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Apple announces watchOS 3 with new watch faces and tvOS

watchOS 3
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While we have been primarily focused on the hundreds of updates with iOS 10, Apple also spent time at the keynote on the newest major operating systems for the Apple Watch (watchOS 3) and the Apple TV (tvOS). The Apple Watch is updated with new watch faces, features borrowed from the iPhone, and more; while the Apple TV received a few relatively minor updates.

watchOS 3

watchOS 3

The Apple Watch running watchOS 3. The first watch shows the new Dock, the second shows the Breathe app, and the third shows the Activity watch face, via Apple

The third-generation operating system comes with a many welcomed changes for the Apple Watch. The app layout is staying, but there is a new dock that will house your favorite apps and Control Center for frequently used settings. Background App Refresh is coming to the watch and will automatically keep apps open and updated with the latest content. Instead of taking what seems like an hour for an app to load, it will be opened in an instant. There is a SOS feature now that will initiate a call with local emergency services no matter where you are in the world, and send a message to emergency contacts about what is going on. This is activated by holding the right elongated button for several seconds. The Apple Watch will also unlock your MacBook if it is on your wrist and within range of your computer.

Additionally, the Activity app has received quite a few updates. The Activity rings are now shareable with friends and family so you can compete with each other over who can close the rings first. You and they can opt-in for being alerted when others finish workouts or earn achievements. There are new metrics on the display during a workout that show distance, pace, active calories, heartbeat, and elapsed time. The Activity app is also optimized for wheelchair users. Apple added a Breathe app that is designed to guide you through a series of deep breaths throughout your day.

Like the Messages app for iPhone, the Apple Watch Messages app is updated. You can send fullscreen effects, add stickers, use invisible ink, reply in your own handwriting, and send much larger emojis. You can also write letters on the watch that will convert into text.

Finally, there are many new watch faces that allow for more customization. Apple added Minnie Mouse as a watch face, in addition to a new Activity and Numerals watch face. They can be easily swapped out with an edge-to-edge swipe instead of the previous deep press.

The operating system is currently available to developers and it will be coming alongside iOS 10 in the fall.



 

tvOS

watchOS 3

The new tvOS has a Dark Mode so the background is no longer blinding you when watching TV before bed, via Apple

The newest Apple TV is being updated with a few minor features that will stabilize and enhance the system. Siri now has the capability to search by topics (i.e. high school movies from the 1990s) and search YouTube for videos. The TV also has a Dark Mode, live tune-in to watch live TV, and single sing-on for apps. You will no longer need to login to a new app with your username and password from your TV provider to access the app. Instead, you will sign in once in the Settings app and the TV will use this information in all the apps you use. This feature is also coming to the iPhone.

The next-generation tvOS software is currently available to developers and it is coming to the public in September.

Expectations for WWDC 2016: iOS 10, watch OS, tvOS, Apple Pay

Expectations for WWDC 2016
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It is that time of year again; a couple of days before Apple’s next special media event where we expect the company to reveal a plethora of new products. The Worldwide Developer’s Conference kicks off on Monday at 10am PDT with a keynote from Tim Cook and company about the latest software updates for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Mac. Based on what we have heard so far, here are our expectations.

iOS 10

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The tenth generation operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is practically guaranteed to be announced next week. The major software update will bring many new features with a slightly refreshed user interface. For general updates we will see tweaks to icon designs, more colorful notifications, and the San Francisco font in every app. The Music app will be overhauled with more black and white colors, prominent album artwork, updated menu tabs, and 3D Touch shortcuts for the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. The Photos app will receive enhancements with more professional editing tools and Markup functionality. Siri will also be coming to third-party apps with a specially designed Siri SDK. Finally, the software will have a new encryption and security features to protect the data on it.

The iOS 10 update will be released to developers on Monday, to those in the public beta program in July, and to the general public in September.



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watch OS and tvOS

Expectations for WWDC 2016

credit: Engadget

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The next software update for the Apple Watch (watchOS) and the Apple TV (tvOS) is practically guaranteed to be announced too; however, there have been no rumors about what the software will bring. Since the Apple TV (4th generation) and Apple Watch are relatively new products, we will likely see an update for both that polishes their systems. I hope that the Apple Watch will, at the very least, get an update in speed for looking at Glances and opening some apps.

The watchOS and tvOS updates will be released to developers on Monday and to the general public in September.

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OS X

Expectations for WWDC 2016

credit: 9to5Mac

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The next generation operating system for Mac is underway with the biggest features being around the new branding and Siri. Apple has accidentally leaked several times that they will be changing the name from “OS X” to “macOS” or “MacOS.” They have used both names on their website. The actual name for the software is currently unknown, but it will likely be something from Yosemite National Park. This falls in line with other previous OS names, like “Yosemite” and “El Capitan.” Additionally, Siri will be coming to the Mac with the same capabilities she currently has on the iPhone.

The macOS (or MacOS) update will be announced and released to developers on Monday, released to those in the public beta in July, and then available for download for everyone else in the fall.

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Apple Pay

Expectations for WWDC 2016

credit: Apple

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Apple is steadily bringing new banks and credit unions to their quick payment system. In the United States, we usually see support from twenty to sixty new financial institutions every month. Recently KFC has announced that it will now accept Apple Pay as payment. The next step of Apple is to further incorporate this into their apps like Safari and Messages. In Safari, users will be able to pay for purchases online with Apple Pay instead of entering in their credit card information. Additionally, the Messages app may be updated with person-to-person payments. Both of these have been rumored to be a part of the Apple Pay update, but they may not be announced on Monday.

 

Apple Smart Speaker (name?)

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Apple Speaker concept, credit: @JRESHOW on YouTube

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Apple is rumored to be working on their own version of Amazon’s Echo smart home speaker to be used with Siri. It will control many of your home’s functions, like adjusting the lighting, with HomeKit-compatible hardware and software. It may also house a camera that will detect who is in the room around it using facial recognition and use this information to select the person’s preferences like favorite music or playlists. Rumors originally suggested that it would be announced at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference with a release either in late 2016 or early 2017, but many sources have confirmed it will not be at the event.

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Apple Watch 2

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Apple Watch 2 concept, credit: Eric Huissman

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The second generation Apple Watch is currently in development and is planning to be announced/released this year. We are expecting a watch that is not dependent on the iPhone for functionality, a 20% to 40% thinner design, a front camera, and models made of new materials (perhaps tungsten or platinum.) Rumors have also suggested that it will have a cellular chip or a Wi-Fi chip inside so it would not need the iPhone for connecting to the Internet.



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iPhone 7

Expectations for WWDC 2016

iPhone 7 concept, credit: Martin Hajek

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The next generation iPhone is expected to be announced this year with the same overall design as its predecessor, the iPhone 6s. The phone will have less antenna lines on the back with no headphone jack and a thinner Lightning port. Additionally, the camera module will further differentiate the smaller, 4.7″ iPhone, from the larger, 5.5″ iPhone. The smaller phone will have a single camera and the larger phone will have a dual camera. Both phones will be powered by the A10 processor, have more RAM, and a higher starting storage capacity of 32GB.

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Apple TV Internet Streaming Service

Expectations for WWDC 2016

Expectations for WWDC 2016

The Internet TV streaming service was expected to be announced alongside the Apple TV 4th generation in September 2015, but it was not ready yet. The service was rumored to be available for $30-$40 per month and come with about twenty-five channels from major networks. Nearly a year after the expected announcement date, the streaming service has not been announced but it is still rumored to come eventually. While it is not likely we will see it on Monday, I wanted to briefly mention it since it was also a part of our WWDC 2015 keynote expectations.

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The Worldwide Developer’s Conference will kick off at 10am PDT, or 1pm EST, ┬áin California and it will be live-streamed for all to watch. To add it to your calendar and watch it, click here.