That’s it for iOS 12 updates, now Tim Cook is back on stage to talk all things Apple Watch.
Group Facetime (Animoji version)
Super popular Facetime is getting a serious update: group calling.
Now you can stick up to 32 people on a video call at a time..and they can appear as Memoji (or Animoji) if they so wish.
An update for the popular Animoji, launched with iPhone X, is the “tongue detection” feature for when you want to stick your tongue out at your friends.
Apple is also releasing what it calls “Memoji,” personalised animoji which look like the user, and they can also be customised to look however people want. It’s similar to what Samsung recently added to its own smartphones.
Apple brings out timer to cure ‘smartphone addiction’
Apple is bringing out three anti-distraction apps to help cure our smartphone addiction.
It has created a Do Not Disturb setting during bedtime, with “nothing to get you spun up” Federighi says. You tap when you want to get notifications back.
There’s also going to be new support for grouping notifications, so you can put them into a folder to sort out later.
Finally, it is bringing out weekly activity summary and time limits for apps that can be used for parents to lock down their children’s phones.
This makes Apple the latest technology company to embrace “digital wellness” as Silicon Valley shapes up for a fight against smartphone addiction.
Google recently introduced tools to monitor time spent on Android apps this month, while Instagram announced last week that it is developing a feature that will monitor screen time.
Apple has promoted several apps on its online App Store related to controlling screen time in recent months. Apple seems keen to appear to be hot on safety and mental health awareness, particularly after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal brought fellow tech giant Facebook into the fore.
Apps like Moment, a US app designed to control screen time, has seen its software promoted as Apple’s “App of the Day”, which can see downloads increase 100-fold. In 2017, Apple made the Calm, a mindfulness app, its app of the year.
iOS 12 Siri update – new shortcuts
There are some cool updates to Siri. You can now bookmark files and websites as a “shortcut” so that when you ask Siri a certain phrase, it will bring it up.
In the demo, we are shown how someone can ask Siri to bring up “travel plans” and she will tell them what hotel they are at, and when they are due to check in.
Similarly, you can make a shortcut for when you’re leaving work, turning on your heating and getting an update on the traffic.
iOS 12 photo sharing update
Photos in iOS 12 will be improved thanks to a recommendation tool that suggests sharing photos with contacts who were at the same event.
iOS 12: Augmented reality
Apple’s software engineering chief, Craig Federighi has taken to the stage to take us through the features that will be arriving on iPads and iPhones for the next operating system update.
He says the key issue for iOS 12 is “performance” and there will be a “boost for the full range of devices”.
The major feature is augmented reality, and it looks like there will be some cool updates in the mix.
Federighi shows off a measuring app that allows you to measure lines lengths of objects in 3D.
Another perk is the ability to place objects in your phone screen (making them appear as if it is in your surroundings) in what looks like their real size. So if you wanted to work out how big a guitar might look in your living room, you could pluck it from the retailer’s website and place it in your living room, all on your phone.
ARkit is now the world’s largest AR platform. ARKit 2 will have improved face tracking, object detection and shared experiences.
Lego fans will be pleased to hear that there will be more Lego AR in app store later this year.
Developers have made $100bn through the Apple Store
Developers have made $100bn by sharing their apps on the Apple Store, Tim Cook says during his opening speech. That’s quite the figure. He adds that the store receives 500m visitors in a week.
Sadly for us (but good news for developers) “today is all about software,” Cook says.
Apple makes a funny
Apple has kicked off WWDC with a satirical take on the developer community, a mockumentary narrated by an Englishman that sounds suspiciously like our own Sir David Attenborough, following the check-shirted, bearded brigade in true Blue Planet-style.
“Only the strongest apps will survive,” the narrator quips. Quite.
And we’re live
The crowd is taking their seats. But we’ve noticed something’s amiss. Apple didn’t take its online store offline before the start of its WWDC keynote, a sign that it doesn’t plan to release any new hardware products.
Apple typically takes its store offline before hardware announcements so that it has time to update the online store. Last year at WWDC, where Apple announced its HomePod connected speakers, the store went down before the keynote began. But today the store has remained online.
Less than 30 minutes to go and one attendee has pointed out that the big screen appears to be promoting some strange apps. Can you spot any odd apps on the screen? Tweet us @margimurphy and @JamesLiamCook
Unbelievable… that scammy weather app I tweeted about in April (Weather Alarms) is on the WWDC big screen. They must have just compiled the list based on downloads/revenue and not bothered looking at whether the apps legit. Photo credit: @markgurman. (see thread for app details) pic.twitter.com/9vQnrkq6lR
— David Barnard (@drbarnard) June 4, 2018
Less than an hour to go
And the audience is already taking their seats at the San Jose McEnry convention centre, California. Every year the conference attracts thousands of attendees and even more around the world tune in online.
Some are already sharing pictures of the stage, suitably dressed with a backdrop of different apps on the Apple store, on Twitter.
What about hardware?
Last year we were given the HomePod, but what about this time around? Could we hear more about the AirPower charging mat that Apple teased us with during the iPhone X launch?
Apple originally said that its charging mat would be released in 2018, then said it was due in early 2018. It’s now June, and Apple hasn’t given any updates on when AirPower will be released, so it’s possible that a surprise announcement is on the way.
More augmented reality?
Augmented reality, or AR, was a big reveal from Apple last year at WWDC.
Tim Cook has long expressed the view that AR has more use than virtual reality and last year Apple revealed its ambition with the launch of ARKit, a developer kit that allows for the creation of apps and games using augmented reality on iPhones. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for any updates.
What will Apple announce?
We’re expecting lots of details about the next iPhone operating system. Here’s what we’re hoping to see in iOS 12:
- Better augmented reality support
- Digital wellness features
- A button to turn off Wi-Fi properly
- Better notifications
- Dark mode for nighttime viewing
- Sleep tracking improvements
- Bring back the App Store wish list
How to tune in
The keynote speech is due to kick off at 6pm, so you’ve got about two hours get your Apple device or PC running Windows Edge browser ready for the live-stream. Every year thousands of developers make the journey to San Jose, seen as something of a pilgrimage among Apple fans.
But if, like us, you’re watching from across the pond, you can catch it all here. We’ll also be providing up to the minute information right here.
Welcome to the WWDC live blog
Good afternoon, Margi Murphy and James Cook here. We’re following the latest news coming out of Apple’s 2018 Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), the company’s annual event for all things software, which kicks off tonight at 6pm UK time.
We’re not expecting any flashy launches, although last year Apple surprised all by using the conference as an opportunity to show off its smart speaker, the Apple HomePod.
Read on The Source