This year just like every year we get Apple’s WWDC. Before I get your hopes high, let me clear this point, WWDC is not like an iPhone launch. This event isn’t like a hardware product launch or anything like that. WWDC has always been about Apple talking to developers about software: watchOS, macOS, tvOS and iOS.
Last year, Apple threw a couple of hardware products. We got the sneak peek of the iMac Pro and we got HomePod but we’re out here for 2018 and the main keynote has come and gone and there is zero new hardware for this event. So, as Time Cook hinted at the start of the keynote, “Today is all about software.”
WWDC 2018 officially kicked off on 4 Jun 2018 with Tim Cook and company taking the stage. At Apple’s annual keynote, as I suggested, new versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS were announced.
I am gonna go over everything that Apple introduced at WWDC 2018 starting off with iOS 12.
Apple announced ARKit 2, which focuses on persistence and shared experiences, giving users the ability to save their AR experiences and pick up where they left off or share them with friends for multiplayer adventures.
Apple also introduced a developed a new iOS app that lets you use augmented reality to measure real-world objects.
A smarter Siri
Siri received some useful features with a new shortcuts app which lets users create shortcuts from any app that can help with various tasks throughout your day.
For example, if you’re going on a trip and using Kayak to plan the trip, you can create a Kayak shortcut with a Siri keyword like travel plans. Then when you ask Siri to tell you about your travel plans, Siri will give you the Kayak info.
You can also use shortcuts like these in tons of third-party applications and for a wide range of tasks with Apple providing a whole ton of pre-made shortcut options. Siri will use shortcuts to make more intelligent suggestions depending on the time of day and your usage habits.
Better inbuild apps
Apple has redesigned Stocks app that includes built-in Apple news info. Stocks is also coming to the iPad. iBooks has been renamed to Apple Books and the store has been given an overhaul. Photos has a new ‘For You’ tab with a more robust search functionality.
CarPlay users will now be able to use third-party mapping apps like Google Maps or Waze digital.
Digital Health plays a major role in iOS 12 with the new do-not-disturb features that can limit what users see during bedtime. iOS 12 has screen time monitoring to help users understand and manage the amount of time they’re spending on their iOS devices.
Parents can also set limits on the amount of time kids can use a particular app and limit app usage to those that are educational or crucial like the Phone.
Long time iOS users will be happy to hear that iOS 12 brings group notifications, which is one-way Apple is helping users better manage incoming data.
Messaging & communication
Multiple new features are coming to Messages and FaceTime with Apple introducing new Animojis. A new Memoji feature lets you create Animoji that looks just like you. Memoji can be used in Messages and in FaceTime as can a Animoji.
FaceTime Apple is introducing group FaceTime for iOS and macOS with up to 32 people being able to participate in a single FaceTime call and can come and go at will.
macOS 10.14 Mojave
At WWDC 2018, Apple introduced macOS Mojave with a slew of new features starting with my personal favorite Dark Mode. The Dark Mode allows users shift their desktop to a dark color scheme that touches almost every part of the OS, including System Preferences, Messages, Mail, Maps, Photos, Calendar, etc.
Developers will be happy to learn that the newest version of XCode coming in Mojave also supports the new Dark Mode and Apple is making an API available so developers can implement dark mode and in their own apps.
The new desktop stacks feature is designed to keep your desktop more organized. Stacks organizes messy desktops by automatically stacking files to neat groups based on file type. Users can also customize their stacks to sort based on other file attributes like date and tags.
In addition, a new gallery view for Finder makes it easier to preview files visually, including images, videos, presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs and more. It comes with Finder sidebar which provides media metadata and quick actions which allows users to do things like create and password protect PDFs and run custom Automator actions on files.
Finder’s quick view has also been updated with new markup tools and will allow users to rotate and crop images, markup PDFs, and trim video and audio clips without ever opening an app.
Mac App Store Updated
A new redesigned Mac App Store will also make its way to Mojave with a new look and rich editorial content to help discovery. The new design also highlights new and updated applications in a ‘Discover’ tab while tabs for ‘Create’, ‘Work’, ‘Play’ and ‘Develop’ aim to help users find apps for a specific project or purpose.
UIKit for macOS
MacOS Mojave also introduces desktop versions of many iOS applications including News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home. The apps were brought to macOS using iOS framework UIKit that have been adapted to macOS.
Apple announces that in late 2019 these additional frameworks would be available for developers to bring their iOS apps to macOS.
For watchOS, the key new feature ‘walkie-talkie’ allows users to send each other push-to-talk messages much like a classic Nextel phone, from watch to watch.
A new podcast app has also been added.
Newer Fitness Features
An auto workout detection another new feature is a major quality of life improvement for those users who use their Apple watch devices for fitness because it’ll auto start and stop workouts based on heart rate and other metrics.
Siri and Notifications
New interactive notifications and Siri suggestions in watchOS 5 allow users to perform specific actions from a notification without having to enter the app.
Siri shortcuts and suggestions for the Siri watch face have been optimized for third-party applications and can offer sports scores or commute time ahead of your drive home.
Finally, in honor of Pride Month, a rainbow-colored Apple Watch band and face are now available.
tvOS 12 is a minor update focusing on Dolby Atmos support for Apple TV 4K owners.
Easy Sign in
Apple has also improved single sign-on with zero sign-on, a new feature that will automatically sign into apps if you’re connected to the internet provider who you use for cable. This is limited to Charter Spectrum in the US but will expand eventually. Charter Spectrum users are also soon going to be able to replace their existing cable boxes with the Apple TV.
For screen saver fans, there are new aerial screen savers for the international space station and there’s a new option to see where an aerial screensaver was captured.