What to know about Apple’s big software event

At its annual developers conference Monday, Apple (AAPL is announcing new features and designs for the operating systems that run on iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches and Apple TVs.

The announcements kick off Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, which brings in thousands of developers from around the world who want to learn more about making apps for the Apple ecosystem.

The event, which is held at San Jose Convention Center, was live streamed on Apple’s site, and started at 10 am PT/1 pm ET.

“And now, lets begin our descent into darkness,” said Apple’s Craig Federighi, introducing the new updates to iOS.

iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch will now have an optional dark mode, coming in iOS 13. Dark modes favor lighter text on dark backgrounds, and are said to be easier on the eyes when looking at a screen in a dimly-lit environment. Many apps already have their own individual dark modes, and Mac’s have a system-wide dark mode.

The core, built-in iOS apps are also getting a glow-up. Mail is adding more fonts and formatting options, Notes has a new look, and the Reminders app has been beefed up with a number of new features, including tagging people and making smarter to-dos.

Apple Maps, which has struggled to compete with Google Maps since it launched in 2012, is getting a new, more detailed look at the end of this year in the US. Apple says it rebuilt the app from the ground up by sending hundreds of planes and cars with custom sensors and lidar sensors over 4 million miles across the country. It’s also adding other Google Maps-like features, such as favorite locations and interactive street view, which it calls “look around.”

A more independent Apple Watch can track periods, monitor sound

Apple is bringing a number of new tools to the Apple Watch as part of watchOS 6, many of which will help the watch run more independently of the iPhone. The Watch will have its own App Store, a calculator with tip tools, an audiobooks app, and Apple’s Voice Memos app, for more subtly recording audio (check local laws. It’s also adding a pair of new health tools. Cycle Tracker adds tools for tracking periods and fertility — tools that are also being added to the iOS Health app. A new Noise app uses the built-in microphone to measure environmental sound and warn you when the decibels are too high and could hurt your hearing. Apple says it does this by sampling audio and does not record anything.

CNN Business will continue to report live on each update.