A closer look at Apple’s biggest announcements from WWDC 2016

What do Apple’s announcements mean for you? We've analyzed the most important items and how they will make your life easier.

intro wwdc 2016
Reuters

Analysis of Apple’s biggest announcements from WWDC

Apple's WWDC keynote, which included demos and presentations from Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, (pictured above) was jam-packed with a number of intriguing announcements and software updates spanning the entirety of the company's product lineup. From watchOS and iOS to tvOS and macOS, Apple gave us a whole lot to digest. To help you make sense of it all, we've compiled a list highlighting the top announcements to come out of WWDC 2016.

1. siri sos new

Apple Watch's new SOS feature

With watchOS 3, users can quickly dial the emergency number that corresponds to whatever country they happen to be in. This will be a helpful tool for individuals who find themselves in dangerous situations or life-critical events. The feature can even be used to quickly alert a user's emergency contacts.

2. siri integration third party apps new

Third-party Siri integration

Apple yesterday, as rumored, announced that it would be delivering a Siri API for developers. Apple has already announced a number of partners, including Slack, Uber and WhatsApp. For those who have lamented the staleness of Siri, this should certainly make Siri much more useful.

3. enhanced lockscreen

Enhanced Lockscreen

Because Touch ID is so fast, we often don't get a chance to interact and view the iOS notification pane. With iOS 10, Apple is implementing a new feature called “raise to wake.” As it sounds, users can simply lift up their iOS device and it will spring to life and display any pending notifications.

4. auto unlock

MacOS auto-unlock

With MacOS Sierra, users can automatically log in to their iMac or MacBook so long as they have an authenticated Apple Watch or iPhone in the vicinity. In practice, this should provide a seamless way to unlock the Mac without having to enter in a password.

5. siri apple tv enhancements

Enhanced Siri search on the Apple TV

With a new version of tvOS in the works, Siri will soon be able to search YouTube with ease and even fire up live TV channels much more quickly.

6. universal sign in

Universal sign-in for Apple TV apps

Apple TV apps are great, but having to authenticate each distinct media app can become tedious. With the new tvOS, however, Apple is instituting a new app that allows for universal sign-in. Users simply need to authenticate once with the new app, and that will handle access for all other apps.

7. apple music 1 new

New Apple Music app

Apple Music in iOS 10 is getting a much-needed revamp. Most important, the new Apple Music app is much more intuitive and easy to navigate, thus solving one of the more long-standing complaints about Apple's streaming music service.

8. copy paste

Cross-platform copy and paste

Users can now copy something while on their iPad or iPhone and paste it into a window on their Mac, and vice versa.

9. voicemail

Voicemail transcription

An intriguing new feature in iOS 10 is voicemail transcription. Instead of having to listen through a multi-minute message, iOS 10 will do its best to transcribe a voicemail and display it on the home screen for easy viewing.

10. rich links new

Rich links in messages

The Messages app in iOS 10 is jam-packed with more features than ever before. One of the more intriguing additions is the ability to view rich links within the Messages app itself. What's more, users can even listen to Apple Music links sent to them all from within the Messages app.

11. siri mac

Siri finally comes to the Mac

As expected, Apple on Monday announced that Siri will be coming to the Mac once the latest version of macOS is released later this fall.

12. maps

Apple Maps grows up

Apple Maps has been redesigned and now features a more-intuitive and helpful user interface. Not only that, but Apple has taken a page from Google's playbook and will now pro-actively alert users to pertinent information—from traffic jams to nearby restaurants—in real time.

13. messages new

New ways to respond in Messages

Taking some inspiration from Facebook and Snapchat, Messages in iOS 10 will support many new ways to interact with friends, including bigger emoji, digital handwriting and chat bubbles that can be increased and/decreased depending on a user's intention. Not only that, but the new Messages app sports several new whimsical chat features that should make text messaging all the more fun and engaging.

14. delete apps

Apple's built-in iOS apps can be deleted

At long last, users will be able to delete the vast majority of Apple's built-in iOS apps if they so choose. So, if you have no reason to have the Stocks or Weather app on your iPhone, you can kick them to the curb with ease.

15. apple watch

Apple Watch performance improvements 

One of the bigger knocks against the Apple Watch is that using it tends to be a bit sluggish. But with watchOS 3, Apple has managed to increase performance by seven-fold.

16. photos face recognition

Facial recognition in the Photos app

Thanks to Apple's seemingly newfound interest in AI, the new Photos app in iOS will be able to recognize faces in photos. Is this a new feature? Of course not—Google has had it for a while. Still, it's nice to see it finally come to iOS.

17. apple pay

Apple Pay comes to the Mac 

Apple Pay is one of the best iOS features, and now it's coming to the Mac. With Apple Pay for the Mac, users will be able to pay for goods and services directly from their web browser. With many websites already set to provide "Pay with Apple Pay" links on their checkout pages, all users will need to do is authenticate the purchase via a paired iPhone or Apple Watch.

18. apple tv iphone app

New Apple TV iPhone app 

Given the complaints surrounding Apple's TV remote, an equivalent app in the form of an iPhone app is a welcome surprise. Much like the Apple TV remote, the iPhone app will be able to process voice requests and support touch gestures. What's more, touch gestures on the iPhone app will allow users to play games on their Apple TV directly from their iPhone.

19. home app

Home app

iOS 10 will include a new app called "Home" that will provide a centralized interface for HomeKit devices. All in all, this is a nice way to control all of your smart home devices. Notably, the "Home" app will support chained commands. For instance, if you tell your Home app that you've arrived home, it can carry out any number of actions, such as turning all the lights on and locking the doors.

20. app store

App Store is still growing

During yesterday's keynote, Apple noted that the App Store now boasts more than 2 million apps that have been downloaded well over a billion times. All the more impressive is that Apple, to date, has paid out more than $50 million to developers since the App Store opened up for business eight years ago.

21. sierra picture

Picture-in-picture video for macOS

With macOS Sierra, Mac users will finally be able to relegate video to a particular corner of the screen so that they can simultaneously focus on other activities. In other words, your Mac will soon become more multi-tasking friendly than ever before.

22 swift playgrounds b

Swift Playground

Apple yesterday introduced Swift Playground, a new way for kids to learn how to program using Swift. Swift Playground is designed for kids of all ages and will clearly help get young developers immersed in all things iOS from a young age.

23 activity share b

Activity Sharing via Apple Watch 

This new feature—set to be released with watchOS 3—will let users to share their activity progress with friends and family. After all, there's nothing more motivating to keep active than some good old fashioned encouragement and competition. Interestingly enough, the Activity Sharing feature will even enable friends to talk a little bit of trash to each other via audio messages.