The Apple World Wide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) 2018 is trending on Twitter and in case you missed to stream it live, you are feeling the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) with all the hilarious memes about group chat.
Apple was expected to show new Apple products and software updates like it always does but, this time when Apple CEO, Tim Cook took the stage, he only launched updates and no products.
We have made a selection of our coolest 10 updates you should know about.
1. FaceTime now supports group calls with up to 32 people
Some people don’t even know what FaceTime does, it is exclusively on Apple devices and works pretty much the same way Skype would but mostly for video calls. Now those who have always been amped about using it to contact more friends at the same time can jubilate.
Memes and sarcastic tweets flooded Twitter about how most people don’t even have the 32 people on FaceTime to test the feature with to show how very few people actually ever test or use the app.
Was getting excited about group FaceTime, until I remembered it requires a group of friends to talk with… #WWDC18
— Ethan Shallcross (@EthanShallcross) June 4, 2018
This will be a nifty feature though for families that live apart, say siblings who have to FaceTime in from different locations and catch up with their parents. This might need some ads to publicise otherwise it will just go unnoticed as always.
2. Apple wants to help you fight your online addiction
Apple is joining the band wagon that was already initiated in beta by Sony and just recently announced at the concluded Google IO for the new Android OS update. The new iOS12 will roll out “Do Not Disturb” settings that will track your phone app usage and activity and show you how much time you spent on each app.
You can then mute your phone’s usage at night using “Screen Time” so you can sleep or have a healthier life away from digital or you can even limit how much time you want to allocate yourself to spend on each app a day and get restricted when you exceed the limit.
Unlike in Android, this feature can allow you to bypass and continue using the apps for now whereas Android gives you the boot till the next day. Apple admits that the amount of time people are spending on their mobile iPhones and iPads is worrying. It is time to cut on that Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram time.
All notifications from the same app will also be grouped in a neat stack to avoid crowding your screen space.
3. More AR updates with Memoji
Did you love Animoji last time? Say hello to Memoji, what seems to be an answer to Samsung’s beta AR Emoji. You can customize your emoji faces and honestly they kind of look better than Samsung’s, give them custom colour and hair.
The are also new animoji, stickers and texts you can use in messages. You can also use your Animoji or Memoji in the new FaceTime.
Just so you know, you can make your Animoji stick its tongue out with the new tongue detecting feature. Kudos Apple, now we have to watch more girls make funny faces at their phone screen.
4. Apple Watch will automatically detect your workout.
With the new Watch OS 5, your watch will now automatically detect when you start and end your workout by sensing your activity and it will automatically track your progress. You will be able to check just to be sure it is doing so and make changes accordingly.
Also a sigh of relief for podcasts fans because you can now sync and listen to podcasts on your Apple Watch from all your other devices over both LTE and WiFi unlike before. This support will allow you to jog or workout while listening to your latest episodes from your wrist.
Very soon you will also be able to challenge your friends in fitness competitions and also get digital awards for your progress. Beware, your Apple Watch might eat your FitBit.
5. You no longer need a Walkie Talkie when you have the Apple Watch
When we were younger, we always loved to pretend we were soldiers and had make shift shortwave radios. That won’t be the case anymore, Apple is launching a Walkie Talkie app on its Apple watch.
Once you accept a contact to send you a message, they will be able to send you short voice notes but they won’t be automatic like on a short wave or Amazon Echo Show. You will still have to tap your watch listen and reply.
Prepare to look like a secret service at the mall or on the street, don’t forget that neat black suit and tie, white shirt and black sunglasses.
6. MacOS Mojave and Dark Mode
After bragging about how more than 68% installation rate of Apple’s iOS updates by Apple users compared to a 2% Android update rate by Google users; how can we forget talking about the new MacOS Mojave.
Apple is still continuing with using nature to inspire the names for its new MacOS updates. The coolest highlight about Mojave is “Dark Mode” which dims down the desktop screen to put less strain on your eyes.
It is about time! The Dark Mode looks hot, editing photos and videos looks even better. Mojave will let you organize and clean up your messy files scattered on the desktop by adding them to stacks.
You will so be able to sync with home and ask Siri or control your smart home gadgets from the Mac dashboard or the desktop.
7. Siri gets smarter
Apple’s Siri got an app called Shortcuts through which you can setup a multitude of custom functions that will react to your behavior. For instance, a shortcut can be triggered by “going home” and it switches on your favourite radio station in your car, adjusts the temperature on the thermostat at home and even tells your roommate, kids or spouse that you are on your way.
Just be careful, Siri might alert your spouse of your approach when they are cheating. Use this feature wisely.
8. Apple Photos gets a few updates
Apple peeped into Google’s exam paper and took a couple of features from Google Photos. Expect to start seeing reminders of photos showing what you did or where you visited on a certain day or month. This is not new for Android users, it has been growing from Google Photos, Sony’s Album and lately Samsung’s Photos.
There are more suggestions based on people, places and events and better search capabilities. Welcome to the party Apple, don’t mind us but we had started before you – grab a plate and join us.
9. The Mac App Store finally gets a makeover
Some non-Mac users will not understand why this is exciting. For as long as I can remember, Apple has been having this old looking same interface in its App store, but thankfully with Mojave it was redesigned.
It will show featured editorial picks, popular apps, ratings and video previews (just so you know this has been on Android and Windows store for ages, but who’s tracking) for app pages. The app store will have a similar feel to the iOS App Store with easier use and a better navigation.
Some new apps like Adobe Lightroom CC and Office 365 will also be coming to the store.
10. Apple throws painful punches at Facebook
Remember when Facebook dropped the ball and let Cambridge Analytica use and sell users’ data? Yes, Apple just capitalized on that data scandal to block tracking for websites especially Facebook through its Safari web browser.
The new feature in Safari will block Facebook’s like and comment feature, it will ask you to allow it if you want to when you are browsing other websites.
Apple will only give websites a “simplified system configuration” to prevent them from the ability to identify and fingerprint your device for advertisements.
Extra: Apple TV 4K is receiving support for Dolby Atmos. So if you have movies, TV shows and music videos that support Dolby Atmos, you will be able to enjoy it for free along with the new support for Sports Channels and Live News.
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Lawrence writes about tech, lifestyle, politics, business, crypto and occasionally entertainment. He writes for Newslibre and Spur Magazine while consulting with numerous international companies on strategy, community management and marketing.
He has contributed to the journalism, open source, film, youth, web, Andela and Mozilla communities.