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Cooler Apps And Features

Here are some big ticket highlights of Apple's annual WWDC event

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Apple's Annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) offers a sneak peek into the future Apple’s platforms — some useful, some frivolous but crucially, some that will change the way consumers use their devices for the better. Here are the big-ticket highlights and the stuff that really matters from the event.

iOS 12
Digital Health: Score one for Apple curbing excessive use of their devices! Apart from the enhanced Do Not Disturb modes and grouping app notifications, iOS 12 will bring in the App Limits feature, which will let you set time limits for individual apps. Your phone will remind you when you are done with your Candy Crush quota for the day, or keep an eye on the time kids spend with the iPad.

CarPlay: If you have a car that offers Apple CarPlay support, come iOS 12 and Apple will no longer force you to use Apple Maps for directions, and you can instead use navigation from any third-party app (including Google Maps).

Siri Shortcuts: Siri hasn't seen a big leap forward, but the digital assistant will get easier to use with Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12. Shortcuts lets you invoke a set of actions via a custom phrase, which can include specific features within the apps being invoked as well. You can, for instance, say you are “heading home”, and Siri can text your significant other, switch on your Apple Music car playlist and turn on any connected appliances you have at home.

Memojis: iOS 12 will be compatible with a broad range of devices dating all the way back to the iPhone 5S, but one feature will remain an iPhone X exclusive. If you liked Animojis on iPhone X, wait till you see Me-mojis, a customisable digital character made to look just like you!

macOS Mojave (10.14)
Visual improvements: Visual overhauls abound in the new macOS — a slick new Mac App Store, a new look for the Finder file explorer along with some nifty desktop file management capabilities, plus a crowd favourite — a new dark mode with a gorgeous dynamic desktop that changes with the time of the day.

Group Facetime: Apple’s video calling app on macOS and iOS sees a long overdue update, which now allows it to support group chats of up to 32 people, including a direct integration with Messages that makes it easy to launch group calls instantly. Effects such as stickers and the new Memojis can be applied in real time during the call for a more fun experience.

Improved Browser Privacy: Improved Safari privacy features will shut down third-party tracking by default and reduce your digital footprint — great news for privacy conscious users!

watchOS 5

Better fitness tracking: From fitness challenges and added tracking for runners, to being able to track yoga and hiking, Apple’s further refining the fitness capabilities of Apple Watch with watchOS 5. If you forget to start recording your workout, the Watch can now automatically detect that you are exercising and suggest starting workouts.

Walkie Talkie: There’s a new feature that will get everyone talking, and it’s called Walkie Talkie. Much like a real Walkie Talkie, you can tap a button on the watch face and send short voice messages to another contact on your list. Slickly implemented, and very cool.

tvOS 12
Dolby Atmos support: If you have an Apple TV 4K, tvOS 12 will bring Dolby Atmos support with a compatible TV soundbar.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Magazine 23 June 2018 WWDC event apple

Tushar Kanwar

The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, India

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