Major Takeaways from Apple’s WWDC 2018 Keynote

From iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave to some awesome new WatchOS features, Apple didn’t hold back on the upcoming additions to its devices’ operating systems at WWDC today. I was on-hand with the live tweets during the event, and I am so glad I didn’t miss it.

Here’s a quick look at what all went down during the software-focused keynote:

iOS 12

The Apple iPhone and iPad lines will receive some of the biggest advances in Apple history with iOS 12, which is slated to become available for all devices this fall. Unlike its predecessors, this update will be available on every devices that is already compatible with iOS 11. This means no current device running Apple’s latest iOS version will be left in the dust – something the company has not offered in the past.

The upcoming features of iOS 12 include:

  • A new Measure app for when you don’t have a ruler handy (and don’t want to rely solely on your wingspan like I do)
  • ARKit 2.0, includes a new USDZ file format developed with Pixar and available now for Adobe Creative Cloud. Plus, LEGO AR
  • Apple News on the iPad gets a navigation sidebar and Stocks app has been redesigned to include it
  • iBooks becomes Apple Books and now offers bookmarking
  • Group Facetime with up to 32 simultaneous…faces. Plus it’s integrated with Messages

There’s much more where that came from, too! Apple’s response to phone addiction is Screen Time, a weekly activity summary of your usage and App Limits to limit how long you can spend, plus Downtime and Allowance for unplugging your kids. Notifications earn Do Not Disturb during bedtime and DND end times, as well as lock screen notification tuning and grouped notifications with grouped dismissal.

Apple has also added some new Animoji characters to its arsenal – a tiger, a koala bear, and a T-Rex; there is also the option to create your own animated emoji that resembles you (or whatever version of you that you’d like to show off), called a Memoji.

WatchOS

The annual update to Apple Watch’s operating system brings us to WatchOS 5, with features to stay “active and connected.”

WatchOS 5
  • Activity tracker helps you celebrate your goals, coaching, seven-day competitions and more
  • Runner cadence and more types of tracking for various activities, including automatic workout detection
  • Walkie-Talkie brings voice real-time messaging
  • Sports scores, heart rate, maps and more on the watch face, including Siri Shortcuts and third-party apps
  • No more “Hey Siri”; Just talk
  • Interactive notifications and WebKit integration to view web content
  • The Apple Podcast app comes to Apple Watch

WatchOS 5 will once again give you plenty of health and fitness support, bringing challenges to groups of friends for bespoke fitness competitions between pals. Yoga exercises can be tracked based on heart rate, hiking makes use of heart rate and altitude, while there’s a rolling mile pace tracker for running in Workouts. All of this is great news for runners, helping them to better pace their runs.

It will also allow the Apple Watch become a walkie talkie! Working over both cellular and Wi-Fi connections,  you’ll get a haptic feedback alert when someone wants to have a quick chat.

Since it is June and we are celebrating Pride Month (aka ‘Ocean Month’ if you work at the White House), Apple announced a new watch band and face to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

Apple TV 4K and TV OS 12

Apple has partnered with quite a few different companies to bring some great features to Apple TV in TV OS 12.

TVOS 12

Dolby Atmos object-based audio is coming to the Apple TV set top box, bringing you overhead sounds as well as standard surround sound (provided you’ve got compatible Dolby Atmos speakers, of course), making Apple TV 4K the only box that’s both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certified. If you’ve got existing titles that support Dolby Atmos in your iTunes library, they’ll automatically be upgraded to support the new audio format.

The animated screensaver ‘Aerial’ is getting upgraded, letting Siri offer locations and info on places of interest from across the globe with a tap of the remote, as well as a high altitude Earth cam filmed by astronauts stationed on the ISS. iEarth, if you like.

Apple has already started toying with original content, with Carpool Karaoke as an example. And it has also put more than $1 billion toward original programming, with its first efforts due to launch as soon as March 2019. So it may be holding back a little bit more information for further down the line.

What kind of content can more than a billion dollars create? Well, it can get Steven Spielberg and Bryan Fuller (of Starz’s American Gods) involved, and it’s gotten Breaking Bad showrunners Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg on board. Deadline recently reported Apple’s plans for a new animated series called ‘Central Park’ with some star power behind it.

MacOS Mojave (10.14)

Last year Apple announced High Sierra, operating system for MacBooks and iMacs, a predominantly under-the-hood update to MacOS intended to lay the groundwork for the updated version, dubbed “Mojave,” we’ve seen today.

  • A new dark mode because it’s about time and dynamic desktop where it changes with time of day
  • Automatically created Desktop Stacks for your icon-cluttered desktop with video-thumbnail-like scrubbing
  • Finder finally gets a gallery view more photo-friendly with support for related Automator actions
  • Quicklook integrates document markup, video trimming and more
  • Faster screenshot annotation and HUD for screenshot options plus screen capture for video
  • Continuity Camera lets you shoot photos, pictures of documents and video directly into current document

  • Apple News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home come to the Mac
  • Mobile-like security opt-ins for camera, mic, backups and more
  • Safari will block more tracking objects on web pages, reduce unique identifiers that can be used for fingerprinting. On iOS 12, as well
  • The Mac App Store interface finally gets some love with higher-profile ratings and reviews
  • Create ML is training wheels for developers to implement training machine learning and CoreML 2 is faster

Apple is also planning to bring iOS apps to the Mac in the near future.