While the dust has settled on Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, the show’s not over yet — the conference continues for the next week, and we can expect to see a lot more of Apple’s latest developments.
But the keynote always hits the major announcements for the event, and with updates announced for MacOS, iOS, ARKit, and more, there’s a lot to chew through. Here’s absolutely everything that was announced.
(Whether you’re attending or not, Apple’s official WWDC app is also available for download — providing you with the event schedule, latest news, access to the livestream sessions, and more.)
Well, iOS 12 is official, and it is quite shiny. The newest version of iOS is always going to be a huge part of Apple’s developer conference, and this year was no different. And Apple definitely had good reason to spend so much time on it. While iOS 11 set out to provide more customizability and accessibility options — complete with a redesigned Control Center and App Store — Apple is tailoring iOS 12 to hugely revamp performance on all iOS devices, including those from as far back as 2013. Apple has worked particularly hard to make iOS work better under heavy load, to the point where it’s seen apps load many times faster.
But it’s not all about sleek and shiny performance. There’s also an improved Do Not Disturb mode that aims to limit overexposure to our digital life. The new app Screen Time also aims to help people to use their device even more wisely, with a weekly report on how much time you spend on your iPhone or iPad — including how often you open your device. Users can also limit the time they spend in apps with App Limit.
There are also new security features on Apple’s hardware itself, with the addition of even more parental controls on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch (remember that thing?). The new OS will include extra parental control features, such as the ability to monitor how much time their kids spend on their devices, as well limit that time, or blacklist certain apps at bedtime.
But Apple is also giving us more reasons to stare at our iOS devices with an increase in Animoji options and the introduction of Memoji. Memoji allows users to create their own Animoji faces in their own image. It’s similar to Samsung’s AR Emojis, and we look forward to putting the two services head-to-head — or face-to-face.
According to Apple, Siri is the most used digital assistant in the world, and Apple is working hard to make Siri even more useful. Siri’s new “Shortcuts” feature will be able to reach into certain apps and perform specific actions or deliver information to the user, straight from Siri. Users will also be able to create some rather complex lists of actions that are activated by a single command. These will even work on your HomePod and via the new Siri watch face in WatchOS.
Messages and FaceTime are also getting some love, with the addition of stickers, filters, and Animoji, whether in single shots sent in Messages, or applied while on FaceTime calls. FaceTime is also getting even more new features, with the new ability to chat to large groups of people — as many as 32 participants. Apple has even made it easy to join a FaceTime group call thanks to support for joining a call directly from a group Messages chat.
Other features include a redesigned Stocks app with News integration, a rebuilt Voice Memos app on iPhone and iPad, and more control over notifications directly from the lock screen. There are also features that were originally supposed to be included in iOS 11 but were delayed until iOS 12. This includes an improved Photos app, a revamped News app, and multitasking features — such as tab support for apps on the iPad, split-screen view on the iPhone, and more.
It’s only been a year since Apple unveiled ARKit — its own framework for augmented reality apps integrated into iOS 11 — but it already feels like it’s been here forever. Placing virtual objects anywhere using your iPhone or iPad and creating the illusion that they’re in your physical space is groundbreaking, and Apple is pushing even further into augmented reality with ARKit 2.o.
The launch of ARKit 2.0 will tighten up the performance of AR, and most excitingly — will let users enter AR together, in real time. The keynote showcased a new Lego app that allowed for the insertion of characters into a simulated environment, and even let multiple users enter the same space.
Key to Apple’s approach to AR is the introduction of a new file format called USDZ. This format allows for sharing AR animations and graphics to make AR far more shareable across iOS devices — it will even let websites embed AR imagery into their web pages.
Apple also announced a partnership with Adobe, and a new AR design tool that allows users to see what they’re editing when they’re editing it. There’s also a new app called “Measure,” which lets users measure real-life items using their device’s AR.
While we didn’t hear any news about a next-generation Apple Watch, we learned a lot about the next version of WatchOS — WatchOS 5.
WatchOS 5 will boast improved health-tracking features. It will allow users to challenge friends to an activity challenge every week, as well as set mile pacing and cadence while running. WatchOS 5 will even automatically detect when you’ve started and ended workouts.
One of the biggest additions in WatchOS 5 is the new Walkie Talkie feature — the ability to send short voice messages to friends straight from your Apple Watch.
Users will also be able to talk to Siri without the “Hey Siri” hot word, or just interact with her straight from the new Siri watch face. Notifications will also be even more interactive — users will be able to tap links or access app information.
Also included in WatchOS 5 is a native podcast app, even more watch faces, and the ability for students to add their ID cards to their Apple Watch.
Apple released tvOS 11.4 a few weeks ahead of WWDC but we still saw more updates at the keynote.
Dolby Atmos is being added to tvOS, allowing for true surround sound that moves in three-dimensional space. Dolby Atmos joins Dolby Vision on tvOS — the only place you can get both together.
Also, tvOS will support even more cable providers, and will now automatically unlock all the apps that come with your TV service — meaning there’s no requirement to sign in to access them.
MacOS Mojave has been revealed, and it’s bringing some serious updates for both personal and professional users.
One of the first major features to be showcased was Desktop Stacks. Instead of a cluttered desktop, MacOS will automatically sort all icons and documents on the desktop into either preset or user-defined folders at the side of the screen.
While Apple quashed rumors that it was planning to merge iOS and MacOS, the company confirmed it was working on bringing iOS apps to MacOS. While the multiyear project is apparently still quite far away, Apple did reveal that some classic iOS apps would be coming to MacOS, with some additional features included. Stocks, News, Home, and Voice Memos are making the jump to Mac. Voice Memos will also sync with iCloud, making it even easier to access your recordings.
The Mac App Store also is getting a redesign, with helpful videos for apps and recommendations, and the addition of Office 365, Adobe’s Creative Cloud, and other big names.
Apple is also beefing up security features for MacOS, with even more parts of the Mac being protected by default from any apps run on the system. Safari will also start blocking even more web tracking by default, and will let users choose whether they want to let trackers follow them.
It’s not all about software, though — Macs will now be able to add external graphics processing units to help boost performance in games and apps. Apple is also using Metal processing to help speed up machine learning using Create ML.
MacOS Mojave will also be bringing Dark Mode, Dynamic Desktop, which changes the wallpaper based on the time of day, and a handful of quality-of-life improvements.
Updated June 4: We updated this article with everything that was announced at WWDC.
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