San Jose, June 4
This was the day when Apple kicked off their Worldwide Developers Conference 2018. This was an important event for businesses who wanted to learn about Apple’s priorities in 2018.
As Aspioneer is focussed on providing our readers high quality knowledge, we have taken upon ourselves to provide you with exhaustive coverage of the keynote, which we will cover in our series.
On this page we will discuss the products and changes Apple announced and what they mean for the average software solutions provider.
This year Apple’s primary focus is on iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 – for iPhones, iPads and Macs. During the keynote Apple described many of the new features developers can use on these platforms. Unlike last time, there are no radical changes this year. Apple plans to release new major features in the next iteration iOS and macOS in 2019.
2018 is the year of stability and performance.
Let’s dive in!
iOS 12 was the star of the show at WWDC 2018. While Apple has put heavy emphasis on improving stability and performance of their operating system, not everything is boring though. Apple has introduced a handful of new features for the iPhones and iPads of the world.
iOS 12 is now available as a developer preview. Beta versions will be available at the end of June while the stable release will be released in fall.
Compatibility: Apple has said iOS 12 will be compatible with all devices which support iOS 11. This consists of iPhone 5s and later, every iPad available since original iPad Air and iPad mini 2 and the 6th gen iPod Touch.
As this year theme is stability and performance Apple emphasised that they have made efforts to make sure that iOS 12 works smoothly on older devices. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said iOS 12 apps will be 40% faster at launch and up to 50% faster on an average on the iPhone 6 Plus. Federighi emphasises that the update will make a compatible device “instantly ramp up performance to its highest state” when it thinks it needs a performace boost – for example while launching an app. When the performance boost completes its operation the phone then ramps down in order to conserve the battery.
AR! AR! and MOAR AR!
Apple has made concentrated push in AR in the past couple of years in form of the ARKit. This year the company announced the launch of ARKit 2, the next iteration of the augemented reality development framework. Apple said that this year update improves face tracking performance. Furthermore the rendering is now more realistic and developers have the ability of making multiplayer augmented reality apps. We think this feature will be very useful for games on iOS 12.
Another significant announcement was the launch of an AR specific file format called usdz. Pixar and Apple, which have a long history with one another, worked together on this new technology. Apple says this technology will make it simple for developers to share AR files across iOS and create 3D objects that can be pulled into the real world. Craig gave the example of customizing a guitar on the Fender website in Safari, then tapping on it to pull out a 3D model that can be inspected with AR. Adobe will also support the new file format which will allow artists to use Photoshop to create AR Kit compatible files. A win win for digital artists.
The venerable application has seen updates in the form of new search library and a much more robust suggestions framework. Apple said the application will now use object and scene recognition and will give users the option to combine multiple search terms to find a photo. A new feature called “For You” tab will compile photos, Memories and Shared iCloud albums based on their significance. The application will also suggest specific photos to be shared with specific people. Privacy focussed Apple said that all analysis is done “on-device”. No cloud shenanigans, so rest easy everyone.
OK! Siri, tell me what’s new with you!
iOS 12 brings much wanted new features to Apple’s Siri digital assistant. The new feature announced is called Shortcuts, which allows users to create a voice prompt to ask Siri to perform some common actions on third-party apps. This allows users to perform quick actions, thus improving their efficiency.
Apart from this Siri will be now more proactive than ever. It will offer more suggestions which are relevant to the user. If someone’s birthday is coming up, Siri will remind you to call them. If you regularly use an app to order pizza at supper, Siri will give you quick links every night to order pizza. Custom prompts can also be created for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and the HomePod.
Finally! For a long time buyers have been requesting this feature a’la Android. Notifications in iOS 12 will be now be grouped by app, thread and so on. For example: Texts now will be grouped by user. Tapping on the message bubble will expand the notification in a thread format. Users can swipe them aside to dismiss all of them together. Apple also said that users can turn off notifications on a per app basis on the lock screen as well.
Let’s FaceTime together:)
FaceTime now allows multiple users to share a group call. Apple said that Group FaceTime supports up to 32 people on a call. Users can use all kind of iDevices to join Group FaceTime.
An Apple a day keeps the doctor away!
As time has gone on more and more people have criticised Apple devices as addictive in nature. This criticism has been directed at Android as well. In iOS 12, Apple has paid heed to these critics. The Do Not Disturb feature now allows users to designate a specific time period as ‘bedtime’. When active this feature will mute any notifications during that period of time.
Screen Time is another new feature in this category. It displays a summary of all things a user does on their device. This information consist of which apps you have used, how often you use your phone, which apps send you the most notifications and at what time of the day you have used certain apps. Another feature called App Limits allows users to set limits on specific apps. When this limit is hit a notification informs the user that they should stop using the app. This feature can be switched on iDevices of children as well, allowing parents to curb usage of movies, apps or websites.
Memoji, Animoji galore XOXO..:) :>)..
Emojis have become important tools of communication. They allow people to communicate their emotions in a much more concrete way, which is something simple text doesn’t always allow for. Last year Apple threw in Animoji or Animated Emojis in the ring. This year another kind of Emoji will become available. This is called Memoji and this will be available users of iPhoneX and beyond. It leverages the AR Kit for its functionality and uses iPhoneX’s front-facing 3D camera to work. Users can customise the emojis with custom hairstyles, facial features, skin tone and sunglasses. Apple said all Memojis will be able to capture nuances of users faces such as winks and tongue movement. Animojis with Snapchat like filters will be available in the Messages app as well.
Apple Books, CarPlay, Voice Memos…
Many other Apple apps have refreshed under iOS 12 as well. iBooks has been renamed to Apple Books, features an updated store page and a ‘Reading Now’ tab which will allow users to jump to the page where they last left off. CarPlay will now support third-party applications like Google Maps. Voice memos have been refreshed with a new coat of paint and now supports syncing with the help of iCloud. Apple News on the iPad get a new sidebar to ease topic navigation. The Stocks app will now be available on the iPad and will use Apple News as it source of financial information.
That covers almost everything related to iOS 12 shown to us by Apple at WWDC 2018. Our analysis shows that while iOS 12 might not be a show stopper release, it still brings lots of needed improvements. It is worth noting that all these features might not be available straight away in the general release. It took quite a while before Messages in iCloud reached users even though Apple announced that feature last year.
This is our first post of our coverage of Apple WWDC 2018. Follow this series here