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Highlights from Apple’s WWDC 2018

By Marketforce
June, 2018

Tim Cook took the stage at WWDC 2018 and quickly squashed any excitement for new hardware announcements. “Today is all about software”, Cook said, before kicking off a lot of new software announcements for Apple in 2018.

We stayed up late and watched the keynote, so you didn’t have to. Here are the highlights, including iOS12, MacOS Mojave and WatchOS 5.

iOS12

iOS12 will be released as a free update later this year, usually the release comes just before new iPhones are shipped out. This year’s update is a stability and performance focused iteration on iOS11, so don’t go getting too excited for a design refresh or wild new features.

The updated software will be supported by iPhones and iPads released as far back as 2013. Put simply, if your device is currently running iOS11, you’ll be able to run iOS12. Apple claims that older devices running iOS12 will see a significant boost in performance.

Your digital well-being

It seems like the 2018 tech giant bandwagon is our digital well-being. After Google announced its digital well-being features last month at I/O, Apple have developed their own tools.

A new feature called Screentime will allow users to limit the amount of time they spend on their iOS devices. The tool offers a breakdown of how long you’ve been using apps, when you use them, how often you unlock your device and where your notifications mostly come from. You’ll also be able to limit how long certain apps can be used for each day.

macOS Mojave

Productivity and performance are the focus points of this year’s macOS update. Like iOS12, macOS Mojave will be a free update released later this year.

Have you ever seen a creative’s desktop? We have, and it’s not pretty! Apple is adding a ‘stacks’ mode, which will group files of the same type together on the desktop, and keep our creative work organised. Our developers rejoiced when Night Mode was announced to reduce eye-strain, no more tired eyes during those seemingly endless code sprints!

In a move to protect Mac user’s privacy, Apple have added in more protection from websites that collect cookies from comments or ‘likes’. They demoed an ‘I don’t want to be tracked’ box on Facebook. This is a feature our Ad Tech experts will be looking at very closely over the next few months.

Augmented reality

ARKit 2 was announced at WWDC 2018. This new version of the augmented reality developer toolkit has upgraded facial tracking and allows for multiple users to share the same AR experience.

Siri

Siri will still not be as good as Google Assistant or Alexa, those two AI assistants are well and truly leading the way. However Apple did make a couple of Siri announcements.

Siri will suggest phone calls when it’s someone’s birthday, remind you to turn off notifications when you are at the cinema and other app actions dependent on location or time of day.

There will also be the ability to add routines, so you could automatically let your partner know you are on your way home when you leave the office, or turn your lights on when you are nearly home.

WatchOS 5

This is the first WatchOS update that won’t be supported by the first edition of the Apple Watch. Again, this update is a minor iteration on the previous version, adding a couple of new features.

Siri can be activated with a simple raise of the wrist and the podcast app has been added. A walkie-talkie mode is another new feature, allowing users to record messages and send them to a friend.

As well as looking out for our digital well-being, Apple have got our backs when it comes to physical fitness too. WatchOS 5 includes a yoga mode, and updated features for runners such as rolling pace and speed alerts. If your like us and forget to activate a workout when you start, the Apple Watch will automatically record when you are active.

We’ll have to wait for hardware

It was rumoured we might see some hardware updates at WWDC, but as is usually the case Apple steered clear of hardware announcements. Later this year we should see new iPhones and MacBook Pros, but we’ll have to wait patiently to see what Apple has in store for us.