The iPhone isn't the only device that will get significant changes at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. In fact, it doesn't feel like a stretch to claim that WWDC 2019 will provide an even bigger impact on the Mac and iPad than any of Apple’s device announcements in the last year.
From mobile apps finally coming to the desktop and the iPad getting more serious about multitasking, the murmurs we've seen in rumors, reports and leaks suggest iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 will be game changers for Apple's largest screens. Here's what you need to know.
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1. The Mac gets iOS apps thanks to Project Marzipan
Apple already gave us an hors d'oeuvre-style sample of this last year, as it tested the idea of iPhone apps (Home, Voice Memos, Stocks and News) on the Mac. This year, though, we're expected to get this revolution in full, as Apple will give developers the tools to bring their apps to the Mac, via a technology codenamed Marzipan.
According to reports, you won't see all iOS apps coming, but specifically those with iPad versions. This suggests that Apple doesn't want iPhone-sized app windows on the Mac, which Google has deemed acceptable with how Android apps are emulated on Chrome OS.
2. Multitasking on the iPad evolves
The evolution of iPad multitasking seems to happen on an every-other-year schedule, as iOS 9 brought split-view and slide over apps and iOS 11 introduced the dock and App Spaces (while iOS 10 and 12 didn't do much for the tablet). This year's major change should rock iOS to its core, with the idea of multi-window apps.
One report refers to the windows as "sheets" of an app, which will "detach" by dragging them out of the screen. This could come into play via Safari, for example, where you could break a tab out of the browser to view it side by side in split-view mode, or drop it into another App Space.
There have also been rumors of a refined iPad home screen and stackable app 'cards', which could be an evolution of the app switcher.
3. Dark Mode comes from the Mac to the iPad
The iPad (and iPhone) have been waiting to get a system-wide dark mode, as third-party iOS apps and the Mac have had this option for a while. Supposedly, Dark Mode will be enabled via the Settings app, and it will include a high contrast option.
Dark Mode is great for people trying to cut down on the light blasting at their face, especially later in the evening. A true-black in Dark Mode could also help OLED screens reduce battery usage, but the iPad doesn't have those screens yet. However, a recent rumor posits we'll see Samsung make OLED screens for its iPad Pros this year.
4. The end of iTunes is in sight
A new Music app is coming to macOS 10.15, which suggests that time is running out for iTunes. Yes, Apple’s media player — which was mandatory in the early days of iPods and iPhones — is going the way of the iPod Hifi.
In its place, we're reportedly getting a Music app, which is reportedly being "developed as a standard Mac program." Whether or not it has all of the features of iTunes remains to be seen, and we're hoping it retains iCloud Music Library uploads.
5. The iPad becomes the Mac's secondary display
What if you could tap your MacBook's screen, like it was a 2-in-1 PC's touchscreen display? Well, Apple looks to be taking a babystep to that reality many of us want, as reports claim a feature called 'sidecar' will allow your iPad to operate as a secondary screen for your macOS computer.
Every year, some existing app developers mutter as Apple releases a feature that obviates their existing product. If 'sidecar' comes to fruition, it'll be the makers of Duet Display and Luna Display, which already offer this ability, that will have to go back to the drawing board.