Apple took the tech limelight once again, as its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicked off on June 4 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
WWDC is where the tech giant presents its latest updates to the operating systems running across all of its product lines.
It is also a venue for its unveiling of new hardware and services that are on the horizon. It will truly be another exciting week not just for Apple fans but for technology aficionados in general.
This time, however, it was purely about developers and their software as Apple skipped the hardware updates to concentrate on iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS and macOS 10.14.
Here are the most important WWDC 2018 announcements you may have missed:
WWDC is traditionally a showcase for Apple’s software and developers and iOS will always be front and center at the keynote.
As predicted, iOS 12 updates will focus more on performance and reliability than on new features.
According to Apple, on iOS 12, apps launch 40 percent faster, the keyboard appears 50 percent faster, and the camera opens 70 percent faster on older devices.
Better yet, iOS 12 will be available to every device that’s currently compatible with iOS 11. This means even older iPhones and iPads will get the speed and performance bump!
Augmented Reality experiences are also getting a boost in iOS 12.
First, there’s a new AR app from Apple called “Measure.” This will allow you to automatically detect the dimensions and measurements of an object in real-time via the camera. Bye bye, physical tape measure?
Next is the introduction of ARKit 2 for developers. Judging by the augmented reality Lego game they demoed, the ARKit 2 possibilities are intriguing.
The iOS 12 Photos app is also getting a few nifty features like an improved Photo Search. The app will have an improved indexing and will even offer search suggestions, tags, shares and locations ala Google Photos.
A new “For You” tab will also suggest filters and effects on the photos you’ve taken.
Not to be outdone, Siri is gaining new abilities in iOS 12. For one, Siri is now open to third-party apps for quick actions.
A new “Shortcuts” app is also coming to iOS 12. This app allows you to create your own Siri shortcuts and string multiple actions with a single Siri command. Siri can now do suggestions right on the lock screen, too.
The stock Apple News app is getting a new Browse section while the Stocks app will integrate with Apple News.
Apple’s book reading app iBooks is also being renamed to Apple Books in iOS 12, complete with a redesigned Book Store Apple.
The iPad is also getting its very own Stocks and Voice Memos apps. Recordings in Voice Memos will be synced across all your Apple gadgets via iCloud.
CarPlay in iOS 12 will now support third-party navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze.
New digital health and parental control options
As predicted, Apple also unveiled iOS 12’s new time-management features. Similar to Android P’s Digital Well Being feature, a new option called App Limit will give you the ability to limit the time spent on any app. These settings and stats are available and synced across iOS devices with a feature called Screen Time.
Other new features include “Do not disturb during bedtime” and grouped notifications.
New animojis and Memojis
With iOS 12, animojis will now be able to track your tongue. Four new animojis – Ghost, Koala, Tiger and a T Rex – are also on their way.
Another exciting update is Memojis. Memojis are customizable and personalized avatars that you can create and make them resemble yourself.
Here’s another big update in iOS 12 – Group FaceTime sessions! You will be able to FaceTime with up to 32 people in iOS 12 and even use Animojis/Memojis during calls.
watch OS 5
The Apple Watch is likewise getting a bunch of new features including an instant voice messaging app called “Walkie Talkie,” new “Activity Competitions,” automatic workout detection and new workout modes Yoga and Hiking.
Watch OS 5 will also bring the Podcast app, new Siri watch faces with third-party app support and support for Student ID cards.
Apple TV 4K
The big update for the Apple TV 4K is Dolby Atmos support. Dolby Atmos is the next-generation surround system that’s more immersive than the old 5.1 and 7.1 formats.
With this update, the Apple TV 4K will be the only streaming box that’s both Dolby Vision (HDR) and Dolby Atmos certified.
And lastly, the new version of macOS was announced and it’s named macOS Mojave.
The most notable update with Mojave is a dark desktop theme appropriately called “Dark Mode.”
Mojave is also introducing “Desktop Stacks.” With this, all your items on your desktop can now be stacked based on their type.
New Finder features
New features in Finder include a new Gallery view, where a big image preview of your file is at the top and all your folder files are in a strip at the bottom, and a more detailed Sidebar. Mojave’s Quick Look feature will also integrate Markup for quick, on-the-fly edits.
macOS Screenshots and Continuity Camera
MacOS Screenshots is also getting improvements in Mojave including instant access to editing tools! Plus screen capture for video and a new Continuity Camera that allows your iPhone camera photos to appear immediately in your Mac’s documents folder.
Mojave is also getting a bunch of native Apple apps like News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home.
The Mac App Store is also getting a redesign, which features a new sidebar and new tabs – Discover, Create, Work, Play, Develop, Categories, Updates.
Privacy and Security
Best of all, macOS Mojave has privacy and security improvements including privacy controls for Camera, Location, Microphone, Safari Data, backups, cookies, message history, and the mail database.
Apple’s browser Safari is also cracking down on trackers and cookies with a “Do you want to be tracked?” dialog box.
In other news, Microsoft’s Android Launcher lets parents track kids’ whereabouts
Apple is not the only tech giant with noteworthy updates. With an update to its Android Launcher app, parents can now monitor their kids’ locations and their app usage time. Click here to read more about it.