Apple WWDC 2018 - What You Need To Know

Apple WWDC 2018 - What You Need To Know

On Monday, Apple debuted a lot of new features at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) 2018 that will - and will not - affect the average everyday Apple consumer. Although this is another keynote for Apple, no new hardware was introduced this year, only software - which isn’t all bad. With a less than great year, Apple has high hopes to set a new tone in 2018. Here are some of the highlights and what you need to know.

iOS 12

Operating System
To begin, Apple of course came out with a new iPhone operating system - iOS 12 - for 2018 that will run on the same devices that iOS 11 run on which makes it a much smoother transition for older devices that were made in 2013 or later. With a new iOS, you’re going to have a faster operating system and with iOS 12, you will see a 40% faster app launch, a 50% faster keyboard launch, and a 70% faster camera launch which is handy when you’re trying to get a quick shot of your kids before they see something shiny.
Augmented Reality
Apple also released a new AR (Augmented Reality) format for easier and more cross compatible uses for sharing AR content. A fun way that AR has brought new features to iOS 12 is by being able to use physical products and sets in the digital world. In a demo Apple did on stage, two players used two iPads to play a lego game where their digital characters are traveling throughout digital space on a physical spectrum. Although it’s impressive what Apple has done with AR, I don’t see a whole lot of practical uses right now, but possibly more will come in the future. A handy feature within AR though is a virtual tape measure that can measure anything and everything - even though there is already an app that can do this, this one seems much more reliable and accurate.
Photos
Apple has drawn a lot of their new photo features from Google Photos like including a ‘For You’ catalog, a ‘Featured’ catalog, and effect suggestions such as looping live photos or applying a new portrait effect to your portrait photo. They’ve also added sharing suggestions for your photos with smart technology that can analyze your photos, see who is with you in those photos, and recommend contacts to share the photo with - which makes taking photos at parties and family reunions easier than taking multiple photos on 10 different phones.
Siri

If you’re like me, Siri can either be a pain in the butt or a useful tool depending on what you know Siri can do and how you use it. Now Apple has integrated ‘Shortcuts’ into Siri to help with repetitive tasks where you can assign your own action to help Siri work more efficiently. For example, if you constantly lose your keys and you use the Tile app to find them, you can assign the phrase “I lost my keys” to a Siri shortcut and Siri will open up the Tile app for you and start ringing the tile within the Siri platform. You can also combine multiple actions as well like adjusting your thermostat, playing a certain radio station, and texting your spouse to let them know you’re on your way home - all with just one Siri command. Although I don’t believe this puts Siri above other virtual assistants like Google Assistant or Alexa, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Grouped Notifications
When you get a lot of notifications, your lock screen looks unorganized and disheveled but grouped notifications can help combine your notifications either by topic, app, or thread. You can expand the notifications within the lock screen or close them all out with a slide and a click, making organization much much easier.
Weekly Activity Summary
This is a neat feature I’m ready to dive into because I’m a person who loves to see analytics and metadata of how technology gets used. With the new weekly activity summary, it seems as if Apple has designed this to help curb smartphone overuse by adding this feature. You are able to see weekly details of how you use your iPhone or iPad including how much time you spend in apps, how often you pick up your phone and what is drawing you in to view your phone, and what apps are sending you the most notifications. Another feature you can now enable is setting time limits on apps that you don’t want to use as much. Within this feature, you can receive a notification about how much time you have left on a certain app and this will help with children being on these apps because you are able to limit the time spent on apps either by category or by the certain app itself.
Animojis
Apple has also introduced more animjois adding to their existing animojis and a new feature called ‘Memoji’ which allows the user to create and customize animjois to look exactly like them or however they want. There is also a ‘Tongue Detection’ mode so now your animoji can stick their tongue out when you do.
FaceTime
A huge feature that users of the iPhone have been waiting for is group FaceTime. With this new feature, FaceTime can support up to 32 users within one group FaceTime which is an amazing feat.


macOS Mojave

Apple continues with new operating systems across their devices with a new one for Mac called macOS Mojave. This new operating system introduces Dark Mode, which essentially turns Finder windows and the rest of the OS into a dark charcoal look rather than the existing bright white look. ‘Desktop Stacks’ is also a new feature that will help organize your desktop into stacks of documents by arranging them by kind, date, or tag - which can be helpful when your desktop is cluttered with things you don’t really need. Screenshots got an update in a good way by making them easily editable in a new quick application called Markup right after the shot is taken and screencapping videos will be available as well through the OS rather than going through a third party app like QuickTime to screen record. There are also a few apps that are coming to macOS that haven’t transferred from iOS including News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home which will allow you to adjust smart home gadgets like monitoring your video cameras straight from your dashboard.

watchOS 5

The Apple Watch got a new operating system as well and with that gained some handy new features. Communication has been a bit tricky with the Apple Watch but now you’re able to use a new ‘Walkie Talkie’ feature to be able to talk back and forth with someone simply by raising your wrist. Siri shortcuts like we discussed within iOS 12 will also be available for Watch OS 5 which will also make it easy to start a workout, play music, or find you the fastest route home.

Apple TV

Apple TV has made a few large strides with a new operating system that first and foremost include a wide range of live sports and news channels, making it easier than ever to stream live programs. New audio technology called Dolby Atmos was also introduced as a crisp and improved surround sound to the Apple TV. Apple is also working with Charter Spectrum to bring an even wider range of live channels to the Apple TV, making it an all purpose media powerhouse.

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