WWDC 2019 Takeaways for Writers & Editors


Here’s the WRITER’S RUNDOWN of new features from the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2019 keynote.

Every summer, Apple unveils the next big thing in software at its Worldwide Developers Conference WWDC. The weeklong event kicks off with a keynote presentation showing off innovations for Mac OS, iOS, WatchOS, TVOS, and more. This year, Apple’s software and hardware teams made some big announcements, and we’ve gathered all the late-breaking news that writers care about.

iOS 13

Font Handling

Currently, downloading new fonts onto iOS devices takes a lot of steps. Thankfully, iOS 13 will replace this tedious process with a much simpler workflow using custom fonts available from the App Store.

Apple Pencil Improvements

Apple engineers have optimized the Apple Pencil and predictive algorithms to decrease latency from 20 ms to only 9 ms. This will please writers toeing the digital line by handwriting on a tablet.

Editors are going to love the new Markup with Apple Pencil.

More compelling, however, are the new markup features coming to iPad. Editors can now drag the Apple Pencil in from a corner to open a screenshot of the content directly in Markup. They can also drag the Apple Pencil down from the top of the screen to open entire documents in Markup. This means that editors no longer need to export documents into other apps—or worse, stitch a bunch of screenshots together.

iPad Multitasking

iPads running iOS 12 can have two apps running side-by-side. They can also display a full-screen app window with another app in slide over mode. Finally, there’s the picture-in-picture overlay. These layouts were a huge leap forward when iOS 9 first came out.

Nowadays, though, pro users want even more windows to manage their information. In iOS 13, users will now be able to switch between apps in slide over mode by swiping up. There is also support for multiple windows from the same app in split view. This means that writers can now have two Microsoft Word or Pages windows open at the same time.

Users can even swipe an app (like Notes) up from the dock to see all the open workspaces where the app appears in split view. This makes it easier to switch between windows and workspaces.

EDIT (addition): The iPad is also getting mouse support as an accessibility feature.

Dark Mode

Dark mode is already the most talked about feature of iOS 13 at WWDC 2019. Coders have loved typing on dark backgrounds for years—a fact acknowledged by the keynote’s opening video. Super users rejoiced when Dark Mode was introduced in Mac Mojave. Most writers, however, still seem to prefer typing on a white background. Will that begin to change with the broader availability of dark mode on iOS 13?

Some brave professionals have started to make the iPad Pro their daily driver. Will word processing tools get even darker? Microsoft Word for Mac responds to Mojave’s dark mode, but the change is mostly in the ribbon. The typing space still looks like paper.

Would you write over a dark background?

Word for Mac in Mojave's dark mode
Will iPad’s upcoming dark mode allow word processors to mirror Mojave’s dark mode like Word for Mac?


Voice Memos on Apple Watch

Apple is bringing the voice memos app to WatchOS. That means that writers can capture their ideas anywhere. The new complication makes memos faster than ever before.

Audiobooks on Apple Watch

Listening to audiobooks on the Apple Watch offers a new way to digest the written word. It’s another great reason to create an audio version of your new book.

Would you work out to the latest thriller novel?

Mac Catalina

OS 10.15 Catalina replaces Mojave as Apple’s most advanced desktop operating system.


Catalina will now let you use an iPad as a second monitor for your Mac. This gives writers more space for reference material, design previews, and interfaces ideal for Apple Pencil.

Voice Control

Voice Control is an accessibility feature making it easier for many people to use the Mac. Writers can now do more than just speech to text. They’ll now be able to select options by voice throughout Catalina.

Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro is an absolute beast of a machine. The pricey hardware features professional-class specs that most writers probably won’t need. Some designers, though, might just be tempted by the ability to edit full-resolution 8K raw video without proxies or create editorial spreads using an extreme dynamic range (XDR) display with no burn-in risk.

WWDC 2019 Features Coming Soon

All these WWDC 2019 updates for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac are available as a beta to developers now. The public seed will be released in July 2019. Average consumers can look forward to these features coming this fall when the next iPhone is released at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino.