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Apple WWDC 2016 Round-up

Mac OS X gets 'drastic' re-branding, iOS will hit double figures with 'the biggest release ever', and watchOS just wants to get in on that action

Apple's WWDC event has wrapped up for another year leaving a bevy of software update news in its wake but there was no word on new hardware (though that is probably to be expected from a developers' conference). All of Apple's operating systems received spotlight as the technology firm tried their best to show they aren't fading into obscurity and still care about innovation.

We'll let you make your own mind up as to whether they succeeded...

Mac OS X is dead! Long live...macOS?

If there was ever a 'radical change' that summed up the lack of real innovation in Apple's releases nowadays it is the latest re-branding of the Mac OS X software, which shall be referred to as 'macOS' from now on. Yes, that's right; one of WWDC's biggest talking points was Apple's naming department having successfully removed two spaces, an 'X', and, in a drastic plot twist, switched the capital 'M' with a lowercase 'm'.

Jokes aside, the resident operating system of all Mac devices now has a name similar to that of Apple's iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. In fact, Apple pushed the concept of interoperabillity throughout their presentations; a prime example being the announcement that owners of an Apple Watch can use it to unlock their Mac, when those devices' respective updates come in to play in the future.

macOS 'Sierra' will be released later this year and will incorporate Siri on desktop machines for the first time. For more information, check out our detailed preview/review of macOS Sierra.

iOS 10 sees Apple getting Siri-ous about AI

Touted as Apple's "biggest ever release", iOS 10 will succeed iOS 9 later this year with the public preview coming sometime in July. A lot is set to change, with several core applications receiving revamps including Messages, Photos, and Maps, and deeper integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence across the board.

Siri will receive plenty of improvements while developers can now access a number of Apple's APIs in order to integrate them in their applications. To find out about all the new major features, such as being able to view your photos on a map, check out our iOS 10 article.

The best of the rest

watchOS 3 will be coming later this year and will allow Apple Watch owners to do even more with their wrist-mounted devices. The update is focusing on integrating the wearable into the Apple ecosystem but Apple hasn't lost sight of the Watch's health-related objectives and consequently will be adding relevant functionality including the ability to call for help in an emergency situation by holding down a button on the Watch.

tvOS will also be receiving a interoperability-focused update that will allow owners of an iPad or iPhone to control their TV through a Siri software remote on their device. Apps can also be synced across iOS and tvOS, there will be more channels, a new 'dark mode', and more.

The future

Now that Apple have played their software cards, the world will be hotly anticipating some accompanying hardware. The iPhone 7, a new Macbook Pro, more Apple Watch hardware, and even an Apple Television, are still firmly stuck in the rumour-mill phase and Apple have not yet provided any official information regarding them. This has given rise to a suggestion that Apple could be holding a hardware-focused event later this year but again, this is still only rumour and only time will tell.


QTF Recommendation: All online service providers, app developers, and testers should be looking to get their hands on the public previews of these software releases when they come out in the next few months if they are not a registered on Apple's developer program (those who are can already access private beta versions of the four respective operating systems). Until then, take time to get familiar with the new features of each operating system by reading our linked articles.


Impact Rating: 4