All the big news from Apple's conference

iOS 12 is going to be packed with amazing new features…

05 Jun 2018

Welcome to WWDC 2018

Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC 2018) has kicked off in California, and the keynote speech had some exciting news for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch owners.

 

The best features coming to iOS 12

iOS 12 was revealed in all its glory, and it looks like the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system is going to have lots of new tricks up its sleeve. You’ll be able to install iOS 12 on your Apple device in the autumn, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of some of its best new features…

 

New Anomojis and Memojis
New Animoji characters are coming to iOS 12. So, in addition to the existing iPhone X line-up, you can be a tiger, ghost, koala bear or tyrannosaurus rex.

If you thought that was exciting enough, here’s some even bigger news – Animojis will be able to recognise when you’re sticking your tongue out.

You don’t even have to stick to Animojis. If you want a more personalised avatar, then iOS 12’s new Memojis will be right up your street. They’re fully customisable characters, and you can chop and change hairstyles, clothing and body parts to create your very own likeness.

 

Group FaceTime
Apple’s very own video chat app will be capable of holding group conversations with up to 32 participants. When someone’s talking, their video window will get larger, and it’ll shrink back to normal size when they’re quiet. And if you don’t want to show your own face, you can use an Animoji or Memoji.

 

Improved AR experiences
Apple has been working with Pixar on improving its augmented reality applications, and a new app called Measure is on its way.

As the name suggests, you’ll be able to use it to measure stuff around you, with just a little help from your iPhone camera. Put the thing you want to measure in the frame, tap and drag a measuring line, and you’ll be given the exact dimensions. Clever stuff.

 

Smarter Siri
Apple’s famous virtual assistant is going to become even more helpful with a new developer tool called ‘Shortcuts’. This will give Siri the power to complete multiple actions from a single command. For example, an ‘I’m on my way home’ action could supply you with traffic news for your route home, turn on your home heating, and message someone to tell them you’re on your way.

 

Screen Time
A new feature called ‘Screen Time’ will give you details of how long you’re spending on your device and individual apps. You’ll then be able to set limits if you wish. It’ll also be easier for parents to monitor and control their kids’ mobile behaviour. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s a little similar to Google’s ‘Digital Wellbeing’ feature announced at Google I/O 2018.

 

Speedier performance
iOS 12 is going to make all the devices it supports work faster than ever. In tests, it made iPhone 6 apps launch 40% quicker, and it opened the camera 70% faster. Apple is also focusing on improving the overall performance and battery life of its iPhones and iPads.

 

Apple Watch also gets an update

The keynote speech didn’t just focus on iOS 12. Major updates to the Apple Watch operating system (watchOS 5) were also announced.

Fitness is going to be a big part of watchOS 5. You’ll be able to challenge friends to sporty competitions, track yoga workouts based on your heart rate, get a rolling mile tracker for your runs, and monitor your hiking activity using heart rate and altitude.

The update will also bring a dedicated Podcasts application, automatic Siri recognition, and a new ‘Walkie Talkie’ mode that lets you send and receive push-to-talk audio messages.

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