SAN JOSE, Calif. —
It’s official: iOS 13 is the new name for Apple’s fall operating system upgrade, which brings new features to older iPhones and iPads and is generally used to sell new devices.
Highlights to new iOS 13:
—Dark Mode. This option gives a new look to your phone or tablet, with dark backgrounds.
—Maps. Apple has been playing catchup to Google Maps for years but says it has worked hard to capture more road and air data and says an all-new, more information-rich look to the Maps app will be out in the fall. One feature we haven’t seen on Google Maps: looking at photos, in Street View, with mapping data.
—Siri. Apple’s much maligned personal assistant gets a new voice in the fall, to sound more realistic and less computer like.
—Photos. New management tools will be added to make it easier to find photos, additional editing tools as well, and in a first, Apple is bringing edit tools to video as well.
—Log in with Apple. In a nod to privacy concerns, Apple will offer a “Log in with Apple,” simple ID to counter Facebook and Google’s. While those companies track us once we sign in, Apple says it won’t do that.
—USB on iPad. The iPad is getting more computer-like, as Apple is finally dropping its long-time reluctance to allow inserting the reading of USB flash drives to move files. In the new iOS, thumb drives will be readable.
—Voice memos. The ability to read quick audio segments is coming to the Apple Watch, along with several new watch faces.
The WWDC attracts some 5,000 app developers to Apple’s conference, where they learn about new features coming from Apple. The company, in turn, hopes the app makers will add them to their apps. Beyond the pros, Apple also brings in student developers on scholarships, teaching them how to code and other skills, in the hopes that the students will become app makers of tomorrow.
But all is not rosy in app land.
The Supreme Court said an antitrust case can go forward from iPhone users who allege that Apple engages in monopolistic practices in the App Store. Music streaming giant Spotify pushed the European Union to investigate its antitrust complaint against the App Store, and the hugely popular app Netflix recently stopped making itself available in the App Store, saying Apple’s commissions were too high.
More: Is Apple Music really beating Spotify with U.S. users? WSJ report says yes
Apple recently defended its business practices on its website, noting that it has paid out $120 billion to developers over the years for their share in fees from the site and arguing that it allows competitive apps to be side by side with Apple apps in categories like music, calendar, mail, messaging and cloud storage.
“We believe competition makes everything better and results in the best apps for our customers,” Apple said.
At WWDC, Apple steered clear of controversy, instead touting all the ways it’s contributed to the app economy.
In years past, new apps would be released and take the world by storm, but the charts are mostly dominated by familiar names like Facebook, Instagram, Google Maps and Waze. However, one new app recently cracked the charts, the Q&A app Yolo.
Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.