Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC18, kicked off today at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
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More than 6,000 developers from around the world are attending the five-day event. CEO Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, and Kevin Lynch, Apple's vice president of technology, were among those on hand to announce the company's latest news at the WWDC18 Keynote.
The first major announcement at this year’s keynote was iOS 12. Federighi said that the update will be available on all devices that have iOS 11, meaning Apple won't leave older devices behind in terms of performance. He emphasized that Apple is "doubling down on performance"
With the new operating system, apps will now open 40 percent faster and the camera function will also be quicker to access. Here are some of the major updates announced during the WWDC18 Keynote.
Federighi gave some major updates around augmented reality (AR) with ARKit 2, a "platform that allows developers to integrate shared experiences, persistent AR experiences tied to a specific location, object detection and image tracking to make AR apps even more dynamic," according to the company.
Apple also added a new app Measure that can "quickly gauge the size of real-world objects similar to a tape measure."
As analysts predicted to ABC News, Apple is making Siri more accessible to developers. One of the biggest Siri announcements was Siri Shortcuts. With Siri Shortcuts, users will be able to create their own commands with any application. Federighi demonstrated the new feature on stage saying "Hey Siri, I lost my keys," - this command prompted Siri to communicate with the Tile app to alert the the Bluetooth tracker on his key chain. Siri will also be able to make suggestions, like ordering a coffee in the morning or calling your mother on her birthday.
Apple said its popular FaceTime service can now include up to 32 people in a video call. They also announced that users can include Animoji and photo filters within FaceTime calls.
Now Apple users will be able to make personalized Animoji called "Memoji" -- even ones that stick out their tongues thanks to the new “tongue detection” technology. Apple also added several more Animoji including a ghost, koala, tiger and T.Rex.
Do Not Disturb, Activity Reports and App Limits
Apple announced some new features to help users reduce screen time -- one is the ability to turn on "Do Not Disturb" during bedtime. The tech giant will also be offering activity reports to give users an idea of how much time they are spending on their devices for individual apps and how many notifications they're getting. This feature will be especially helpful for parents who want to access their children's activity reports from their own iOS devices.
"Today, Apple said loudly and clearly that the customer is always right -- and at the center of what they do," Gene Munster, a managing partner at Loup Ventures, told ABC News. "The company announced new anti-addiction and security features for iPhones and Macs. That's actually a stark contrast to the messages we heard at Google's I/O conference and Facebook F8, where too often it seems like advertisers come first."
With App Limits users can set a limit for how much time they want to spend in an app and receive notifications when that time is about to expire. This feature will also be helpful for parents who want to limit their children's screen time.
There will be a new "For You" tab that will combine Memories and iCloud shared albums. There will also be a new sharing suggestion feature in the Photo app that will prompt friends to "share back" any photos or videos from the same event and a new search suggestion based on the people, places and events that are most relevant to the user.
The company announced a number of new features coming to its smartwatch including Activity Sharing competitions, auto-workout detection, advanced running features, Walkie-Talkie, Apple Podcasts and third-party apps on the Siri watch face.
With "Activity Sharing" users will now be able to challenge another Apple Watch user to compete in a seven-day “Activity” competition. The feature will give you updates throughout the week on whether you’re winning or losing and also send “coaching notifications” to keep people engaged. Other new health and fitness features include two new workout types, a new cadence metric for indoor and outdoor running, a new pace alarm to keep runners at their designated pace and a rolling miler pace “for runners to see their pace for the immediately preceding mile in addition to their average pace or current pace.”
Another buzzworthy feature of the new watchOS 5 is “Walkie-Talkie,” which allows people to send quick voice memos to each other on the Apple Watch.
Users will also no longer be required to say “hey Siri” when they lift their wrists to communicate with the virtual assistant. Other updates include third-party app support plus information on things like sports scores and one's heart rate following a workout.
Next up at the WWDC Keynote was a preview of the new tvOS 12 operating system. Apple TV lead designer, Jennifer Folse, said Apple will be "the only streaming player to be both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certified."
Apple’s other big announcement around tvOS 12 was that Charter Communications will be offering Apple TV 4K to its customers.
“Later this year, customers in nearly 50 million households will have access to live channels and tens of thousands of on-demand programs via an all-new Spectrum TV app on their Apple TV 4K, iPhone and iPad, seamlessly integrated with Siri and the Apple TV App,” the company said in a release.
Folse also shared a new feature called “Zero Sign-In” which will detect a user’s broadband network and sign into all supported apps through the user’s subscription.
Following the tvOS 12 preview, Federighi came back to the stage to announce the new macOS Mojave.
“MacOS Mojave is a major update that introduces powerful new features for a wide range of Mac users, from consumers to pros,” said Federighi.
MacOS Mojave includes a new “Dark Mode” feature that allows users to give their desktop a darkened color scheme.
“Dark Mode brings a dramatic new look to macOS that puts your content front and center,” said Federighi.
Other new features that come with macOS Mojave include “Stacks” to help organize a messy desktop and the introduction of some familiar apps that were previously not available on Macs including News, Voice Memos and Home Apps.
The newest operating system will also bring a brand new Mac App Store. According to the company, the redesign will highlight new and updated apps in the Discover tab and also include tabs for Create, Work, Play and Develop.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a press release, “We are excited to usher in a new era for the Mac App Store with a beautiful new look, unique editorial content and emphasis on human curation that complements the ways people are using their Macs today.”