Currently, iPad users can view apps in full screen, like on an iPhone, or run two apps side by side. The company also lets users add a scaled-down version of a third app by sliding it forward from the side. The changes expand that interface.
Apple is estimated to generate more than $20 billion ($28 billion) a year from the App Store, and the WWDC event is helping perpetuate that juggernaut. New software features help developers create new apps that in turn increase sales.
For iOS 16, the next version of the iPhone software, Apple is planning several changes, including a new lock screen with widgets, Bloomberg reports. The company will also revamp the Health app and add new audio and social networking features to Messages. There will also be redesigned apps for macOS, including a refresh of System Preferences, the app for managing a Mac’s settings.
For the Apple Watch, the company is planning changes to watch faces, system navigation and several of the device’s apps, including a notable update to its fitness tracking features. The company is also planning a new power-saving mode that will allow users to operate the device when the battery is low. The current power save mode can only display the time.
The software updates help propel Apple’s future hardware. The company is planning four new iPhone 14 models for the northern fall, an updated iPad Pro, three new Apple Watches and several Macs with next-generation M2 chips. For the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple is planning an always-on display option powered by iOS 16.
Although the new software will be announced on June 6, the company typically doesn’t release the updates to consumers until the northern fall, about the same time it releases new devices. However, Apple will release the first beta versions to developers next week. Public beta testing for more users will begin sometime next month.