In the new game Sky: Children of Light ethereal figures prance and soar through gorgeous landscapes and crumbling temples. These characters hold candles and spread light throughout the world. At least, I think that’s what’s going on in ThatGameCompany’s first new game in seven years. It’s abstract.
Out now on iOS and coming eventually to Android, Sky: Children of Light feels like an extension or offshoot of 2012’s transcendent cooperative adventure game, Journey. The player, a titular child of light, is a caped figure who embarks on an adventure across seven fantasy realms, using light to revive fallen stars and reform constellations. Players interact with the world and their fellow players via a series of simple icons and gestures as they work together to solve the game’s puzzles and uncover its mysteries.
Unlike Journey, which limited play to two players at a time, the world of Sky Children of Light is filled with silent cloaked individuals hopping and flying about. It’s a social game. Players can make friends, who they can see online and meet up for play sessions. The game preserves some of the magical anonymity of Journey’s anonymous co-op partners by having players assign names to their friends. I named my first two friends Steve and Lara. I have no idea what their real names are. Friends can be added via more traditional methods, but there’s something appealing about having a friend list filled with randoms with made-up names.
Gameplay is harder to describe, which is completely by design. As they adventure through the game, players encounter spirits that feed their light and lead them to ancient temples and other mysterious locales. Each area holds some sort of puzzle to solve in order to progress the game’s story. It might be as simple as applying candlelight to a door switch, or as complex as trying to maintain your light while exploring a rainy forest, racing from cover to cover.
The goal in each area is to awaken an ancestral spirit, who teaches the player a new gesture before ascending into the sky to form a constellation. Forming new constellations unlocks new lands to explore.
I’m getting the same sort of feeling playing Sky: Children of Light as I did playing Journey. I am not sure where I am supposed to go nor what my ultimate goal is, but somehow the game is getting me there. The wind blowing in a certain direction, a light gleaming in the distance or another player anonymously going about their business… these are my guides through these light-hungry landscapes.
(Even the microtransaction store menu is pretty)
Children of Light is a free-to-start game. Players can spend money to buy candles to unlock new emotes and character customization items, or they can receive them in-game by playing or receiving gifts from friends. I haven’t felt the need to buy such things. I’ve been too busy just playing and having a good time.
With more than 10 million downloads on iOS and Android devices, Tiny Tower is one of the most successful business simulation games of all time. Now NimbleBit has teamed up with Lego to make essentially the same game, only with Lego bricks and figures. It’s called Lego Tower, and it’s nice.
Tiny Tower is a free-to-play mobile game about building a tower, floor by floor. Residential floors attract little virtual people. Business floors require up to three of those little virtual people to operate. The money amassed from business floors (through virtual people paying rent) is used to build new floors. On the left side of the tower is an elevator, which the player can operate to deliver virtual people to their requested floor, generating more revenue and making the player feel more useful.
Lego Tower, out today on iTunes and Google Play, is all that and a bag of bricks. Instead of NimbleBit’s Bitizens, the virtual people are Lego minifigures, and players can collect different pants, shirts and heads to change their figures’ appearance. The tower background, lobby and roof can be customized with different Lego themes. It’s bright, shiny and happy. I have only just started my tower, yet I am already quite pleased.
As charming as Lego Tower is, it’s also a big ‘ol advertisement for Lego products. Certain customization options, like the builds that top off the tower, carry “Inspired By A Real Set” labels, so folks know they are for sale. Does that Ninjago tower topper look nice? You can buy a set like it in real life and build it yourself. Ask your parents before stealing their credit cards, kids.
Lego Tower is also a free-to-play game, and there are several ways to pay. Users can spend cash on in-game currency to speed up building. Then there’s the Tower Club, a VIP subscription that gives players special benefits like double rent from tower residents, 25 percent off upgrades and automatic elevator control. Five club days costs $1.99. 299 club days is $19.99.
All of the cash purchases are optional, of course. I’ve squeezed plenty of enjoyment out of my early build of the game without spending a cent. In fact, I did a free trial of the Tower Club and found that I preferred the game without it. Automatic elevator control? That’s half the actual gameplay out the window.
One of the easiest ways to create a lovable game is to take an already lovable game and add something else lovable to it. Lego Tower, ladies and gentlemen.
Flappy Royale, released today in beta on mobile and PC by game designers Orta Therox, Em Lazer-Walker, and Zach Gage, seems like a lot of things: clever, opportunistic, a joke. But it’s also fun.
Inspired by the 2013 mobile sensation Flappy Bird, Flappy Royale has you compete against 99 other poor souls to see who can survive the longest against a maze of deadly pipes. You can customize your look, and each level begins with all of the Flappys dropping in off a bus. Like in the original game, you tap the screen to make Flappy fly higher, or do nothing to watch him sink, all as part of an elaborate dance to avoid obstacles. Hit the ground, or anything else, and you’re dead.
But, unlike in the original game, you don’t die alone. In Flappy Royale, you die alongside an anonymous mass of other Flappys who are also desperately trying to cling to life. It feels more affirming. Even after the 20th straight failure without making it past the fourth pipe. Even if most or all of the other players aren’t actually real people (it’s not entirely clear). And honestly, how would you even be able to tell?
The battle royale genre is often a dark one. Fortnite might be full of colors, costumes, and goofy dances, but that’s all in service of a zero-sum struggle over limited resources that ultimately leaves all but one of its participants dead. As a result, Fortnite and other games like it are seen by some people as a cynical way of monetizing societal angst in the face of impending environmental collapse.
A sense of futility is pervasive in Flappy Royale as well, but it’s counter-balanced by the fact that everyone is doomed together. Or, at least, almost everyone. Some Flappys are really good at Flapping, and who knows what happens to them as they fly out of sight beyond the fifth and sixth pipes. Like Mario Royale (RIP), Flappy Royale is refreshing and entertaining despite its simplicity, in part because no one’s competing directly against each other. The sound effects are also really funny, and seeing all of the Flappys doing their best against impossible odds is heartwarming as hell.
The game’s currently available to check out on iOS, Android, and in your web browser over on itch.io.
Announced last month and due out on iOS and Android this summer, DeNA’s Pokémon Masters has players forming teams of famous Pokémon trainers and their partners for three-on-three battles on the artificial island of Pasio. Fresh details on the game highlight its strong focus on the trainers behind the Pokémon.
Pokémon Masters is not about catching Pokémon. It’s about catching famous Pokémon trainers from the long-running game series. Rather than forming a team of adorable monsters, each trainer in the game brings a single Pokémon into battle. Water gym master Misty, for example, comes with Staryu. They’re what the game calls “sync pairs”.
Players created teams consisting of three of these sync pairs and take them into battle. Trainers in the game are aiming to become the champion of the Pokémon Masters League. To do this, they must go on a journey across Pasio, collecting badges.
Instead of participating in traditional turn-based Pokémon battles, Pokémon Masters battles are real-time. During battle, a move gauge slowly fills. Pokémon abilities require a certain amount of move gauge to activate. Once the meter hits the right point, moves can be unleashed. Trainers in Pokémon Masters have special battle moves as well, providing support and healing for their partners.
With a planned summer 2019 release and it being summer 2019 right now, we should know how Pokémon Masters plays real soon.
Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.
From its launch in late September through mid-May, Nintendo’s mobile RPG Dragalia Lost was part of my daily routine. I only missed one daily login during the entire period, and that was because I was recovering from surgery. But, over the past couple of weeks, the game’s pull on me has faded, and my play sessions are growing more and more sporadic. The events are predictable. The summoning draws aren’t as exciting. I’ve lost the will to Dragalia Lost.
I have to give developer Cygames credit. Dragalia Lost has held my attention longer than any other collectible character game. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes only lasted about four months. Nintendo’s tactical mobile RPG, Fire Emblem Heroes, kept my attention for three months, but now is a game I only hop on occasionally to harvest any free character summons I’ve accumulated. Eight months of near-daily play isn’t bad at all.
Now, the glue that stuck me to Dragalia Lost is wearing thin. I remain impressed that every new warrior or dragon added to the game gets their own story; there are no throwaway characters. It’s just that I’ve collected 94 of the 124 or so adventurers in the game. New faces are a rarity in my game. The same goes for dragons. I’ve got most of them, and the ones I don’t have only pop up during special summoning events.
Summoning new characters and dragons is my main motivation for playing Dragalia Lost. I play through quests and events to earn the crystals needed to do ten summons at a time (there’s a better chance of rares in a ten pull). It takes time to gather the 1,200 crystals required, and when the results are a handful of duplicate characters and the odd four or five star dragon, it’s not worth the trouble.
Some of that is my fault for playing so religiously. There’s only so much to collect, and I’ve worked hard to collect a lot of it. But Cygames hasn’t helped, either. Earlier this year, the developer removed character-enhancing Wyrmprints from the summoning pool, as they weren’t as exciting for players to receive than heroes or dragons. More duplicate characters and dragons in summons was an unfortunate side effect of that change.
It’s not all about the summoning, though. After months of exciting new raid and facility events popping up on a near monthly basis, Dragalia Lost’s special events have started repeating themselves. Right now, one of the game’s earliest special events, “A Wish to the Winds” is back, which is lovely for newer players who never got a chance to reap its rewards, but not so good for a long-time player desperately searching for something new.
I’ve no doubt that Cygames and Nintendo will continue to bring fresh content and ideas to Dragalia Lost. April’s crossover with Fire Emblem Heroes introduced a new type of cooperative mission to the game (as well as some kick-ass new music). Another significant happening along those lines could easily drag me back for a time.
For now, though, Dragalia Lost is officially no longer a part of my daily routine. I’ll still keep it on my phone, maybe hop in from time to time to see if the developers dropped any “thank you” or “sorry for the inconvenience” currency into players’ inboxes following milestones or technical difficulties. If I see a cool new character or dragon pop up on Twitter, maybe I’ll drop in to see how the summoning roulette treats me. I still love the game. I’m just not in love with it anymore.
Rhythm games can be pretty complicated, twisting players’ fingers into knots as they try to keep track of four to six lanes, each delivering a brutal barrage of notes. PeroPeroGames’ Muse Dash has all the quirk and charm of a DJMax or Superbeat: Xonic, but it controls with just two buttons.
Already a hit on iOS and Android, Muse Dash comes to the Switch and PC on June 20, bringing an eclectic mix of more than 80 songs for players to tap along with. Each song plays out like a side-scrolling action game. On the Switch, tapping a button on the left Joy-Con hits enemies traveling in the top lane, while buttons on the right side attack the bottom lane. There are hold notes which require players to hold down a button for their duration and the odd enemy that must be attacked by rapidly pressing buttons on either side. Boss characters appear once or twice a stage but mainly serve as a different way for notes to appear on the screen.
For fans of more frantic rhythm action, there are three difficulty levels to unlock for each tune, but there’s not a lot of room for the challenge to escalate when there are only two lanes to play with. Seasoned rhythm game players might be put off, or they could be tickled by the chance to play a little more leisurely. It’s nice to casually gain levels and to unlock songs, alternative outfits, and helper characters who provide benefits like temporary invincibility or damage reduction to the game’s three protagonists, Rin, Buro, and Marija.
If you’ve ever wanted to explore the joyful world of rhythm games but were daunted by the complexity, Muse Dash is the perfect game for you. The music selection is wonderful, ranging from cheery J-pop to hard and fast dubstep. The characters are either adorable, charming, or mildly racy, depending on the costume they’re wearing.
There is depth to Muse Dash. Putting together the right combination of costume and helper characters can make a huge difference on tougher songs at higher difficulties. But mainly there’s a whole lot of simple, anime-tinged musical fun to be had.
Apple recently released the second (developer) version of the iOS 13 beta. That means features plenty of bug fixes and new features. like sorting for your Notes checklists (to move completed items to the bottom), new Animoji stickers, a slider for adjusting the intensity of Portrait Mode lighting, and a prompt that asks you if you also want to unsubscribe from subscription apps you delete.
That’s all well and good, but the best part of the iOS 13 developer beta 2 is that it’s now a lot easier to install the beta on your iPhone or iPad. And while Apple still cautions against doing so until the iOS 13 public beta, this new iteration of iOS 13 already feels less buggy (and a little speedier) than the very first version. You probably shouldn’t use it on your primary device just yet, but the temptation is stronger.
Installing the iOS 13 developer beta profile
Unlike last time, where you had to go through the slightly more complicated process of downloading an .IPSW file and restoring your iPhone or iPad in iTunes using that image, you can now simply install the iOS 13 developer beta profile. In doing so, you’ll be able to update your device to iOS 13 (developer beta 2) directly from your System app, which is a lot easier (and doesn’t require you to restore all of your apps and settings onto your device).
In fact, this is the only way you’ll be able to automatically receive iOS beta updates going forward if you did things the trickier way the first time. Since you didn’t install the beta profile then, your device won’t ping Apple for updates since, technically, it doesn’t think you’re in the beta (even if you’re running iOS 13).
To get started, pull up Safari on your iOS device and head on over to betaprofiles.com. Look for the big “iOS13 + iPadOS” section, and click on the blue download button. Your device will have you approve the beta profile you’re about to install, and it’ll then ask you for a quick reset. Once you’re back in business, you’ll be able to go to Settings > General > Software Update to download and install any new versions of iOS 13. It’s that easy.
It’s time to try out all the new features and tweaks Apple has been cooking up back in its Cupertino labs—if you’re a developer, that is. While Apple is now previewing the latest and greatest versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS as betas, you can only (officially) access them if you’re paying Apple $99 a year to partake in its developer program.
It’s a little trickier than it used to be to get yourself enrolled in the developer betas if you’re not a developer, but it’s still possible. The usual caveats apply, though. First off, these are early, early versions of Apple’s newest operating systems, a fact Apple highlights on its developer site:
Second, you’ll be downloading the various beta profiles (or .IPSW firmwares) from a third-party site. That’s not a thing you’ll normally want to do, for security’s sake. I’m not going to make a big stink about it, though, because if you’re not bothered by your device potentially bricking from an early operating system beta, you probably don’t care how you’re getting these files. (I’m hoping you aren’t planning to install iOS 13 on your primary smartphone, but I’m not going to stop you, either.)
macOS Catalina / iOS 13 / iPadOS 13
We’ll start with macOS Catalina, because you currently need to install it first before you can slap iOS 13 on your iPad or iPhone. (A beta profile for iOS devices wasn’t available as of this article’s writing, so we have to do things the old-fashioned way.)
Install that on your Mac, which is a pretty straightforward process. Once you’re done, you’ll be immediately asked if you would like to start downloading macOS 10.15, otherwise known as macOS Catalina.
The download and installation process should take a bit of time, but it’s all routine. Once you’re done and you’re up in your brand-new version of macOS Catalina, there’s one more step you’ll want to take. Some iOS 13 users have reported that you might also need the latest beta of Xcode on your system before you can install iOS 13 on your device. (For safety’s sake, I went through this process without testing to see if it was necessary, so feel free to try installing iOS 13 without it if you want.)
Installing the Xcode 11 beta is simple. To start, grab it from Apple’s page. You’ll have to sign in with your Apple ID, but you won’t need a developer account to download and install the beta. (The archive you download took my system some time to expand, FYI.)
When you’re ready to get crackin’ with iOS 13, I don’t believe you even have to open up the beta version of Xcode first, but you can do that as a side step if you’re feeling tentative. Go find your iPad or iPhone, grab your charging cable, get whatever dongles you need to use to connect it to your Mac (if applicable), and plug it in.
Since this is macOS Catalina—killer of iTunes—you’ll now need to pull up Finder to access your connected device.
Once you’ve done that, go back to your browser and revisit betaprofiles.com. You’ll now want to click on the iOS 13 IPSW link—again, a simple beta profile for your device wasn’t available when I wrote this article—and grab the correct file for your specific device. If you can’t remember what generation of iPad you have, for example, you can always pull up Settings > General > About, and then type your device’s “Model Number” into your favorite search engine to figure out exactly what it is.
If you’re finding that the betaprofiles is taking way too long to download your .IPSW file, you can always use another site to grab the same file—I like udid.in and iosbetas.org, personally. (The latter allows you to download it directly from Apple, too, which makes me feel a lot better.)
Once you’ve downloaded the correct .IPSW firmware file to your Mac, pull up Finder again. You should still be looking at your connected device but, if not, click over to that. Before you get started with the iOS 13 update, you’ll need to disable “Find My” on your device. As well, now is a great time to make a local backup of your device in case everything goes horribly wrong. Click on “This Computer” and select “Encrypt local backup,” then click on “Back Up Now” to do that.
(I also recommend having a recent iCloud backup of your device, as that makes it easy to set up your device with all your apps and settings once you’ve installed iOS 13.)
Once you’re ready, hold down the Option key on your keyboard, click on Restore iPhone/iPad, and then go find the .IPSW file you downloaded. Get ready for some fun, as your device will do the usual rebooting-and-updating process to install iOS 13.
You’ll then go through the standard iOS setup process, which will also include asking if you’d like to set up your device using other nearby Apple devices—a nice little timesaver—as well as whether you’d like to restore from the recent iCloud backup I hope you made.
Compared to the process it took to get macOS Catalina and iOS 13 installed, this is going to feel trivial. Pull up your iPad or iPhone, fire up the Safari browser you’ve long since forgotten about, and navigate over to betaprofiles. Click on the link for the watchOS 6 beta profile and install that on your device. It’s as easy as that. You’ll now be able to use the normal update mechanism in the Watch app to download and install watchOS 6.
There’s one caveat to this process, however. I haven’t installed iOS 13 on my iPhone, but I did install watchOS 6 on my Apple Watch. Now, I get semi-frequent notifications that I need to update my Apple Watch to the latest version of watchOS—even though it’s running that—which I suspect has to do with the fact that my iPhone is still on iOS 12. It’s not a huge annoyance, and you can easily ignore the occasional prompt, but it might be enough to get you to wait until the full public betas for all of Apple’s operating systems drop later this month / early next month.
I don’t have an Apple TV, so I haven’t done this process myself. However, betaprofiles has a great, quick guide containing everything you need to know about getting the tvOS 13 beta on your device:
Open the Settings app and move to General – Privacy – Send Apple TV Analytics.
When you have Share Apple TV Analytics selected, don’t click on it. Instead, press the Play/Pause button on the remote and it will open the Add Profile menu, press Play/Pause button again on this option.
n the text field that pops up, type http://bit.ly/tvos_13 (This is a short link, it’s completely safe), then click Done and select Install.
When you are prompted to reboot do so.
The software should then appear in Settings – System – Software Update. Additionally, you can still download the file to your computer for manual installation.
If you want to go the manual route—installing the update via Xcode—Apple has great instructions on its website:
Download the tvOS beta software configuration profile for the new Apple TV from the download page on your Mac.
Make sure you are running the latest version of Xcode 10 or later on your Mac as well as macOS 10.13.4 or later.
Check that your Apple TV is plugged in and turned on.
Connect your Apple TV and Mac to the same network.
In Xcode, choose Window > Devices and Simulators, then in the window that appears, click Devices.
On Apple TV, open Settings, then choose Remotes and Devices > Remote App and Devices. Apple TV searches for possible pairing devices.
In Xcode, select your Apple TV in the left column under Discovered. The status of the Apple TV connection request appears in the detail area.
Enter the verification code displayed on Apple TV and click Connect. Xcode pairs with Apple TV and a network icon appears next to your Apple TV in the left column.
Make sure your Mac is running the latest version of Apple Configurator.
Open Apple Configurator.
To set up an Apple TV for the first time, click Prepare and follow the onscreen instructions. To add profiles for an Apple TV that you’ve previously set up, click Add, then select Profiles. You can also drag a profile from the Finder and drop it on the icon of your Apple TV.
Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.
A good puzzle game latches onto my mind and never lets go. One of the best ways to achieve this is to lead me along a perfectly plotted difficulty curve. MythicOwl’s math-based puzzler, Hexologic, is a prime example of how that’s done.
Hexologic is a relaxing Sudoku-style math game, available on Steam, iOS, Android and Switch and coming to Xbox One on June 13. The game was recently a finalist in Momocon’s annual indie game awards competition, in which I serve as a judge, and it wound up being one of the show’s five winners. It’s a highly polished puzzle game with lovely visuals, calming music and a math mechanic that starts simple and becomes very complex.
Each of the game’s more than 100 levels features one or more blank hexagonal spaces. All players have to do is fill in those spaces with one, two or three dots, in such a way that the sum of the dots jibes with the numbers on the outside of the hexagons. Here’s the game’s second level, which illustrates the concept nicely.
Simple, right? Almost too simple. Were the game to give me too many of these rudimentary, getting-to-know-me sort of levels, I might get bored. That would not be a good difficulty curve. Fortunately, level three introduces a new idea. Now all of the hexagons in a straight line adjacent to a number must add up to that number.
Now there’s math logic involved. There are two spaces that must add up to two. That means the only possible values for those two spaces is one, as one plus one equals two. There are two hexes that must add up to four, one of which is already occupied by one dot. That means the final hex must be filled with three dots.
Level three primes the mind for what’s to come, and by that point, I have started assembling rules in my head. Any two hexes that must add up to five will be a combination of two dots and three dots. When any combination of hexes add up to the number three, none of those hexes will contain three dots. So when I get a level with a number three next to a number five, the answer is obvious.
And I am swept along a stream of increasingly complex number logic. I am never overwhelmed, but never bored. I feel quite clever, actually, which is what a good puzzle game does. Four hexes that must add up to ten, but one space already has a single dot in it? Why, that leaves three groups of three dots. What a clever lad I am.
Hexologic gets very complex in its later levels. Soon we have puzzles with set spaces featuring larger numbers of dots.
Then there are linked hexes, which share the same value.
A massive update to Hexologic that dropped in September added even more complexity. New spaces have been introduced that use greater than, less than and equal signs, which ups the arithmetic challenge significantly. Or, they would, if developer MythicOwl hadn’t made the difficulty curve so smooth. One would imagine the ride from something like this …
…to a puzzle that looks like this …
… would be wild and uneven. How does a game get from point A to point B=A<C+D+6? This is a good puzzle game, so I barely felt a bump.
On Monday, a host of developers and press will gather in the heart of San Jose to learn about Apple’s software plans for the coming year. Here’s a collection questions we hope Apple answers at this year’s WWDC.
Will iOS finally get a REAL dark mode?
Almost certainly. With macOS getting a dark mode in last year’s Mojave update, and rival Android getting an official dark mode at Google I/O, it stands to reason iOS will finally get one too. Particularly after pictures of the mode leaked to 9to5Mac earlier this week.
iOS currently has something like a dark mode, thanks to its ability to invert every color on the screen and make white things black, but the new dark mode should be more visually attractive. It’ll also likely be well received by anyone with an OLED display in their iPhone. Dark images on OLED displays use up less battery.
Besides a dark mode, Bloomberg has outlined many new features likely coming in the next version of iOS. They include an improved Mail app with the ability to block emails from certain accounts, an updated and more complex To Do app, and a better Bedtime tab in the Clock app.
Will my iPhone or Watch finally track my sleep?
It’s getting closer. Right now, there are many third-party sleep tracker apps, but nothing native. And that will likely remain the case post WWDC. The Bedtime tab in the Clock app should be a little more extensive and is meant to better support new sleep tracking features available on the Watch. It seems sleep tracking won’t come just yet.
Instead, Bloomberg suggests Apple will announce a Sleep Mode for the phone which should automatically mute notifications, turn on Do Not Disturb, and even dim the lock screen, so it doesn’t blind you at three in the morning.
Will the Apple Watch get better battery life?
Unlikely. While an updated watchOS could improve battery life on existing Apple Watches, it’s doubtful it will be a significant enough improvement to get excited about.
And perhaps that’s just one reason sleep tracking won’t be live on the Apple Watch any time soon. Right now, the watch gets 18 to 24 hours of battery life. Battery life will need to improve substantially if Apple wants people wearing the watch to bed every night.
Will the iPhone Health app finally be useful?
Signs say yes. The current belief is that Apple will finally refresh the app and update the landing screen for it. Apple will also reportedly add a new feature for “hearing health” so you can know if you’re listening to stuff too loudly. As with health wearable rival Fitbit, Apple will finally embrace period tracking.
It’s also important to note that over the last few weeks, Apple quietly refreshed both the MacBook Pro and the iPod Touch. It could have saved either of those refreshes for WWDC itself, but instead, it updated the hardware ahead of its major showcase. If we wanted to speculate, using nothing but circumstantial evidence,we might suggest Apple was clearing the way for even bigger hardware news.
Yes, in a way. Marzipan is the internal name for a set of developer tools that will allow devs to develop a single app that works across iPhones, iPads, and macOS devices. Such a set of tools would enable Apple to unify iOS and macOS, eventually, combining them into a single operating system that works across a multitude of screen sizes and processor types.
Apple has repeatedly denied the unification rumor, with Craig Federighi spending a chunk of last year’s WWDC promising that iOS and macOS would never merge. But Marzipan itself definitely exists. Apps that will work across platforms are already here, in the form of the News and Voice Memo apps that appeared in Mojave last year (both were originally iOS exclusive apps). We should expect to see more Apple developed universal apps at WWDC this year, including Podcasts and Screen Time.
According to Bloomberg,Apple will also announcethat third-party developers can create a single app for the iPad and macOS. The apps would be available on the iPad and macOS stores respectively, but devs would only have to code the app once to work across both types of devices—and hopefully, we’d only have to buy it once too. It’s not quite what Marzipan is rumored to be (still no explicit cross macOS/iPhone support), but it’s a step closer.
Not exactly. It’s hard to believe that Apple will straight up kill iTunes entirely, though, with the launch of a standalone TV app and the rumored Apple Music standalone, it seems possible that Apple will enter the early stages of phasing iTunes out.It’s about time.
Will we get more details on Apple Arcade?
We’d better.Arcade was announced back at Apple’s weird services-focused March event, and there haven’t been a lot of details since, but given WWDC is a developer conference and Arcade will need lots of developer support to succeed, it seems logical we’d learn more about the tools game designers need. We’ll also hopefully see some of those games. Sonic and Frogger-like games have already been announced, but Apple noted several developers had already signed on to build games for its service. Presumably at least one will be ready to show off on stage.
Will watchOS finally let you download apps from the Watch?
Hopefully. Right now, if you need a new app on an Apple Watch, you have to pull out the phone the watch is bound to, download from a dinky little app store that is really just a subsite of the primary iOS app store, and wait for it to download, slowly, from the phone to the watch.
Apple is reportedlyplanning to add an actual app store to the Watch itself, making adding new apps a lot easier. Among those should be a calculator watch, so you can make like that one uncle in 1988 and do quick math from your wrist.
Will Siri stop sucking?
Probably not. Siri might be available on nearly every iOS and macOS device, but the system struggles to be as smart as rivals Google Assistant and Alexa, which the HomePod made painfully clear. There are no rumors currently related to improved intelligence, but Siri shortcuts, a feature introduced last year in iOS, should be coming to macOS as well.
Will Apple talk about privacy and security?
Count on it. Facebook might be terrible at caring about your privacy, but Apple has pointedly made privacy and security a selling point. There are no actual rumors about new privacy or security features, but at this point, the surprise would be Apple not mentioning it at least once.
On the security front, there is a rumored rival to Tile expected. Apple supposedly has plans to combine Find Your Phone and Find Your Friends into a single app and start selling a dongle you can attach to non-Apple products so you can find them too.
Will we see a new Apple TV?
Definitely not. The Apple TV is unlikely to be updated any time soon, and the TV app just got a refresh after the March event. However, it is important to note that tvOS hasn’t seen any new features leaked ahead of WWDC. So there could certainly be some surprises left in store.
Will we see the revamped iPhone SE?
Unlikely. While many people I know would love a cheaper and smaller iPhone and there have been rumors of one in the works from Apple since it killed the last one, the chances of Apple showing it off at WWDC are very slim.
Signs point to an iPhone SE 2 announcement in March 2020. So if you’ve got tiny hands, you’d better sit on them.