Mark Gurman Throws Down the Apple Leak Gauntlet

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Remember a few years ago when Tim Cook said Apple was doubling down on security? Remember when it looked like it was actually working, like when all the new iPad features in iOS 11 remained a surprise until WWDC. That seems like a long time ago now.

Today, we have Ming-Chi Kuo leaking details about hardware and developers Gui Rambo and Steven Troughton-Smith pulling all kinds of details out of Apple’s iOS betas. A few weeks ago, I actually considered writing an article about all of the above putting Mark Gurman, the longest running and best known Apple leaker, to shame. I’m really glad I didn’t, as he delivered the goods on iOS 13 in an article at Bloomberg earlier today. As impressive as Kuo, Rambo and Troughton-Smith have been recently, Gurman has once again lived up to his reputation as the top dog of Apple informants.

If you haven’t seen it already, go take a look at Gurman’s article to see the entire list. I am just going to pick a few items out here that stood out to me.

“There will be user interface tweaks, including a new animation when launching multitasking and closing apps. The widgets that appear to the left of the home screen will also have a cleaner look.”

This is interesting, I wonder if it will be just be window dressing or some real improvements. We shall see.

The company is testing a new keyboard option that allows users to swipe across letters on the keyboard in one motion to type out words (Apple could choose to keep this feature internal). This is similar to options on Android handsets and it would compete with third-party iPhone apps such SwiftKey.

While it would be good to get this feature on the iOS system level, as late as Apple is to this party, they had better knock it out of the park. If not, the criticism will be deservedly fast and harsh.

A new feature similar to popular third-party apps Duet Display and Luna Display that will let users use their iPad as a second Mac screen with the ability to draw with an Apple Pencil, expand the viewing area, and get Mac notifications.

This seems like an easy item to dismiss, but it could actually be a small beginning to something bigger. This will be the first instance of Apple bringing touch to the Mac directly, even if it is indirectly. Still, it would be just like Apple to use a fringe feature like this as a trial run to a wider rollout of touch for macOS later on. Look at how they started moving toward the addition of a Dark Mode on iOS by adding it as an Accessibility feature a couple of years ago. Now it looks pretty certain that it will show up in iOS in earnest this year.

An updated Reminders app that better competes with the several to-do list programs available on the App Store. The new app has a main screen with four default sections laid out in a grid: tasks to be done today, all tasks, scheduled tasks, and flagged tasks. Each section has its own different-colored page that users can add items to.

Apple has a habit of letting their stock apps languish for long periods of time, but it sounds like they have finally gotten back around to Reminders. I use something more powerful for work task management, but it would be good to have these additional features for better personal and family tasks.

Apple is combining the Find my Friends and Find my iPhone services into a new, single app, internally called “GreenTorch.” This could go along with a physical beacon to attach to non-Apple devices like a backpack, according to 9to5Mac. That would challenge Tile, which makes similar iPhone-tracking dongles.

This feature, which has been rumored before, isn’t groundbreaking but it is still very smart. I quickly tracked down my iPhone after losing it last year thanks to Find my iPhone, so I know its value very well. Expanding that capability to other items under the same easy to use built-in app makes perfect sense.

The company is testing a downloads manager for its Safari web browser so users can access downloads in a single place like they can on a computer. An updated Files app will work better with third-party software.

Interesting. I wonder just how much independence Apple is giving iOS 13 and just how flexible this updated version of Files will be?

The iPad is getting some unique features, including an updated interface for multi-tasking, tweaks to the home screen, and the ability to cycle through different versions of the same app.

To me, this is the biggest rumored addition to iOS 13. However, Gurman either remains tight-lipped about exactly what Apple will be doing, or he just doesn’t know. To be honest, this makes me even more interested because it sounds like Apple is going to greater lengths to keep these new features under wraps until WWDC.

Apple is adding the App Store directly onto the Apple Watch so users can download apps on the go, making the device more independent. Users currently install new apps via the Watch companion application on their iPhone.

First the Apple Watch got LTE, giving it a small measure of independence. Now this. It sounds like the Watch is almost ready to stand on its own two feet. This should only increase its appeal.

There is a lot more in the article, including several other new Watch features and macOS additions, so if you are interested in what is coming from Apple at WWDC, you should definitely take a look.

In closing, I really can’t wait to see the rumored new iPad features in action at the WWDC Keynote. If Apple is working overtime to keep details of exactly what’s coming obscured, then they must be pretty good. That is enough to keep me excited about this year’s WWDC Keynote.

 


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