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Another year, another WWDC and another Apple update! As boss Tim Cook took to the stage for this years Worldwide Developer Conference, he unveiled a number of interesting and important updates to both iPhone and Mac operating systems.
From performance enhancements and updates to Siri to taking shots at Facebook and Google in regards to their tracking systems, there’s a range of new features coming in 2018, here’s a rundown of what we can expect.
Apple are working harder to make iOS12 faster than ever, especially on older iPhones and iPads, given the recent controversy surrounding older devices. According to Craig Federighi, tests on an iPhone 6, apps now launch 40% faster, the keyboard launches 50% faster and the camera by 70%. These small but significant gains are all about optimising the system with iOS 12 ramping up performance when it’d needed but also manages to tone it now when necessary, helping preserve battery life, something Apple has often come under fire for.
While security pop-ups that let you control what apps have access to your information and hardware are familiar with iOS users, they’re not as common on desktop, which is why Apple are now adding even more pop-ups to let you control access, which is a significant move, particularly after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In addition, Apple are now adding the ability to block social networks like Facebook from tracking you across the web, as well as disguising your Mac in other ways so that companies have a harder time tracking you.
Apple are trying to help you cure your phone addiction with their latest feature update, designed to keep users aware of how much time they’ve spent using their phone or iPad. iOS 12’s new screen time feature details how much time has been spent on your device and apps, breaking down app usage by category and tracking which apps are sending you the most notifications. This feature also allows you to set limits for each app, notifying you when you’ve run out of allowed time, a great feature for those looking to supervise their own or their children’s screen time.
Augmented reality, or AR, has been a talking point for a number of years, but now Apple are really optimising the AR experience with their latest update. Apple announced a new file format called “USDZ” which allows developers and designers to create an AR experience in this format, that they can then send via Mail, load to websites and share across systems. They also announced the app “Measure” which allows users to accurately measure objects or walls around them using augmented reality.
In Photos on iOS 12, Apple has announced it will now feature search suggestions based on a number of factors, including the faces of those in the image, location, time data and events, allowing users to find exactly the photo they need in record time. Photos also will try to predict which photos you’re more likely to share, pre-ticking images you’re likely to share with others or online. There’s also a new tab in the Photos app: “For You” which features photos that were taken ‘on this day’, effects suggestions and shared album activity.
Siri has got an update in the form of Shortcuts and Suggestions, two features that will help Siri handle daily tasks much easier. With Siri Suggestions, the voice assistant can learn your routines and can offer suggestions based on reminders or settings you have within certain apps such as your Contacts or your Wallet. Shortcuts also allow apps to provide cues from Siri, letting you ask Siri to do things relating to a third party app, for example using the Tile app, you can tell Siri you’ve lost your keys and Siri will call your Tile to help you find them.
iOS updates usually roll out an initial beta or pre-release version, with the official release coming shortly after, in this case, it’s likely to be around late June.
As with most iOS and macOS updates, it’s likely they will launch this Autumn, most likely in September or early October.
Check out the full Apple Keynote for the full rundown!