This week's Lowdown: The big news from WWDC 2019

Apple announces a raft of new releases…
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This week's Lowdown: The big news from WWDC 2019

This week the tech world is abuzz with news from Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). Apple chiefs, including CEO Tim Cook, took to the stage in San Jose to unveil the latest products and features from the world’s no.1 tech brand.

iOS 13

That’s right, another iOS update is right around the corner. And as you’ve probably come to expect, this one will feature new apps, accessibility upgrades and performance improvements across the board.

Our favourite update has to be to Apple Maps. Competing with Google ain’t easy, but after driving 4 million miles to rebuild the basemap from the ground-up, the new Apple Maps experience promises better coverage, pedestrian data, more precise addresses and detailed landcover.

It even features high-resolution 3D photography with a new Look Around feature. Okay, this is nothing new compared to Google Maps, but it looks much neater and will make a worthy competitor.

Apple Maps

Photography is improving on iOS too. Using machine learning, Apple’s Photos app new curates your library to highlight the best images, hide clutter and showcase your favourites.

Photo editing will improve as well: Portrait Lighting adjustments now sharpen eyes, brighten and smooth facial features, and adjust the lighting to create a more subtle look (if you so wish).

Take a look at our range of Apple iPhones

watchOS 6

This Apple Watch update will focus mainly on health and fitness features. The headline update is hard to pin down – it’s shared between Cycle Tracking, the Noise app, Activity Trends and a new App Store.

The Cycle Tracking app will help women keep up with their menstrual cycles. It includes predictive timings for periods and windows of fertility. With the daily log function, users can input data about current periods, including flow, symptoms and results from ovulation kits.

The Sound app adds another dimension to the health apps roster. It provides live data to users about ambient noise, helping them to know when sound levels get dangerous – important for when you’re at, say, the front of a concert.

Apple watch detect loud environment

The trends tab in the Activity app will give Apple Watch wearers a long-term view of their activity behaviour to help them understand their progress – this includes active calories, exercise minutes, walking pace and more. When the user is on a downward trend, the app springs to life to offer coaching and motivation.

Finally, the new App Store means Apple Watch users can easily install third-party apps, using Siri or Scribble to search from their wrist. This is good news for developers looking to break into the emerging Watch app market.

Get an Apple Watch today

Other big launches from WWDC 2019

Apple TV 4K is about to get even better thanks to tvOS 13. It adds an immersive new home screen, with multi-user support, support for Apple Arcade and new 4K HDR screen savers.

And Mac desktop users are soon to experience another in a long line of incredible operating systems. This time, it’s macOS Catalina. Apple has made the decision to replace iTunes with a roster of new and improved entertainment apps, including Apple Music, Apple Podcasts ad Apple TV. Catalina will also include a new Sidecar feature which will allow Macbook and Mac desktop users to use their iPad a second screen.

And finally, look out for iPadOS, with a new home screen and upgrades to the Apple Pencil feature – which Apple promises will make the iPad the “perfect device for consumers and creative pros alike”.

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