On June 4th, the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference event took place and the company made some incredible new announcements. Each year, the WWDC takes place in San Jose, California, and Apple announces their newest projects and what both developers and consumers can expect in the coming year. Don’t expect any hardware announcements here – this is all software. Let’s go over some of the biggest Apple announcements from WWDC 2018.
Apple announced the coming of iOS 12. Instead of a completely new redesign, Apple is focusing on stability and performance improvements this time. A warm welcome, as there are still many kinks in iOS 11 that need to be worked out, as we have covered previously on this blog. These improvements with iOS mean the iPhone will be faster, more responsive, and possibly have better battery life. Apple’s keynote also showcased the following improvements:
- apps will launch up to 40% faster
- keyboard display will be up to 50% faster
- launching the camera app will be up to 70% faster
Augmented Reality (AR) is a major tech, right next to VR. Apple is making sure that they are the world leader in AR. The ARKit development platform was showcased, including partner brands like Fender, that makes guitars, and Lego, the famous toymaker. The ARKit will also help users estimate the size of things – so you could get an estimate of a box’s dimensions simply by pointing the camera at it!
The Photo app will be improved as it is getting a smart update. A new search option will be available, as well as a “For You” tab. This tab makes suggestions on what to do with your photos. You could make GIFs, Live Photos, or automatically suggest who is in your photos, making them easier to tag and share.
Hey Siri, Become Smarter
Siri gets a new and long-awaited update. “Shortcuts,” a new feature, will make Siri perform specific actions that are integrated with apps, and will respond to custom voice commands. The keynote showcased an example of losing one’s keys. When your iPhone is paired with the Tile Bluetooth Tracker, you can add a “find my keys” voice command to Siri, which will activate Tile and help you locate your keys.
Many apps will come with the “Add to Siri” option in the future. Other custom commands include “heading home,” which triggers multiple actions, such as launching your GPS, adjusting the thermostat in your home, and messaging your partner.
A bunch of new features will be coming to the Apple Watch. It will incorporate new types of workouts, like yoga, hiking and more. WatchOS 5 will also include automatic workout detection, so if you forget to turn on your workout and you’re a few minutes into it, the watch will automatically save your progress. Podcasts are also coming to the watch, and they will be synced across all of your devices.
The next software update to Apple’s line of computers is called Mojave. This new update will bring tons of incremental updates such as a dark mode. A lot of people prefer a dark screen layout on the Macbooks rather than the current super bright and white layout. This will make working on planes, trains and at night, much more pleasant. Got a messy desktop? You can now stack icons for a cleaner look, and because of this, Finder will get an update, too.
Apple announced privacy features that are a first for a tech company. Because of new privacy rules in Europe, and the upcoming rules around the world, Safari is doubling down on user’s privacy. Websites like Facebook can track your habits and where you go even when you’re not on the website. Safari will now ask you if you want these websites to track you – and you can block them from doing so.
FaceTime Group Calling
That’s right! Group calling is coming to FaceTime, and it’s not just for three or four people. With the new FaceTime update, you can group call up to 32 people. Of course, you can still use Animojis, filters, and stickers to make the call a bit livelier.
Apple Announcements From WWDC 2018 – No Hardware
As mentioned earlier, this conference is all about developers and company software. Thus, Apple didn’t announce all the special things we all love – like a new iPhone or the iPhone SE 2; a newly redesigned MacBook Pro; a new Apple Watch; a face-lifted iPad Pro or any other hardware. That may yet come in the fall, and you can read all about that on this blog post.