With Apple’s latest WWDC Conference reaching its conclusion, Apple unveiled a host of smaller improvements and new products that will be hitting shelves sometime in the future. While not as huge as past conferences, the event still hosted reveals of some fairly significant pieces of hardware and software. Here’s a quick breakdown on everything the conference had to offer:
Many iOS 12 features that were previously rumored were confirmed at the conference, such as the system’s new anti-phone addiction technology that will allow users to set timers on apps and lock them out after certain amounts of time, and improved cross-functionality features between iPhones and Google Pixel Phones allowing the devices to cooperate in AR games.
The phone locks will also allow you to lock either yourself or your child out of certain apps at certain times of day, which can help parents enforce downtime, timeouts, or even bedtimes on smartphone-wielding youngsters.
The conference also showed off the exact nature of a few rumored improvements to the Animoji feature, available exclusively on the iPhone X. The system is being updated to “Memoji” and will allow users to create their own custom emoji figure to copy their facial expressions onto. Users can change the hair color, eye color, skin color, hair shape and way more. Apple is supposedly adding tongue detection to the system as well, adding the one feature customers have been anticipating for decades: The ability to stick your tongue out in the virtual world.
Apple video chat is also getting an update, and new group chatting will allow users to communicate with 32 different people at the same time. Messenger will get a few new features as well, like some new filters for the camera integrated in the messenger app, and the addition of a new set of built-in stickers. Whether or not you’ll ever be in a video call with 32 different people at the same time without one or two of them disconnecting is a different story, but at least now its an option.
iOS 12 will focus on procedural updates that will slowly integrate more and more AR functions into the device. One of these new functions, the AR app known as “Measure”, will integrate the equivalent of an $800 ruler into every smartphone running on iOS 12, and the AR functionality is also being targeted by new apps such as LEGO who are developing an AR program that will allow youngsters to build LEGO houses in virtual space and place them on their desks or around their rooms.
Apple’s new Mac software also includes the all-new and highly-anticipated Dark Mode, which replaces Mac’s traditional silver and white browser colors with a dark slate and grey theme. The new Dark mode will be easier on the eyes for a mac user burning the midnight oil and staying up past, well, dark.
Apple Watch users will also now have access to a new suite of features when working out, including activity competitions, automatic workout detection, and new watchface designs. These apps received live demonstrations from an Apple employee, who wore the watch while working out live on the conference stage.
Aside from those major updates, everything has gotten just a little bit better as usual. Notifications can now be set to “snooze”, causing them to pop back up again at a later time. Siri has received some predictive speech updates and new system updates to help her respond just a little bit faster and more accurately to user responses. And Apple has promised to continue developing their new AR functionalities over time, and will continue encouraging developers to engage with the Augmented Reality scene, which will surely bring numerous fun new AR programs in the future.