May 31, 2019

Apple poised to bring Mac and iPad closer than ever

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's pretty much a given that next week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference will bring new versions of MacOS and iOS. The real question is just how much convergence there will be between the 2 operating systems.

Why it matters: The Mac remains popular even as the bulk of Apple's business is now selling phones and tablets, both of which have been increasing in computing power.

  • Apple has long said it doesn't plan to merge its mobile and computer operating systems, but the two have been moving closer together recently.

Flashback: Apple offered a "sneak peek" last year at its multiyear effort (known internally as Marzipan) to allow programs written for iOS devices like the iPad to run on Macs with minimal changes.

How it works: Input differences is one of the big hurdles to bringing the two closer: IPhones and iPads use touch input while Macs primarily use a keyboard and mouse (the poorly received Touch Bar notwithstanding).

  • Last year, the company said it was testing the technology first with its own apps, like Stocks and Voice Memos, and would offer other developers a chance to adapt their apps over time.
  • Developers are champing at the bit for their taste of Marzipan, and WWDC could offer them a way in.

What's next: Apple is likely to preview upgrades to its TV and watch operating systems and perhaps give a few more details on some of its new services, such as Arcade, a subscription iOS game service due out this fall.

Here's some of what I'll be watching for at the conference, which kicks off with a keynote Monday morning in San Jose:

1. Mac Pro: Apple first announced back in April 2017 that it planned to scrap its cylindrical Mac Pro design and develop an all-new desktop for professionals.

  • Apple said in 2017 it expected the new design to take at least a year to arrive, but by 2018 was acknowledging the new desktop wouldn't come until 2019.
  • Software is usually the main attraction at WWDC, but it could also be an ideal time and place to unveil a new desktop computer.

2. Siri: The voice assistant is an important market for Apple, and the company has been falling further behind Google and Amazon when it comes to creating opportunities for developers.

  • Apple offered a couple new ways that developers could work with Siri last year, but it will be interesting to see whether it's willing to provide broader access this year.

Go deeper: Apple pivots to media as iPhone sales fall

Go deeper

Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 46 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.