Apple's developer conference is here, and we're rounding up what was launched as well as how to watch it.

Apple puts on its annual developer conference in California to showcase new software, software updates, and technologies that developers can leverage in order to make their apps more innovative and up to date. 

Called the Worldwide Developers Conference, it is geared toward developers, but Apple is very much talking to consumers at the same time, allowing them a glimpse as to what their phone, tablet, watch, TV, or laptop will be able to do in the months ahead.

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How to watch WWDC 2019

The WWDC keynote is available to watch online through the dedicated Apple site or the WWDC app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. You'll also be able to watch the livestream of the keynote online via the Safari, Chrome, and Firefox desktop browsers.

It's a 2 hour event and Apple will be sharing the event to watch shortly. The rest of the conference is a behind closed doors affair only available to attendees, however many will share their notes from the sessions.

The announcements that matter from WWDC 2019

There's a lot that happens at WWDC, but we're focusing on the important announcements for Apple customers and users. While we're sure you'll be keen hear about new APIs, Swift and Metal, we're really only focusing on the products and services.

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iOS 13

One of the biggest announcements is the future for iOS 13. Well, Apple is actually splitting out iPad and introducing iPadOS with a range of new features which you can read about below. For iOS 13 - expected to update devices from iPhone 6S upwards in Fall/Autumn 2019 - there's going to be a dark mode, bringing a whole new look to things. 

There are some big changes coming to photo browsing and editing, with new studio lighting features. Memoji are getting supercharged with more customisation options, and Apple Maps is getting rebuilt to make it a lot more useful and detailed. You'll also get swipe text entry on the keyboard without needing a third-party app. 

Another big announcement is Sign-in with Apple. This lets you use your Apple ID to sign into other services, but maintaining control of your privacy and selecting what you share with that organisation - it's likely to be a huge rival to Facebook and Google sign-in options. It's going to be available through iOS apps - but also though the browser.

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MacOS Catalina

The next version of MacOS will be called Catalina and it will be rolling-out later in the year. The first thing to note is that iTunes is being decommissioned and replaced with apps for Apple Music, Podcasts and Apple TV. So no more iTunes on your Mac. As far as we know, it will be staying with Windows for now.

Much more significant and interesting is Sidecar. This will let you use your iPad as a companion display to the Mac and will even support Apple Pencil support giving you more input options and fine control in apps. Screentime will also be coming to the Mac as well as security and accessibility features.

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Apple iPadOS

This is a big one. With Apple progressively pushing the iPad as an alternative to a laptop, it has been butting up against features that iOS doesn't support. There's now a split, with iPadOS giving the iPad a range of features that will make you more productive and enhancing the offering for Apple's tablets. 

One of these things is USB Type-C drive support, meaning you can connect external drives - a significant failing of the older iPad Pro. For those using thumb drives or digital cameras, this is a game changer.

There's better splitscreen working, with a side tab you can slide in for quick access to apps, and there's going to be better support for Apple Pencil. You can also get a floating keyboard. This is all in addition to some of the iOS 13 updates too - like dark mode. iPad is going to be a different beast once the update lands in late 2019.

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WatchOS 6

WatchOS has actually had a significant update announced at WWDC. You'll be able to run Watch apps without a companion app on the phone and there will be a standalone App Store so you can browse and buy from the watch. Does this mean you don't need an iPhone any more?

Many of the updates on Apple Watch will come into health tracking. There's the huge addition of female health features with menstrual cycle tracking as well as fertility windows - also coming to the iOS Health app so not just for Watch - as well as wider fitness tracking with trends. The trends will let you see month by month which way you're headed, if you're making progress or slowly losing it.

There's also a new noise app. This is designed to help protect your hearing and can alert you if you're exposed to loud noises so you can protect yourself. Yes, remember your PPE.

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Apple TV and TvOS 13

There's a lot happening in Apple TV. Firstly there's going to be support for Xbox (via Bluetooth) and PS DualShock controllers, making it easier to get around and play Apple Arcade games. Of course there's Apple TV+ coming soon - and we've now been shown a trailer of For All Mankind - an Apple Original show which looks fantastic. 

Apple TV will also get 4K HDR screensavers - very fancy - to go along with all the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos content on offer. 

But Apple TV is also going to offer user profiles for different people, so you can have custom content for different family members. 

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ARKit - Minecraft Earth gets demoed

We knew Minecraft Earth was coming but we'd not actually seen it in action. Mojang took to the stage at WWDC to show us what we can expect from the new AR game when it lands. While it's going to work on both Android and iOS devices, on the iPhone and using ARkit you'll be able to put  yourself into the worlds that you build.

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Siri

Siri wasn't left out from the announcements at WWDC, but enhancements come in on many levels, across iOS, HomePod, AirPods and Carplay. Firstly, and importantly, the voice model for Siri has been changed, so in future it will sound less robotic and a little smoother.

Siri Shortcuts will now suggest automations to help you get things running smoothly. We mentioned that the Mac will get better accessibility features and some of that will come from Siri. Siri is also going to support third-party navigation apps in CarPlay.

One the HomePod, Siri will recognise different voice profiles so can serve up customised results - HomePod is also getting iHeartRadio and TuneIn. For the AirPods, Siri can read incoming messages to you as they arrive.

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What about hardware?

Apple hasn't been shy about updating its hardware lineup over the last couple of months with new iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and AirPods all seeing releases this year so far. But WWDC was time for the big one: 

Apple Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro ditched the trash can design and goes more industrial. While it might look like a cheese grater, the design is there to increase surface area and improve cooling. And very cool it is. There's support for 28 core Intel Xenon processors, up to 1.5TB RAM and eight PCIe slots. Apple has also designed its own graphics accelerator - Afterburner - and is simply saying that this is the most powerful pro desktop computer around. It will cost from $5999, and you can even get wheels for it.

Apple Pro Display XDR

An ideal partner for the Mac Pro is a high-level 6K monitor. Apple is pitching this as an alternative to a reference monitor, with a sustainable 1000 nit brightness and peak brightness of 1600 nits, designed for those working on HDR streams. Because it's focused on HDR, Apple decided to called the XDR - extreme dynamic range. 

The display gets some of the Mac Pro's design around the rear, again for cooling and there's a stand that's highly adjustable - including a portrait orientation. The stand alone cost $999, so if you have to ask about the price of the display, you probably can't afford it.

Pocket-lint is at WWDC covering all the latest announcements as they happen. Be sure to check our Apple hub for the latest.

When is the WWDC 2019 keynote?

Apple's WWDC 2019 conference takes places in San Jose, California from Monday 3 June to Friday 7 June at the McEnery Convention Center with the Apple keynote starting on Monday 10am PT (on 3 June). It lasts between 1- 2 hours with the company covering a lot of ground.

Here are the local times across the world:

  • San Francisco: 10am (3 June)
  • New York: 1pm (3 June)
  • London: 6pm (3 June)
  • Berlin: 7pm (3 June)
  • Paris: 7pm (3 June)
  • Moscow: 8pm (3 June)
  • Beijing: 1am (4 June)
  • Tokyo: 2am (4 June)

Can you attend WWDC 2019?

Apple offers tickets to WWDC through a lottery system, but they went a long time ago. But, like your favourite football game, you can still watch the live stream.

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