WWDC 2018 Roundup: iOS 12, macOS Mojave, a Redesigned Mac App Store, watchOS 5, and More

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Today was Keynote Day, with Apple officially kicking off this year’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

As is par for the course, Apple hosted different folks on stage, all meant to help unveil what’s new and coming down the pipe. That includes new versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, and all of the new features that the company is bringing along with the new version numbers. iOS got the majority of the new attention, with macOS adding oft-requested additions for good measure. watchOS boasts new additions, while tvOS remains quiet on that front — but is definitely adding some worthwhile features.

So, without anymore hesitation, here is everything Apple announced today during the keynote:

iOS 12 unveiled

iOS 12: Performance, performance, performance. Grouped Notifications! ARKit 2, Siri Shortcuts, and More

Apple officially unveiled the newest version of its most popular operating system, christening it iOS 12. The new software brings with it a host of new features, as well as a dedicated focus on performance. Apple says there is a significant boost in performance, especially for older devices like the iPhone 6 Plus, including things like opening the keyboard, the Share sheet, and other specific functions. These performance boosts will also be present for newer devices as well.

iOS 12 is also finally introducing grouped notifications. It will allow users to get a handle on the notifications, even allowing them to clear whole collections of notifications, rather than just one at a time.

Speaking of apps, Apple is welcoming in a new digital wellbeing initiative. This will let iOS 12 users set time limits for apps, let parents manage their kids’ app access and usage, and even keep tabs on how often you’re on your own phone and how many apps are pulling your attention.

ARKit 2.0 introduces multiplayer and even better dynamic tracking of digital images in the real world. Up to four players will be able to play together in AR experiences.

Siri is adding support for what Apple calls Shortcuts. With this feature, users will be able to quickly set up automation workflows with the digital personal assistant. Saying something like “Heading home” can automate Siri to launch a podcast, notify a contact, open Maps, and much more. And Siri is getting better situational awareness, too. So if you go to a coffee shop on a routine basis and order the same thing through the shop’s app, Siri can handle the ordering process itself. You don’t even need to open the app.

Some minor details: Apple is changing iBooks to Apple Books, Do Not Disturb is getting some finer customization options, CarPlay is getting support for third-party map apps, and FaceTime is finally getting support for groups — up to 34!

iOS 12 introduces four new Animoji

The other biggest new addition to iOS 12? New Animoji. Apple is adding a ghost, tiger, a koala, and a T-rex. Apple is also adding in tongue detection, which means you’ll be able to stick your tongue out and the digital avatar will be able to keep track of it.

Apple is also adding in “Memoji”, which is basically turning yourself into an Animoji. This will boast a variety of customization features, too.

So, there we go. That’s iOS 12 in a nutshell.

Moving on to macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Apple announces macOS Mojave

macOS Mojave: System-wide Dark Mode! Stacks! Markup Support!

macOS 10.14 Mojave doesn’t boast as many new features as iOS 12, but the additions are noteworthy nevertheless. First and foremost, Apple is finally adding in a system-wide dark mode. That means it’s not just the Menu bar that will have a dark theme, but apps, the dock, and everything else for that matter.

macOS Mojave has Desktop Stacks for easy sorting

The new desktop operating system is also getting a Dynamic Desktop feature, which means the wallpaper will change automatically based on the time of day. The desktop is also getting Stacks, which means you’ll see clutter get reduced to more manageable stacks. These will be handled automatically, too.

Finder and Quick Look are getting updated, too. The former will be adding a new Gallery view, as well as new metadata support. Meanwhile, the latter will be getting support for Markup, so editing tools can be handled right within Quick Look.

Continuity Camera will let you take a picture from your iPhone, based on an app on your Mac. Using the Continuity feature will allow the Mac app to upload the photo directly to the app. Apple News, Stocks, and the Voice Memos app are also arriving on macOS Mojave, Apple is updating and improving overall security for the desktop OS, and Safari is getting new features to improve reduction of tracking.

The Mac App Store is getting a new design, too, with new tabs for games, creative apps, developers, and more. It will also offer video previews for apps, too.

watchOS 5: Connect easier and even more health options

watchOS 5 technically adds new features, but not many. However, what’s being brought into the mix is certainly worthwhile.

That includes a new Walkie Talkie feature. Apple Watch owners will be able to start a conversation and walk in real time with another contact right from their smartwatch. First, choose who you want to talk with. The Watch will offer suggestions, too. There is a one-time request for a walkie-talkie request, and, if they accept, you can initiate a conversation at any time. There is a beep-beep sound that notifies of an incoming conversation. It works over both Wi-Fi and a cellular connection.

Fitness wise, the Apple Watch with watchOS 5 will support what Apple calls Competitions. This can include up to seven people, and you’ll host little 7-day tournaments. You’ll be able to keep tabs on scores, see how everyone is doing, and if you win the Competition for the week you’ll get a special award.

Apple is changing how you activate Siri, too. Now, when you simply raise your wrist and be able to talk to Siri on the Apple Watch. Users will no longer need to say “Hey, Siri” to activate the digital personal assistant.

Notifications are getting advanced for the Apple Watch in watchOS 5, too, letting you tap a notification in some apps, including Uber and others, that will let you interact with them in specific ways. With watchOS 5, WebKit is getting support, too, letting you tap links in Messages and the email app.

watchOS 5 will also support Podcasts. The Apple Podcasts will support automatically syncing new episodes of a podcast you follow, and playback will resume across devices.

watchOS 5 is adding student ID cards to the Wallet app on iPhones and Apple Watch. So you can use your Apple Watch to access places or even buy items, wherever the student ID is supported — both on campus and off. It is supported by a handful of universities with more on the way.

And, finally, tvOS 12:

tvOS 12: New Aerials! Zero Sign-on!

tvOS 12 got the least amount of new stuff. There are new Aerials wallpapers, which include images of the planet earth from photographs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station. They include shots in the day and at night.

The standout feature, though, is Zero Sign-On. Now, if you are on your TV provider’s broadband network, the supported apps and channels will automatically populate without actually logging into anything. Charter Spectrum will be the first to support this feature, with more providers coming down the line eventually.

And, finally: Dolby Atmos support for even more dynamic audio. What’s more, Apple will be bringing Dolby Atmos for free if it supports it and you’ve already purchased the content.

Honor Mentions