Every year Apple holds the World Wide Developers Conference or WWDC as it has been called. During this conference, Apple basically updates the public to the goings-on for everything Apple. Last year new MacBooks were announced along with the HomePod with OS updates to pretty much their whole lineup of devices. We weren’t treated to any new hardware at this years conference, but Apple did have some software updates up its sleeve. This won’t be a completely comprehensive list, but I will have the major stuff. Let’s dig in.
Animoji was pretty cool for all of about a week, then it wore out its welcome pretty quick. Especially if you happened to have one of those friends that just. Wouldn’t. Stop. Sending. Animoji’s. Apple one-upped themselves and introduced Memoji. The best way I could describe this would be, just think of an animated Bitmoji. This will look like you, something like what Samsung did.
While Google keeps trying to play catchup, Apple says ‘hold my Animoji’. Ever have an idea, and you need your 31 closest friends to know? Well, now you can tell them all at the same time through Facetime. It’s nice to see that Facetime is getting a ‘conference call’ of sorts. I gotta be honest with you though, I don’t think I have 31 friends.
I may have talked a little trash on Google in the paragraph above, Google Assistant has this AI thing on lock though. Apple isn’t giving up. Siri will now be able to make suggestions out of things you do day to day. Personally, I get a bagel every Friday. Maybe Siri can suggest a new bagel place (not that it would matter). Another new feature would be Shortcuts. This seems like it would work a lot like Alexa skills.
Say you have a Tile on your keys because you lose them all the time. You can just say ‘Siri, I lost my keys’ and it will pull up Tile and ring your keys.
Google sort of has the photo thing on lock too. Apple has noticed and they finally updated their photo app to highlight key moments and even group photos. So when you are looking for those pics you took on your Hawaiian vacation, they will all be in their own little folder for easier access. If you like to tag people in your photos, the app will make sharing suggestions based on who is in the picture. That will be nice when one of your friends wants that pic of all the stuff you wrote in Sharpie on your drunk friend.
The updates here are pretty cool, and maybe just a bit scary. First of all your Apple Watch will be able to detect your workouts a little better. Instead of being fairly generic, it should be able to help detect when you are doing Yoga or even hiking. Here’s where the scary comes in. You can activate Siri on your Apple Watch simply by raising your watch to your eye. You can then ask a question or even program it to show you the latest sports scores. That will come in handy now during Baseball season since there are about 7,000 games in a season.
To me, the crown jewel of Watch OS5 is the Walkie-Talkie feature. It will only work between ‘compatible Apple Watch users’, but it will work over WiFi or Cellular. You just touch your watch face to talk to, well the other watch. This could be fun to have. Although the last time I was trusted with a Walkie-Talkie, I ended up getting it taken away within about an hour.
The big announcement here is, the Apple TV will be getting Dolby Atmos support. If you still listen to your TV through the speakers that are built into your TV, you are missing out. I would highly suggest getting a decent surround sound system. Dolby Atmos will be able to take advantage of those aftermarket speakers and make your videos sparkle a bit.
If you are watching your Apple TV through your cable/satellite service provider, Apple will be able to log you into your channels automatically. If you have Charter you will be among the first to have this feature, and other service providers will follow.
There’s a handful of new MacOS features. A couple would include a new Dark Mode. This does what it sounds like, it darkens the color scheme of your Mac to let you focus a bit more on your work instead of the Mac controls. The Mac App Store will get an overhaul also. It will feature editorial content and other apps that you are already familiar with like apps from Microsoft and Adobe. Yes, the update to FaceTime applies here too.
Yes, we made to the end of the article and there is no mention of a new MacBook Pro, iMac, or iPad X. WWDC was very software heavy this year, without a single mention of any new or refreshed hardware. To be honest with you, I’m not exactly an Apple guy and I feel underwhelmed. I can only imagine how empty someone would feel if they are heavily into the Apple ecosystem.
How did you feel about the announcements from this year’s WWDC? Were you as underwhelmed as I was? Let us know how you feel about it in the comments.