Apple showcases new tvOS and watchOS at developers' conference

Chief executive officer of Apple Inc., Tim Cook (center) stands for a photograph with WWDC 2016 Scholarship programme winners during the Apple WWDC in San Francisco, California, US, on June 13.
Chief executive officer of Apple Inc., Tim Cook (center) stands for a photograph with WWDC 2016 Scholarship programme winners during the Apple WWDC in San Francisco, California, US, on June 13.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple Inc., Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple WWDC in San Francisco, California, US, on June 13.
Senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple Inc., Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple WWDC in San Francisco, California, US, on June 13.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple Inc., Craig Federighi at Apple WWDC in San Francisco, California, US, on June 13.
Senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple Inc., Craig Federighi at Apple WWDC in San Francisco, California, US, on June 13. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple Inc., Craig Federighi at Apple WWDC in San Francisco, California, US, on June 13.
Senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple Inc., Craig Federighi at Apple WWDC in San Francisco, California, US, on June 13. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking as the Cupertino tech giant unveiled new software for its mobile devices, computers, smartwatch and TV set top box during the keynote address of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2016 in San Francisco.
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking as the Cupertino tech giant unveiled new software for its mobile devices, computers, smartwatch and TV set top box during the keynote address of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2016 in San Francisco. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
Apple's software chief Craig Federighi talks about ten new features in iOS 10 during a keynote address at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2016 in San Francisco.
Apple's software chief Craig Federighi talks about ten new features in iOS 10 during a keynote address at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2016 in San Francisco. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple on Monday gave a preview of its next generation of operating systems for its computers, mobile devices, TV set-top box and smartwatch at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

During a two-hour keynote address held at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Apple's executives - from CEO Tim Cook to software chief Craig Federighi - took turns to unveil its software roadmap for the coming year.

The new iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3 and tvOS will be available in September.

iOS 10

As expected, Apple unveiled its next mobile operating system iOS 10. And it looks like a massive update with plenty of new features. 

One of the new features is that Apple's voice assistant, Siri, will be available on third-party apps. Mr Federighi demonstrated how users can ask Siri to send messages via WeChat. 

The Apple Music app, which powers Apple's music streaming, has been revamped for a cleaner and more intuitive interface. For example, there is a section Downloaded Music, where users can see the songs they bought and stored on their devices. 

Apple Maps will also be open to developers, who can create extensions for the much-maligned navigation app. During the keynote, Apple's senior vice-president of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, demonstrated how users can search for restaurants, reserve a table, request an Uber ride and pay for the ride without leaving the Apple Map app.

Messages got the most airtime during the keynote, as it has plenty of new features including rich links, bigger emoji, emoji predictions and digital touch photos. 

There are animations for each message to show emotions as well as full-screen effects like confetti. Users can even reply using handwritten notes. Stickers can be peeled and pasted into conversations. Users can also send payment directly to each other.

macOS Sierra

Rumours have been rife about Apple's desktop operating system in the months leading up to WWDC 2016. And sure enough, the OS X has been officially renamed macOS, to standardise the naming convention of Apple's product eco-system.

The new desktop operating system is macOS Sierra. It will now come with Apple's voice assistant, Siri, which has been on iOS since its launch on the iPhone 4S in Oct 2011. Users can ask Siri to look for their files, search the web for research, play certain songs or send a message. 

It also comes with some new Continuity features, such as Auto Unlock and Universal Clipboard. Auto Unlock lets users automatically log into their computer while wearing an authenticated Apple Watch.

With Universal Clipboard, the contents of users' clipboard are made available across all their Apple devices via iCloud. Users can can copy and paste text and photos between their Mac computers and iOS devices.

Another standout feature of macOS Sierra is Apple Pay on the web. With supported shopping sites, there will be an Apple Pay option when users check out their items. Users can then complete the purchase by using fingerprint authentication using the Touch ID of their iPhones. 

watchOS 3

The watchOS will get its third iteration this fall. Improvements include faster starting-up - up to seven times faster than watchOS 2 - as well as the inclusion of a dock that allows user to quickly switch apps, and an improved control centre.

The highlight is the Scribble feature that lets users reply messages on their Apple Watch by writing the letters on the display. It even works in Chinese.

Other upgrades include the new Minnie Mouse, Activity and Numerals watch faces. But there is still no third-party watch face support.

New tvOS

The new tvOS, the operating system that powers Apple TV set-top box, will come with expanded Siri support. Users can ask for specific themes, such as documentaries about cars.

But Apple TV's Siri function is currently not available in Singapore. There is no confirmation if it will be available when the new tvOS becomes available.

Other features of tvOS include a Dark Mode, allowing users to switch the interface to black when they are in a darker environment. iOS users can also download the new Apple TV Remote app with touch navigation, Siri and game play support for Apple TV.