WWDC 2018: Daily Blog
WWDC is over for another year. This years developer conference took flak from some quarters as there were no meaningful hardware updates. There were however, a great deal of software-related announcements, which is exactly what a developers conference should be, when you think about it!
Given the amount of updates, some of the less flashy new features don’t get the attention that they deserve, so we’re shining a light on a few iOS 12 features that didn’t get a lot of press.
iPhone X gestures on iPad
Apple appear to be creating a more consistent feel between the iPhone X and the iPad. Some users have complained that the ease of use that is fostered by sharing gestures across the iOS range is undermined by the iPhone X experience. Beginning in iOS 12 gestures familiar to iPhone X users, such as, swipe up to go home and swipe down from the top right hand corner for Control Centre, will be coming to iPad.
Password sharing between nearby Apple devices
In iOS 12, Apple will helpfully let you use passwords across your devices. So, any password that you use on your Mac via Keychain, you'll also now be able to be used securely on your iOS devices, and even vice versa. This is similar to the feature where Apple lets you share Wi-Fi passwords between devices. This is incredibly helpful, as we are urged to stay secure by creating unique passwords but our frail human brains can’t keep track of them all!
Support for RAW photo
Previously, RAW image files could be stored and viewed on iOS. iOS 12 will enable you to import and manage RAW photos on an iPhone and iPad, and even edit them on iPad Pro. Great news for mobile photographers who want to speed up their workflow and carry less kit when shooting on-location. Now they only need to bring their iPad Pro!
Meanwhile, there will be the addition of Dolby Atmos for newer Apple TV’s for all compatible films and TV shows. Previously purchased titles will also be updated at no extra cost. Siri will also be piped through in Dolby Atmos but hopefully that won’t seem to overwhelming when it’s voice is coming at you from all corners of your room!
watchOS 5 will have a dedicated Podcast application. There’s a number of changes to Activity, the highlight being competitions and automatic workout detection which we mentioned last week. How much use you can make of the new walkie-talkie feature whilst working out though, who knows, but what we do know is, we can now live out our Dick Tracey childhood fantasy by whispering in to our watches!
The forth-coming macOS was revealed along with it’s name, Mojave (pronounced mo-HAH-vay, we’re reliably informed). A long-awaited ‘dark mode' will finally be introduced to Mac's running on Mojave. There will also be a big update to the Mac App Store, bringing it more inline with iOS.
And, like the conference itself, our WWDC coverage is over. What was your favourite announcement or forthcoming feature? Tell us by dropping a comment below or tweeting at us (@krcsapple) and following us for all things Apple and tech!
Even though we're coming to the end of “DubDub", there’s still plenty happening on later today (pesky timezones!). Check out the timetable here. The "Art of Science: Bringing Pixar’s Imagined World to Life" and the Design Studio Shorts sessions both look incredible.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the neighbourhood for WWDC but didn’t manage to get tickets (they are $1,500 after all…) maybe you stopped by at AltConf? It is backed by the likes of IBM and Microsoft and had 46 talks and 17 incredibly well attended lab sessions over the course of the week. And, if that wasn’t enough excitement for you, maybe you had a go on one of the scooters…?!
Come back next week for our round up of all things WWDC, or keep an eye on our Twitter as we’ll post about any updates there.
A big theme from last years WWDC has continued and even grown in importance this year and that is, AR, or augmented reality. The LEGO AR demo was incredible but, what else is there this year?
In Monday’s keynote, Craig Federighi showed off some of the great AR additions coming to iOS12. A useful app called Measure, some may unkindly know this as ’Sherlock-ing’ where Apple has made a first party app based on existing 3rd party functionality. Apple’s own application, as the name suggests, allows users to measure items in the world around them. From a room, to a shelf or a picture frame, Measure does it all with AR.
Measure is a new app in iOS 12, which uses AR to quickly gauge the size of real-world objects, similar to a tape measure.
Although Apple doesn’t seem to be planning on releasing AR hardware, that hasn’t stopped them from creating AR experiences. Apple demonstrated what is possible, with an exciting app called “SwiftShot". It’s essentially a competitive slingshot game, where the objective is to use your iOS device to aim and fire balls at the enemy teams base, with the goal of knocking down all three pillars to win. Take a look at The Verge’s demo.
If you are interested in creating your own AR experiences, you can check out yesterday’s developer session. It covers best practice for successfully bringing people into an AR experience as well as teaching them about how to interact, and engage with, virtual content. Seeing what people can achieve and how things like the new USDZ file-format will be used by anyone from theme parks to online and high street retailers will be something that runs on long after WWDC 2018 is over!
Today’s update starts with the Women@WWDC Breakfast sessions, which kicked off on Wednesday (and are on for each of the last few days of the conference) and offer a great chance for female developers to interact with each other while at WWDC. The informal breakfast meetings are open to all women and advocates of women.
A potential game-changer which came up during Monday’s keynote, was a significant change to Apple’s CarPlay. With iOS 12, third-party apps like Google Maps and Waze, will now be accessible through to iPhone users with iOS 12 and a CarPlay compatible head-unit.
CarPlay already supported some limited third-party apps (with examples such as WhatsApp messenger and Marco Arment’s Overcast podcast player). However, this is the first time Apple has allowed end-users to choose their preferred navigation service. Apple Maps hasn’t always been the most loved iOS app, and it has improved with recent updates, but there are plenty of reasons to try other services. Being able to get directions and information from an app you're familiar and comfortable with, is rather important when you’re driving!
The challenge now, is for developers to adapt their existing audio and navigation apps to CarPlay. Building on last years session for enabling your app for CarPlay, this year there is a session is focussed solely on updating audio or navigation apps to support CarPlay. Watch that session here.
Looking to macOS, the new Dark Mode in Mojave has generated some serious interest in the Mac user community. However, spare a quick thought for the developers who will now be working through the summer to adapt their applications to fit this beautiful new look. You can get a look in to how to adopt dark mode in your app by watching another great WWDC session here, complete with the session resources.
The keynote on Monday was packed with software announcements for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. So, what about hardware? Whilst WWDC in the past has been seen as dedicated to developers and software, new hardware is also sometimes announced. Unlike last year, where we had a sneak preview of the iMac Pro and the HomePod, this year was much quieter. The limited hardware which has sneaked out under most peoples radar, is in the form of cases and Apple Watch straps.
Apple has, for a number of years now, released new accessories in colours to reflect the coming season. With summer just around the corner, peach, marine green, and sky blue are the colours picked to match the summer weather. These new cases are available in silicone, for the iPhone X, 8/8Plus and 7/7 Plus. These bold new colours will also be available on Apple Watch Sport Bands for both the 42mm and 38mm models.
In addition to the iPhone cases and Watch straps, there is a new nylon, rainbow coloured "Pride Edition" Apple Watch band, that was referenced on stage during the keynote. Reflecting Apple and Tim Cooks’s stance on LGBTQ rights, a portion of the proceeds of this watch strap will be going to LGBTQ advocacy organisations.
Monday marked the start of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California. If you weren't lucky enough to be invited to watch the keynote in person, you can watch it on Apple's Youtube channel.
Take a look at the 5 things we’re most excited about.
Speed, speed, speed
As with previous releases, iOS 12 will be a free upgrade for all compatible devices. What’s really great though, is the amount of compatible devices. iOS 12 will work with any device currently running, or able to run, iOS 11. So, whether you’re using an iPhone 5s or the iPhone X (yep, still getting used to calling it the ten!), you’ll have access to all the new features of iOS 12.
The new update gets the best performance out of every device. It’s designed to make everyday tasks on iPhone and iPad faster and more responsive. For example, the camera app now launches up to 70% faster, so you’ll be less likely to miss that photo of the kids again. The keyboard launches up to 50% faster and typing is even more responsive, which on the surface may sound like a dull improvement. Bear in mind though, it’s one of the most used interfaces on your iPhone and to have it run faster, smoother, your whole device will feel like Apple fitted a turbo to your device with this update.
So regardless of which iPhone you own, if it will run iOS 12, then you should update this autumn.
LEGO in AR
LEGO showed off a fantastic new app that allows users to create a Sim-like world, using their favourite LEGO set, all in the real world using Apple’s ARKit.
What seemed like a normal hand-built LEGO set, quickly turned into a small town with virtual buildings, monuments and wonderful characters, each with their own story. A series of events like a building fire and stranded characters, unfolded in front of the players. It was up to them to save the day. Up to four friends can play in the same set, on four different iOS devices. Notably, all the virtual elements of LEGO AR are directly connected to physical LEGO sets.
We can save our entire world back into our physical set, and pick up where we left off later.
We certainly can’t wait to try it. "Lego without the tidying up" will also be a saviour to many parents, who will be grateful to avoid that painful, late-night, bare-foot/lego interface moment!
Apple told us Siri is the most used digital assistant in the world and with the release of HomePod, Siri has become even more powerful.
Siri now has the ability to interface with any compatible app (third party or otherwise), and with the new “Shortcuts” feature in iOS 12, give us a simple, fast and new ways to get things done. Users can customise Shortcuts to their hearts content, creating quick phrases that Siri will recognise and then carry out a single action or a complex set of multiple actions. The onstage example of “Heading Home” gave a glimpse of what is possible by programming a route from the iPhones location to home (avoiding traffic!), text a chosen contact your ETA and even set an appropriate playlist for the ride!
Apple Watch will receive a hefty update when watchOS 5 is released this autumn. The workout focused element of this update brings a new feature where users are able to challenge friends to workout competitions, while new workouts including yoga and hiking will also be added.
One new feature that caught our eye, is the automatic workout detection. We’ve all had that moment where you’re on the treadmill at the gym but, “oops!”, you forgot to activate the workout on your Watch. In watchOS 5, the app will automatically detect you’re working out, through increased motion and heart rate, then prompt you to select a work out. Apple Watch will also notice a decline in motion and heart rate and notify you to end the workout. No more “If you didn’t track it, did it really happen”?
A big favourite in the forth-coming update for the Mac is Quick Look in macOS Mojave. Quick Look still provides a fast, full-size preview of a file but, it now also has super-powers. Allowing users to rotate, or crop images, trim video and audio clips and watermark and sign PDFs, all without having to open an app.
We will be updating this blog post, throughout WWDC, with all the highlights, so please bookmark the page or keep your eyes on our Twitter feed.
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