Apple just announced a bunch of new software features for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and the Mac. There was no new iPads or laptops, just a bunch of coming software features. While there was quite a few items Apple talked about, a lot of it can be skipped over. Here’s what you need-to-know, along with all the rest if you’re curious.
Here’s what’s new and cool
- Group FaceTime – talk and see to up to 32 people in a single group video call, working across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You can also put a live-moving emoji over your face during the video call.
- Siri Shortcuts app – a new way to easily automate multiple tasks. For example, you can say “heading home,” and it will pull up directions, send a ETA text message to someone, play a radio station, and turn on a Homekit connected fan or home device, all with a single voice phrase.
- Animoji/Memoji – tongue’s will be detected in Animoji, so it will track more of your face. Plus, there will be new Memoji which you can make personalized emoji that track your face–think Bitmoji from Apple.
- Walkie-Talkie app – connect with a specific person, tap and hold to talk, let go and the audio message is sent to them. It’s a mix of audio and text messaging, made super quick directly from the watch.
- Screensavers – although minor, aerial screensavers have long been a loved part of Apple TV. They soon will gain titles so you know the location, and there will be photos taken directly from the International Space Station.
- macOS Mojave – there will be a dark mode which will ight mode
Here’s what’s boring
As a quick disclaimer, these things may still be neat, useful, or crucially important for cool things in the future, but as of right now, we’re counting them as snoozers compared to the other announcements.
- Photos improvements – new search suggestions, a new For You section with smarter recommendations for sharing, as well as surfacing old photos.
- Siri improvements – new shortcuts with quick actions to Siri, from your custom phrases.
- Updated old apps – Apple News refreshed, Stocks refreshed, Voice Memos coming to iPad, and iBooks becoming Books with both audio books and ebooks.
- Do Not Disturb improvements – it can be turned on based on location or calendar event so your phone will be muted just during a meeting.
- App limits – set a usage limit for a certain app and then once the limit is reached, it deters you from using the app.
- ARKit 2.0 – more ways to use augmented reality, like being able to see the same thing through your phone that other people see through theirs.
- Performance – iOS 12 will focus on making older phones and iPads feel faster and work better.
- Workouts – more functionality for workouts, including tracking Yoga.
- Better notification – enhanced notifications, including web content formatted for your wrist.
- *crickets* – there wasn’t a whole lot new here…. Did we mention screensavers?
- Camera continuity – just like you can click over to bring up web pages or messages on your Mac that you’re currently browsing on your phone, you’ll be able to use your phone’s camera to instantly capture photos for your computer–like adding photos to a presentation, for example.
- iPhone and iPad apps coming to the Mac in 2019 – this was a sneak peek, but developers will be able to more easily bring their phone apps to macOS, which means you’ll have more app choices in the next few years.
- New apps – Apple News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home, are all coming to the Mac
When is this stuff coming?
Most of these new features will be coming in the fall when iOS and macOS are released to the pubic. In a few months you’ll be able to take advantage of all these things mentioned here.