Monday marked the beginning of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2018). As per tradition, Apple kicked off the week with a two-plus hour press conference that highlighted a new version of iOS, a new version of macOS and more. Here’s what you need to know.
Launching this fall, iOS 12 (which can be installed on any phone that can run iOS 11) will improve performance on all phones. Unlike previous versions, Apple says older phones may benefit from this phone more than newer phones: according to Gizmodo, apps launched 40 percent faster, the keyboard loads 50 percent faster, and swiping from the home screen to your camera app happens 70 percent faster. (For more information, 9to5Mac put together a great speed test guide.)
Also coming to iOS 12 is a new AR app called Measure, which uses ARKit to measure objects. It’s not the first AR measurement app available on iOS, but it’s Apple’s first.
Siri’s also becoming more useful (which has been a long time coming) with ‘Shortcuts.’ You can create custom quick actions so Siri can help you do the things you do every day. Siri will also learn your routines and offer location-based suggestions (like knowing to put on Do Not Disturb when you’re at the movie theater). You can also say, for example, “Hey Siri, I lost my keys,” and it’ll work with the Tile app to help you find them.
Want to cure your screen addiction? Want to cut back on your kids’ screen time? iOS 12 will include App Limits and Screen Time, which let you limit how long you can use certain apps and let you monitor how much time you’ve spent in each app. “Hmm… maybe less time playing Words With Friends is would be a good decision…”
Here’s what else is coming to iOS 12:
- Grouped notification support on your home screen. Goodbye, nine messages in a row from the same Messenger thread!
- Google Maps and Waze are coming to CarPlay. That means in a few short months, you’ll never have to use Apple Maps again. Hooray!
- 32-person FaceTime. Do you have 32 friends? Apple doesn’t care. Find some strangers and let the chaos and overtalking begin.
- The Messages app is getting new filters, stickers and shapes, in Apple’s attempt to inject a bit more Instagram/Snapchat into its Messages app.
- Memoji: Remember Animoji, which you probably used the day you got your iPhone X and then never again? Well, now you can create one based on your face.
The Apple Watch is one of the most popular wearables in the world, and Apple is adding some slick new features to watchOS 5 (which is launching this fall):
- 7-day competitions with friends. Trying to lose weight? Challenge friends to see who can exercise more, and track the results on your wrist.
- Automatic workout detection means you’ll never fail to log a workout again.
- A walkie-talkie-esque mode is exactly what it sounds like. Press a button, send a voice message, and wait for a response from your friends.
- Apple’s Podcasts app is headed to the Apple Watch. Now, if only Apple would make the app usable again…
Perhaps the biggest news of the day was Apple quashing the rumor that iOS and macOS would merge. However, iOS apps are coming to the Mac App Store … eventually. (For an idea of how this will work, WIRED put together a great write-up.) Office 365 is also headed to the Mac App Store, which is bigger news for Microsoft than it is for Apple.
Mojave will also have new screenshot and video capture tools baked-in, and will also have a “dark mode” that will replace your apps’ grey windowing with a much darker hue.
macOS Mojave, like iOS 12 and watchOS 5, is coming this fall.
Apple TV 4K
Apple is rolling out Dolby Atmos support to the Apple TV 4K, which is nice for audiophiles.
What you might care about more is “zero sign-on,” which will automatically log you into apps that require a cable subscription, as long as your Apple TV is connected to your home network, and your ISP supports this feature. At launch, the only provider this applies to is Charter Spectrum, but more will join as time rolls on.
Both of these updates are launching this fall.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.