterelay.appleid.com” address. Apple will also enable Wi-Fi security camera makers to send video to the more secure Apple iCloud; cameras from Neatmo, Logitech and Eufy were noted to be the first to add the new iCloud video storage option.
On the hardware side, Apple announced what CEO Tim Cook called the most powerful desktop PC the company has ever produced, a new stainless steel Mac Pro tower PC (starting at $5,999) powered by a 28-core Intel Xeon processor with 1.5TB of system memory, along with a matching 32-inch, 1,000-nit HDR Mac Pro XDR display ($4,999-$5,999) and articulated stand and mounting options.
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