Last night Apple fanboys were treated to a multitude of software news and updates. We break down all the major announcements to get you up to speed.
iOS 12: Digital Health
No surprise here, the next version of iOS will hit your phones this Fall. So what’s new? Lets start with talking about the digital health dashboard that had been leaked about a week earlier. Similar to Google’s latest Android P update, iOS 12 has built-in features to help users curb use of their phones and certain apps. Smartphone overuse and exhaustion has become a widespread issue and technology companies like Apple and Google are realizing, and taking steps to protect their valuable users.
Users will be able to switch on Do Not Disturb when heading to bed, lock screen notifications will finally be grouped – one of the most important updates. Users will also be able set a timer for how long they want to use each app daily. The time limit can easily be snoozed or ignored like your morning alarm. Users will also be able to set allowances for their kids’ managed devices.
iOS 12: Memoji & Siri
Animoji’s sequel and an answer to Samsung’s AR Emoji, is Apple’s latest play at unnecessary AR face stickers called Memoji. Memoji lets users customize their virtual face in any way they like as well as stick their tongues out thanks to “Tongue Detection” – groundbreaking.
Talking about groundbreaking – Siri will be able to do multi-level tasks based on predefined inputs. A new Shortcut app lets you add multiple customized actions that can be triggered at command. You can define a very specific coffee order and get Siri to place the order by asking it for your usual coffee order. Or you can define a variety of instructions set to the command that you’re on your way home. Such as having your AC and lights switched on and your coffee maker brewing. Siri will also suggest app actions based on usage history.
The next iteration for the MacOS will be called Mojave and its highlight feature is Dark Mode. It will turn your Finder windows black as well as an inverted look for XCode. Apple took a few shots at Facebook’s recent privacy issues with some interesting new features for Safari and Apple users in general.
A new Safari feature will block tracking sites like Facebook’s Like and Comment feature and ask users first if they want it to appear or not. Apple will also only give sites a “simplified system configuration” to help prevent them from being able to identify and fingerprint devices for advertisements.
The Mac App Store is also getting a redesign with a focus on video previews ratings and editor’s choice picks. Expect Office 365, Lightroom CC and BBEdit to also show up on the Store.
With Mojave you’ll be able to take care of your smart home gadgets as well thanks to: Home. You’ll have a Mac dashboard or you can just ask Siri on the desktop to make whatever changes you need.
Users will also be treated to a bunch of quick actions such as organizing their desktop by Stacks, add a watermark to multiple files or sign a PDF document. Screencapping videos is now easier thanks to a keyboard shortcut as opposed to going through QuickTime to screen record. In Keynote, a fun new tool lets you sync up with your phone so you can snap photos and automatically add them to the document.
Finally, Apple will be allowing developers to port iOS to the MacOS by early next year. It’s a while away but something all Apple ecosystem users will definitely be looking forward to.
WatchOS 5 is coming up and it’s going all in on fitness tracking. A clear warning to all the fitness trackers out there thanks to a variety of new fitness-centric features. Apple Watch users will be able to challenge friends to fitness competitions, get digital awards, as well as record workouts retroactively in case they forgot to press start or if workout tracking doesn’t start automatically.
WatchOS is also getting WebKit, that will allow users to browse some websites on the Watch. Look forward to Podcast support as well as interactive notifications like Siri’s suggestions or its new Shortcuts feature.
Ever felt the need to use your Apple Watch as a Walkie-Talkie with your other Apple Watch friends? A new Walkie-Talkie app is headed to the Apple Watch AppStore. Users will be able to grant permissions to contacts to be able to send a message. They can then drop in and send a voice memo across.
Not leaving the Apple TV behind, Apple made a big announcement for its little TV box. Dolby Atmos support is coming to the latest Apple TV 4K. Expect the update this fall where Apple update its iTunes library to include Dolby Atmos on supported movies, TV shows, and music videos for free.
There was a lot more from WWDC so stay tuned as we churn out all the coverage!