Everything Announced at Apple’s WWDC 16 from Open Siri to Weird Text Messages

Apple held its annual WWDC keynote event today! We watched, we blogged, we oohed and aahed, and we cringed at bad dad joke after bad dad joke. During the two-hour event, Apple talked about everything from the newly branded macOS to the much anticipated iOS 10. One major thing we didn’t see were new MacBook Pros. Yet another thing to look forward to this Fall, I suppose. Let’s jump in and take a look at what’s coming with WatchOS 3, the updated tvOS, macOS Sierra, and iOS 10.

Related: Apple Takes Apps to New Level with Great New Features in iOS 10

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If you're wondering when you'll be able to download these software updates, the shipping versions will be available this Fall. However, users can sign up to be public beta testers in July.

Tables of Contents

WatchOS 3


macOS Sierra

iOS 10


WatchOS 3

Quick Loading Apps

The event today kicked off in a big way with watchOS 3. The single biggest complaint of Apple Watch users—how slowly apps load—is a complaint of the past; watchOS 3 apps load about seven times faster, according to Apple.


Sayonara, Circle of Friends

With watchOS 2, if you tap your Side button, up pops a circle of friends you can quickly contact. But no one uses it, and Apple finally figured that out. In its place, we’ll get a nice, new app dock, which will make finding and opening apps much simpler.

Apple is also adding a Control Center to the Apple Watch just like the one on your iPhone.


Scribble Messages

Another great feature coming with watchOS 3 is something Apple calls Scribble. When replying to text messages on your Apple Watch, you’ll be able to draw letters in English or Mandarin right on the screen. You also won’t need to tap Reply anymore—the reply options will be right below the message.


Watch Faces

I suppose Mickey Mouse must have seemed lonely as the only Disney character with a watch face. Well no longer, because Minnie Mouse is joining him. Minnie will get her own watch face, and users can even change the color of her dress to match their watch band. Of course, she won’t be the only addition. Apple plans to add multiple new watch faces, including an ultra minimalist one called Numerals.

However, when it comes to watch faces, I’m more excited about swiping to switch faces instead of having to long press. Apple is adding this feature so you can easily change watch faces for different occasions.


SOS on Apple Watch

Apple is making it easy (debatably too easy) to call emergency services from your Apple Watch in locations all around the world. No matter where you are, if you need an ambulance, your Apple Watch is ready to make the call. It will also display your Medical ID card once first responders have been contacted. Apple Watch has already saved multiple lives, and it seems Apple wants to add to that tally.


Activity App Adds Competition

If you love competing with your friends, you’re going to love the update to Activity app on Apple Watch. watchOS 3 will let you share your information with friends. They'll be able to see any details you share, compete with you, and send messages via the app of support or challenge.



By now, we all know taking deep breaths is good for you. Well, just like the Apple Watch reminds you to stand, soon it will remind you to take a deep breath (or multiple deep breaths) too.


Activity Tracking for Those in Wheelchairs

This is the coolest and most functional thing Apple is adding with watchOS 3. Until now, those in wheelchairs haven’t been able to track their "steps." But the Activity app on Apple Watch is going to have the ability to track the rotation of the wheel instead of steps with watchOS 3. There will also be two additional workouts in the Workout app specifically made for those in wheelchairs.



Smarter Siri

With the tvOS update, you’ll be able to combine multiple search criteria into a single sentence when asking Siri, such as, “Hey Siri, show me romance movies from the 1940s.”


Single Sign-On

Authenticating your information for every single app is a total pain, but Apple is adding Single Sign-On to tvOS. That means you’ll be able to log in once and bee done. Phew!


Dark or Light?

In a small but noteworthy change, you’ll be able to choose in tvOS whether to view your apps on a dark or light background. This will be great for creating that home-theater feeling.


Apple Music & Photos on Apple TV

A major design revamp is coming to Apple Music as a whole and Photos is adding a feature called Memories. We’ll talk about both under iOS 10, but the changes will reflect on Apple TV as well.


Apple TV Remote App

The remote for the latest Apple TV generation is finally coming to iOS! That means everything your Apple TV's Siri remote can do, the iPhone's Apple TV remote app can do too.


Automatic App Downloads

Find an Apple TV app on your iPhone you like? You’ll be able to buy it on your iPhone and it will automatically download on your Apple TV.



Apple rebranded OS X as macOS to match all the other software names.

The first official macOS will be macOS Sierra. Someone cue the drum roll; here’s everything to expect.


Ladies and gentlemen Siri is finally coming to the Mac. The AI will be able to help you with everything it helps with on the iPhone, plus users will be able to give Siri a task while working on something else. For example, while you work on an email, Siri can send a text to your coworker saying the email is on the way. The AI will also be able to locate files for you and make it easy for you to drag and drop images or text from search and into the document you’re working on.


Apple Pay on the Web

Paypal better watch its back; Apple Pay is coming to Safari on the Mac. No longer will Apple Pay users be limited to the iPhone or Apple Watch.


Auto Unlock with Apple Watch

If you hate logging into your computer and you wear an Apple Watch, things are about to get a lot faster for you. So long as you’re wearing your watch, your computer will automatically unlock when you approach, recognizing that it’s you. Just don’t lose your Apple Watch.


Universal Clipboard

Simply put, macOS Sierra will allow users to copy something on one device and paste it on another device. It's such a simple idea, but definitely one that makes you think, “what took so long?”


Desktop Across Devices

When you save a file to your Desktop or Documents folder on your Mac, you’ll now easily be able to find them in iCloud Drive. You’ll be able to access those files across all your devices, including a second Mac.


Need More Storage? Store it in the Cloud

Yep, now you can clear storage on your Mac by putting old files in the cloud for safe keeping. This feature will also help you get rid of duplicate files and old caches that aren’t needed.


Apple Music within iTunes

The newly redesigned Apple Music will be in your iTunes on Mac. That means your Library, For You, and iCloud Music content will easily appear across all devices.


Other Features:

  • Picture-in-Picture means the ability to watch a video while working in a different program.

  • The ability to open multiple tabs will no longer be confined to Safari. With macOS Sierra, Maps, Mail, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and TextEdit should all include the ability to open tabs.


iOS 10

Last but not least, iOS 10 is getting far more of an update than expected. Let’s check it out:


Let’s just say a lot is happening in the updated Messages app, but I’ll let Jim Karpen fill you in with his post on iOS 10. I’ll have my own opinion piece on the matter later this week; but suffice it to say, you can do everything from adding effects to ordering food within the Messages app with iOS 10. There’s even a feature that allows you to tap words and replace them with emojis. I’ll just let that sink in.


Siri Opens to Developers

Finally! Siri is opening to developers, which means the AI will be able to call you an Uber, make dinner reservations, and a whole lot more.


Raise to Wake

Just like with Apple Watch’s raise-to-wake feature, the iPhone will automatically wake up when you pick it up.


Apple Music Revamp

Apple Music got a total redesign. We’re seeing cleaner lines and new tabs on the bottom menu. Plus you’ll be able to see song lyrics right below it. Apple is also adding a new Browse tab so you can check out the top charts from all the different genres. It’s not as much as expected, but we’ll continue to talk about it throughout this week.


Other Improvements:

  • More interactive notifications and widgets on the Lock Screen

  • Photos will have a new Memories tab for creating the ultimate photo collections

  • Maps will let users see traffic conditions ahead and make reservations within the app

  • News gets a big redesign

  • HomeKit gets categories and companies

  • The new Home app will let users manage their smart home devices in one place

  • The Phone app gets voicemail transcription 

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.