A list of new features that will ship with iOS 13, macOS 10.15 and watchOS 6 has been shared with Bloomberg, by sources close to the development of these operating systems at Apple. Some of the new highlighted features include new and upgrades apps for iOS, macOS and watchOS, dark mode for iOS, productivity related improvements to Safari and Files app on iOS, and much more.
As per tradition, Apple will be announcing major updates to its operating systems at its annual WWDC conference. Apple usually focuses on software updates in this event, along with a focus on development tools. After a keynote on the first day, Apple releases developer previews for these new operating systems updates, with public beta releases soon after.
Last year’s iOS 12 focused on performance improvements for all supported devices, along with improvements to FaceTime, notifications, Photos, Siri Shortcuts and much more. macOS Mojave’s highlight feature was dark mode, along with updates to Preview, Quick Look, Finder and introduction of Marzipan apps. watchOS 5 had a number of various improvements aimed at health, activity, communication and notifications.
This year, the main focus for iOS 13 seems to be on productivity, while macOS 10.15 will focus on integrating iOS features like Screen Time, iMessage improvements, Marzipan apps and more. watchOS 6 will have new features which will make it even more useable without an iPhone.
Here’s a list of the new features as reported by Bloomberg.
iOS 13 features
- Like last year, performance and responsiveness will be further improved this year. Last year’s efforts prolonged the lifespan of older iOS devices so it’ll be interesting to see how much more can Apple improve the software experience for them.
- User interface changes will include a new animation for launching app switcher and close apps. Widgets will also get a new cleaner look.
- Dark mode will finally make its way to iOS, which will be optimized for night time usage. A toggle in control center will allow dark mode to be switched on or off.
- A new swipe keyboard might also be part of the new OS. Available since many years on Android and via third-party keyboards in iOS, this feature lets users glide their finger on the keyboard to type. It’s a very popular feature and even Google’s Gboard supports it on iOS.
- A new feature will let users use iPads as external monitors with macOS 10.15 and even use them as drawing tablets thanks to Apple Pencil.
- A new sleep mode which would be a more detailed version of the Bedtime feature in Clock app. It will likely work with Apple Watch and other sleep tracking devices, and will track more data than before. This new sleep mode will also be available as a toggle in Control Center. When enabled, it will enable Do Not Disturb and lower screen brightness.
- Safari will FINALLY get a new downloads manager. This feature will let users finally download files using Safari, brining them closer to real computers. Files app will also be updated with better support for third-party apps, but I’m hopeful that it will also work better with external drives and be more useful than ever. Let’s hope I’m right.
- iPad will get some much-needed love. A new interface for app switching and multitasking, home screen improvements and ability to use multiple versions of the same app will be part of the updates. These might not seem like a lot for desktop OS users, but these could likely be game-changing features for iPad.
- A new smarter share sheet will now suggest frequently contacted people. FINALLY. Apple’s Clips app already has this feature so it’s surprising that it took so long for Apple to make this a default feature in iOS.
- HomePod will get a Voice Match-like feature which should allow it to recognize different people and theoretically support multiple user accounts. So far, Siri on iOS has very poor voice recognition for different people so if HomePod’s voice match is anything like that, it might be a privacy disaster.
- Better support for hearing aids and improvements to the Accessibility settings menu. I, for one, agree that the accessibility section needs some attention. There are many options there and it’s kind of a mess. It’s difficult to find the right option without using search.
- A number of built-in apps will receives updates:
- Health app will gain a new redesigned homepage, which will show better visuals for activity data. A new hearing health feature will track how the loudness of your headphones or the environment around you. Apple will also add support for tracking menstrual cycles, which will likely provide tough competition to App Store apps which provide such features.
- Reminders app will be updated to gain support for better to-do tracking. It will have a new grid layout with four sections which will show to-dos, all tasks, scheduled tasks and important tasks. Apple will likely update the macOS 10.15 Reminders app with these features too.
- Screen Time will let parents control who their kids can contact during different times.
- Apple Books will gain gamification and reward users based on their reading habits.
- iMessage will finally go back to its iChat roots and let users set profile pictures and display names. Apple will also make it easier to send Animoji and Memojis and stickers.
- Maps will make it easy to set home and work addresses and access them. The app will also allow users to create groups of places and add photos to them.
- Find my Friends and Find my iPhone will be combined to become one app. It is expected that Apple will also launch their own physical beacon that can be used to track different devices, similar to Tile.
- Mail app will gain the ability to mute email conversations, block emails from different people and improved folder management.
- Home app will gain better support for security cameras, with support for viewing old recordings.
macOS 10.15 features
- New Marzipan apps: Apple Music, Podcasts, Find my Friends and Books.
- iMessage will get support for stickers and effects.
- Siri Shortcuts support.
- Screen Time will be making its way to the Mac.
- New Reminders app, with same features as the new iOS version.
watchOS 6 features
- watchOS 6 will bring App Store to Apple Watch, removing the need to use an iPhone to discover and download apps.
- A new voice memos app.
- Animoji and Memoji stickers will be available on Apple Watch, synced from iPhone.
- A new Apple Books app will let users listen to audiobooks.
- A new calculator app. Apple Watch will get a built-in calculator app before iPad.
- New complications to support new apps and features like audio books, battery life for hearing aids, external noise and rain information.
- New watchfaces: Gradient will create a gradient from two user-selected colors. X-large will show large numbers. California will show a classic dial and show Romain numerals with Arabic numerals. Solar Analog watchface which will show a sundial. Infograph Subdial will show large complications.
Bloomberg also reports that the new highly awaited Mac Pro might also be announced at WWDC 2019, along with a new Apple display with HDR support. It’s been a while since Apple shared their plans for a new Mac Pro so WWDC will be the best time to announce it and maybe take some focus away from MacBook Pro keyboard issues and other complaints.