Every year, Apple, the Cupertino based software giant holds its developer conference dubbed as World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in which it showcases its development on the software front. This event is, as the name suggests, for software developers to work on the newest beta version of the company’s software. The company has four major product lineups which have proprietary softwares viz. iOS, MacOS, WatchOS and TvOS. Let’s have an overview of what the latest software brings.
iOS is the software that runs Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The upcoming version, which is the 12th major update to the software brings some minor design changes but a lot of effort has gone into making it a smoother experience. Last year, iOS 11 was unveiled, which brought in some major design overhaul and as most Apple users would call it – it was a disaster in disguise. The operating system was filled with bugs and highly unstable. Over the year, iOS 11 was updated multiple times to fill up the loopholes and is finally stable, just in time for iOS 12.
To mention a few under the hood changes, iOS 12 will be smoother thanks to speedier animations. The keyboard will pop-up quicker when you need it to, so will the control panel, which was a bit sticky and unreliable with iOS 11. There should also hopefully be less frame drops throughout the UX, making it a better experience.
Siri, the personal assistant which is evidently lagging far behind the Google Assistant is set to see some upgrade. Siri is about to become more intelligent as the company expands its knowledge base, so Siri should be clueless less often. It will also be able to answer more specific questions regarding products, food items and places and it will be able to answer them. Siri is also going to get more access to your data on your iPhone/ iPad and it will be able to tell you your password. This will probably require a biometric authentication to get it, but it’s a nice feature.
Next up is the company trying to blend in their devices with the new gesture navigation introduced with the iPhone X. Similar to the flagship iPhone, iPads will also adopt some gesture navigation cues in iOS 12. This is in-line with upcoming iPads which will come with FaceID and eliminate the Home button. At the moment, the gestures include swiping down from the top right corner to reveal the Control Center. Also, swiping from anywhere on the dock will bring you home, so will the Home button, for now.
Another major aspect of iOS that Apple spent a lot of time talking over is ARKit 2, which is the second iteration of ARKit, the system that makes iPhones and iPads augmented reality compatible. It must be noted that processing AR is pretty resource intensive and will not be rolled out to all iPhones which will get the update. Some of the things the devices will be able to do with the help of ARKit 2 is augmented reality gaming in multiplayer, measuring distance accurately and other applications that developers will work on in the course of time.
iOS 12 will be available for all iPhones that currently run iOS 11 which means that the iPhone 5S will get it too. To put it in perspective, the iPhone 5S is 6 years old and its great to see that Apple hasn’t forgotten about its users even after all these years.
macOS 10.14 Mojave (pronounced Mo-ha-way)
After iPhones, the next major product that Apple sells is Macbooks which run on MacOS. This software isn’t just specific for MacBooks but also for iMacs and Mac Pros. At WWDC 2018, Apple unveiled macOS 10.14 Mojave. This update is bringing some significant updates on both the user interface front as well as underneath the hood. Let’s have a look.
To start with, there is finally going to be a Dark Mode. This is something that iOS users have been seeking for a very long time but has finally come to macOS. It gives the interface an overall darker look and looks very elegant. Besides that, Desktop Help has now been introduced which will help clear some clutter off your desktop and make it look more organized. It will rearrange files and applications left hanging on the desktop into stacks based on criterions such as date, kind or size.
Next up, is continuity which has been part of macOS for a while now and it has now been updated to integrate more parts from iOS. For example, there is now camera continuity which was demonstrated on stage at the event. It was showcased how a selfie was captured using an iPhone X and the image was used on the mac to superimpose on an astronaut suit right away.
Also, since we’re on the topic of continuity, the macOS will now be compliant with more native apps which were part of iOS such as Apple News, Stocks and revamped Voice Notes. The latest version of macOS will also aid in users relying heavily on home automation as it will now be compatible with Apple’s Homekit.
Lastly, user privacy and security has been ramped up. Mojave will now allow users better access to how and where their personal data is being used by applications installed on the machine. Apple’s Safari browser will also be seeing some changes on this front.
Apple’s Safari will now block intrusive tracking scripts that websites use and commonly used social buttons or off-site embedded comment systems. Although this is helpful in stepping up security, it may come off as annoying when you have to allow a permission every time you click on one of them.
Apple Watch which was initially launched to be paired solely alongside the iPhone has evolved over the years and is slowly heading to become a standalone piece of tech. WatchOS 5 gives it the flexibility to do just so. There have been a lot of nifty features that the new watch operating system is bringing about.
To start with, the Apple watch will now push its users towards a healthier lifestyle with competitions. This is aimed at bringing out the competitive spirit in people to compete with other Apple watch users and achieve better results. Activity will now be shareable and users will be able to invite other Apple Watch users to compete with them.
The Apple Watch is also going to become intelligent both with tracking activities and the number of activities it can track. The device will now be able to automatically track what activity the user is doing thanks to better analyzing of sensors’ data as well as machine learning. New activities such as Yoga and Hiking have been added as well.
Another interesting feature that has been introduced is the walkie-talkie. This feature allows Apple Watch users to quickly talk using the speaker and mic setup on the device with other users. This feature uses either WiFi or Cellular networks to make these short calls.
Siri has been updated for the Apple Watch as well with a new Siri Watch face. With the help of machine learning, the personal assistant will be able to offer better predictive shortcuts proactively. The new watch face will also be able to show actionable content from third-party applications such as Nike+.
With improvements on all the fronts, Apple has refreshed its whole software lineup in this year’s WWDC. We can expect to see all of it in our devices by September this year. Were you happy with this year’s announcements? What more would you have liked to see? Let us know in the comments below.