Apple Announces Major Updates to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac

June 11, 2018 •

iphone

Each summer, Apple holds one of the worlds largest developer training programs. The Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, WWDC for short, is the time for software innovation. Apple is known for its impressive hardware, but the way software is tied directly to design, enhances the entire experience. Updates were announced on Monday, June 4, that span iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS. This corresponds to incredible new features for your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, MacBooks, iMacs, and even Apple TV.

iPhone and iPad Updates via iOS 12

Updates for iOS span both iPhone and iPad devices. Two big stand-out updates will categorically change the way Apple’s flagship devices are utilized.

Screen Time

Screen Time is the biggest update to iOS 12. This feature allows for granular control of the way you operate your device, or the way your children use…maybe should use their device. Information is key to health smartphone usage and Screen Time tracks every last detail of the way you use the device. From the number of times the phone was picked up, to the amount of time spent using each application, at what time of day. Down Time allows for quiet periods of the day where only certain apps can notify your attention and App Limits prevent the quantity of time that can be spent on individual apps.

The features are available for personal phone control, or with a Family Sharing account, the head of the family will be able to set all settings for each device on the account. This means a great parental control option for families or just a way to promise your household to take back dinner time for the family. The detail of the information gathering is broad as well as deep.

Memoji

The fun Animoji Apple released with iPhone X are now personalized. If you are familiar with Bitmoji, then you understand the ability to customize emoji to look like you. Apple takes this a step farther. Users can customize emoji and set as a mask when sending animated clips to friends or even FaceTiming as your Memoji. There are also a few more Animoji options for iPhone X users, including the camera’s ability to recognize your tongue.

iMac and MacBook Updates

The most noticeable consumer grade update to the Apple desktop line is an interactive Dark Mode to macOS Mojave. For many years, third party developers have released apps that allow users to modify the screen brightness and contrast ratio based on time-of-day or ambient room lighting. This is now included with the operating system.

Dark Mode slowly changes the interface to match the darker times of day. Full application windows take on darker themes throughout the day. Perhaps most impressively, is the changing landscape on the default wallpaper. The Mojave desertscape dynamically changes throughout the entire course of a day, so your background always reflects the lighting ambiance of the current time.

Apple Watch Updates

Apple Watch’s watchOS provides two new ways to communicate with friends. A new Walkie-Talkie mode offers an always-on way to communicate. Not surprisingly, the new features operates like a walkie-talkie, giving your voice instantly to the other corresponding Apple Watch. Just tap a large Talk button.

Additionally, you can challenge your friends to week long work out competitions, instead of just teasing them when they complete a workout. New running features ensure that you can better track this specific workout and yoga workouts now include calorie counts.

There are a lot of smaller under the hood updates, that you can explore in the above video.

Apple TV updates

Perhaps the simplest of all updates announced at WWDC, Apple TV now includes Dolby Atmos surround sound capabilities. If you are on the front edge of home theater technology, your in-ceiling or upward projecting speakers can now rain sound down upon you. You will need an iTunes movie that supports Dolby Atmos, a theater deck that can decode the signal, and speakers arranged properly to take full advantage of this update.

Easier cable subscription sign-ons will be a time saving feature. With the first provider, Charter cable customers will not have to sign into their subscription accounts to make cable-subscription-required apps provide content. For example, if you are trying to watch NBC via the NBC Apple TV app, you are required to log in with your cable provider credentials. A “zero sign on” process, allows the app to determine you are already on the Charter ISP network, and it will allow you to watch NBC content without the hassle of signing on.

Conclusion

The updates to iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS are just in beta for the time being. The conference is held so that developers can install this new software on day 1 and spend the week learning from Apple engineers. General public versions of the software packages will release in the fall, most likely along side updated hardware for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and new MacBooks. We will continue to highlight features of the new platforms as more is discovered through the summer and fall months.