Apple WWDC 2016: 10 New Apple Software Features That Will Make Partners Cheer

New Features For Developers

Apple's developer community from around the world gathered on Monday to hear about the company's newest software innovations for its iPhone, Apple Watch, and Macbook lineup.

CEO Tim Cook took the stage at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, to discuss new productivity, multi-tasking, and ease-of-use features for iOS 10, watchOS, and the newly-rebranded macOS (formerly known as OS X). MacOS and iOS 10 will both be offered as a free upgrade to users in the fall.

From a new refresh for Siri to a better-designed control center, following are 10 new software features for Apple's operating systems that will turn developers' (and partners') heads.

Reorganization Of Photos For Mac and iPhones

Apple revamped the photos tool for iPhones and Macs, so that photos can now be better organized, by adding facial recognition capabilities to its Photos app.

With this privacy-protected feature, users can organize their photos not chronologically but by memories -- for instance, smartphones can cluster together photos of trips, certain dates, people, or topics (including photos on the water or at the beach).

In addition, Apple will now automatically highlight certain photos, creating a better browsing experience for iPhone or Mac users.

Continuity Features For macOS

"With macOS Sierra, we place a big focus on continuity," said Craig Federighi , Apple Vice President of Mac Software Engineering, at the keynote. "Users can use secure peer-to-peer wireless protocols to do one task across their devices seamlessly.

One such feature on macOS is auto-unlock, which allows macOS users to unlock their MacBook securely by just wearing their own Apple Watch.

Another way that Apple's macOS Sierra promotes continuity is through the Mac's iCloud Drive. Now, when users have both an iPhone and Macbook, they will be able to copy text from an iPhone and paste it on their MacBook. Or, users can store documents in their iCloud Drive from their MacBooks and retrieve the documents on their iPhones.

Siri API

When it comes to digital assistants, Apple once again has Microsoft and Windows to compete with – as well as Amazon, Google and Facebook. Amazon's voice-controlled Alexa, in particular, has taken a lead on functionality over Apple's Siri. That's thanks in part to the fact that third-party developers have been invited to develop for Alexa -- while developers haven't had such access to Siri. Apple is changing that by opening the Siri API to outside developers in conjunction with the upcoming iOS 10. And that means, as Apple said during the WWDC keynote, that users will be able to ask Siri to send messages over WhatsApp, summon a ride on Uber, do a photo search on Pinterest or start a workout on Runkeeper. Along with engaging consumers, Apple is also hoping that a more-useful Siri will appeal to those who use iOS for work and productivity -- Apple pointed out, for example, that workplace-focused Slack is among the apps that will soon work with Siri.

Phone App

Speaking of productivity, Apple also said that iOS 10 will come with a few potentially useful enhancements to the phone app. Rather than having to listen to a voicemail, users will now be able to view transcriptions of voice messages automatically in the app. Apple also said that, through a partnership with Cisco and Cisco's Spark app, users will be able to natively integrate their iPhone with their office desk phone -- which will, for instance, route calls from a user's work number to their iPhone when desired.

Optimized Storage On MacOS

Apple introduced Optimized Storage features on its MacOS Sierra, catching up with other vendors' desktop storage capabilities. The new feature sweeps through old files on MacBooks and pushes them into the iCloud, clearing up local disk space and putting Apple on par with Microsoft's Windows 10, which uses a file system to manage how files are stored and accessed on PCs.

In the test situation, Apple freed up 130GB of local storage with Optimized Storage. "We love using Macs, but sometimes the disk can be almost full," said Federighi. "Now, users can make room for new files by keeping older ones in the cloud."

Redesigned Lock Screen For iOS

Apple has redesigned its lock screen for its iPhone with iOS 10. With this update, all users need to do to wake up their smartphones is merely lift the device, and they can immediately see what is on their lock screen.

This creates a more interactive, user-friendly lock screen for the iPhone.

Quick Typing Is Easier For Users

Apple is diving deeper into artificial intelligence to help one important function in messaging -- typing. With Apple's Quick Type keyboard, iOS 10 is able to make what Apple calls "smarter" suggestions for replying to messages.

Apple looks through existing contacts or data systems and pre-fills responses in emails or texts for a Quick Type suggestion. The company also showed off how iOS 10 can keep track of user availability through Calendar.

Siri -- And Picture In Picture -- On Macs

Arguably one of the biggest new features on MacOS is Siri -- Apple users will now be able to use Apple's personal digital assistant on their MacBooks.

When MacBook users vocally command her to, for example, Siri can quickly bring up files that a user was working on during the previous week.

MacOS will also support multi-tasking features for end users, including Picture in Picture. This productivity feature enables users to watch a video in a smaller picture while they are working on a document.

Apple Targets The Smart Home With "Home"

While Apple has yet to mention anything about its Internet of Things plans, the company is getting serious about connected homes with an iOS 10 app for the iPhone called Home. Home, which is based off Apple's connected home protocol, HomeKit, enables users to automate their houses.

For instance, using a feature called "Scenes," users can say a command ("Good Night") and Home will dim the lights in the room. The Apple Watch will also include built-in home control support.

Better Capabilities For 3D Touch

Apple is deepening the capabilities of 3D Touch with iOS 10, making the feature (which was first introduced in iOS 9) more useful in iOS 10.

Users can press on the right side of their lock screen to unlock their camera, or the left side to open up widgets like the weather, for instance. Apple also added 3D Touch support for third-party apps, so that users can utilize the feature for apps like Uber.