June 11, 2018
Confirming our predictions, the WWDC 2018 wrapped up on June 8th 2018, in San Jose, California.
The previous WWDC events have always been full of new ideas, and this year’s event was no different, however there were many things this year that were rather predictable. Since a lot that has happened in those four days, we have prioritised the more significant announcements for you, categorised on the basis of the four major operating systems.
iOS 12 was, by all means, the most anticipated part of the event. With all the issues and backlashes that Apple has faced with the preceding iOS 11, it was clear that the major improvement for iOS 12 would be performance enhancement. So despite being the most important update, allowing the apps to open and run twice as fast, the performance booster of iOS 12 didn’t get as much media attention as the other features of the operating system did.
The second most important update in terms of iOS came with ARKit 2, which now will support shared Augmented Reality environments for multiplayer games.
The other two most anticipated and exciting features of iOS 12 include a smarter Siri and Screen Time. With Google overtaking Apple with its AI assistant, it was clear that the pioneering Siri too will have a certain face lift this year. So now Siri has in fact actually become smarter. It will now act like a caring assistant and suggest when to make a call when it’s your mother’s birthday etc. It will also remind you to use certain features and apps on the basis of your environment and behaviour; for example, suggesting to use Do Not Disturb mode when in a meeting or a cinema hall.
Despite all these revolutionary changes, the most important aspect of the updated Siri came with the introduction of ‘Shortcuts’, that will allow you to define custom commands to execute certain multi-step tasks with your device’s apps, without having to deal with their interfaces at all.
Following the suit of Google’s Digital Well being initiative, Apple too has introduced certain features that promote its goal of ‘time well spent’. Unlike many other tech giants, both companies have decided to combat smartphone addiction this year, and Apple is doing its bit by switching off Lock screen notifications for customizable time spans and calendar events. To monitor and control the digital wellness, iOS now also has features that will allow you to set a limit on how much time you would spend on certain apps, with additional parental controls.
The other announcements for iOS 12 include new Animojis, Memoji (your face-like animoji that you can customise), Apple Photos (with assistive tools like Google Photos), Apple Books (with new interface), group Face Time (up to 32 participants with 4 active ones who would share the main screen), and notification grouping.
Apple has named its new MacOS as Mojave and has equipped it with some major features. The most talked-about feature of Mojave is the system-based Dark Mode. Through this mode, users can change the entire ambience of their PCs, making it suitable for darker environments.
Another exciting update, which will be implemented in the year 2019, is the connection of the MacOS and iOS. When in effect, the iOS app developers will be able to port iOS apps directly to MacOS by making fewer changes in the code.
Other prominent updates with MacOS are Desktop Stack (that will allow you to stack desktop icons on the basis of type and date), iPhone tools for image editing, small tools for screenshot editing, Mac AppStore facelift, voice and news memos, and major security updates that will have stricter regulations on the apps that use camera, microphone, and cookies.
Your Apple Watch now has all the features of the FitBit. That means it now has a more extensive workouts list which includes yoga and hiking with features for automatic workout tracking. Watch OS 5 also comes with a brand new feature with which you can compete with your friends in a seven-day activity. The new OS has also managed to turn your Apple Watch into a mini Walkie-Talkie with which you can exchange small voice messages with other Apple Watch users. You can also now interact with Siri by simply raising the watch to your face, no need for uttering the invocation command.
The chief update that tvOS has got this year is the support for Dolby Atmos surround sound. Apple will update iTunes for free to include Dolby Atmos supported content. The company has also announced its partnership with cable companies like Charter Spectrum, which means now users will be able to control their cable services with one remote and no additional authentication process.
Keeping in line with its principle, this year’s event was more focused on the software updates, with only one hardware update of the Pride Day wristband with Apple Watch. Nevertheless, the bulk amount of new and updated features have kept attendees of the event as well as curious eyes and ears around the globe gripped to their seats while making mental notes on how all these features will actually enhance their productivity with the Apple devices.
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