Apple loves putting on a show, and the recent Worldwide Developer’s Conference was just that. The annual WWDC is Apple’s big chance to tell the world all about its plans for the next 12 months. This year’s edition brought with it a slew of updates across Apple’s various operating systems, so let’s waste no time at all in getting into the nuts and bolts of all the big updates.
iOS powers Apple’s most popular products: iPhones and iPads. This year, Apple has focused mainly on performance for its flagship operating system but has still added a few new features for users to sink their teeth into. Key features include:
- A speed boost will see phones, all the way back to the iPhone 5S, running much faster. Apps will launch twice as fast, the camera will start 70% quicker, and the home screen should also be much more responsive.
- Users will also have greater security and control over their privacy. Advertisers won’t be able to track behavior without permission, and there’ll be a new feature to prevent phones being hacked using external devices.
- Emojis are expanding with more animated emojis available and brand new Meemojis offering users the chance to create personalized emojis.
- App notifications will now be grouped together, in a bid to prevent screens from being overrun by hundreds of pings.
- A new Screen Time function will help users track their phone usage and even set limits. A Do Not Disturb During Bedtime setting will keep phones clear from notifications until the morning.
- Siri Shortcuts will be Apple’s versions of Alexa’s Skills. Siri should now respond to custom commands.
- Apple is also opening up Car Play to third-party navigation apps, which mean users will be able to use Google Maps and Waze to navigate when driving.
The latest version of Apple’s smartwatch operating system comes a dedicated podcast app, automatic workout detection, and a cool walkie-talkie feature. Bad news for early adopters is that first generation Apple Watches will not be getting the watchOS 5 update.
Siri on Apple Watches gets an update also as users will no longer have to say “Hey Siri” to get the attention of their wrist-based AI Assistant. Siri will also be able to work with third-party apps like CityMapper and Nike Run Club.
Apple TV gets an update with tvOS 12 bringing support for Dolby Atmos audio. All iTunes films will be updated to recognize this change without users facing an extra charge.
Another cool feature to come with tvOS 12 is the “Zero Sign-On” feature which allows users to automatically log in to their cable packages if logging on to their system via their cable company’s broadband.
macOS 10.14 Mojave
Last but not least, Apple unveiled the latest version of macOS, Mojave. It comes with an Apple News app, a Home app complete with Siri support and control of HomeKit devices. Other nice features include a redesigned Mac App store and an updated dark mode.
We’ll probably learn a lot more about macOS shortly as it is hotly rumored that Apple is about to announce a new top of the range Macbook Pro. Keep your eyes peeled for that one.
So there you have all the big news from this year’s WWDC. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below. Is Apple simply playing catch up with Google or is it still the bold company of innovation that it was back when Steve Jobs was in charge. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.