It is no secret that I am a big Apple geek. Ever since I got my first iPhone (an iPhone 4 over eight years ago), I like to keep up-to-date with the newest updates, both software and hardware for all my Apple tech! Last night Apple kicked their annual WWDC2018 conference with a keynote presentation from the head of Apple, Tim Cook.
What did I take away from the keynote yesterday and more importantly what’s my rating on a few of the new Apple updates!
Every year I watch the WWDC keynote expecting something revolutionary that will set iOS apart from the other operating systems. Don’t get me wrong, I like iOS, I just don’t think there has been anything huge in the iOS releases for a while that has helped the operating system stand out from the rest.
So, what did we get from WWDC? Well, we got some nice additions to Anemoji and a new feature called ‘Memoji’, two features that are a novelty. Will I use them? Probably for ten minutes after updating the OS and then probably never again.
One really nice feature I like is the new Screentime app. This is perfect for people with kids wanting to limit iPhone or iPad usage for their children. It also can be applied to the user directly, you can tell iOS how much time a day you want to spend on your device, and specific apps and iOS will give you reminders when you are close to running out of time and then tell you when you are over your limit. Yes, you can override the limit with a single click, but for people who want to try and spend more time away from their devices, this is the perfect app for them.
How many of you look at your phone after a few hours of inactivity and have a scrolling screen full of notifications? With the new update, all of these notifications will now be grouped together and easily added to notification centre if needed. Perfect for those of us who manage various social media platforms for their jobs.
One of the biggest updates I was blown away by was the new changes to FaceTime. You can now run a FaceTime call with 32 people! This is perfect for the world of business. Do you need to travel hundreds of miles for a meeting when now everyone in the meeting can video call in via FaceTime? Yes, I know, video conference calling has been around forever. But having this feature built into iOS is a game changer. No need to download third party conference apps or purchase external phones and cameras. You can set your meeting room up with a midlevel iPad and a good wifi connection!
While I have an Apple Watch, I really don’t use it to the full potential. It is great for getting notifications on your wrist, but really, my phone is in my pocket, so I don’t need to put that much effort into seeing my most recent updates. I guess the new additions to WatchOS are great for people who get the most out of the fitness features, the new update will automatically detect when a workout has begun, but if you aren’t a fitness fanatic, then the new updates might be a waste of time. WatchOS also saw the addition of the Walkie Talkie app. Like Memoji, I think that this will be an update that I use ten minutes after the update and forget about it.
Security is the buzzword when talking about the new update to MacOS, code-named Mojave. Very topical with the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. New updates to Safari gives the user the ability for better privacy settings. Like and share buttons that track your data, whether you click them or not, will be a thing of the past. In the age of data privacy, this tool in Safari is perfect for people who want to keep their information private.
Even though Facebook announced at F8 a few weeks ago that they are taking security and privacy seriously, this tool will help put the power back into your hands.
There’s nothing major within MacOS that I could really get excited about if I am honest. I think I dozed off halfway through, I was nearly stirred out of my sleep, but then the announcement that the Stocks app was coming to MacOS popped me back into my slumber. Desktop stacks is a nice feature, but it’s not groundbreaking.
My overview on the keynote… underwhelming. I am still yet to see a keynote presentation since the Steve Jobs days that has really revolutionised the market. The iPhone changed the smartphone market, the iPod pushed the boundaries for music and the iPad brought tablet computing to the masses, I really think the Apple has stopped innovating like the used to.
Positives, I love the FaceTime update for iOS and think that the privacy settings for MacOS are a must have, but the rest of the updates are novelties – brilliant for sharing emojis of you as a unicorn, but nothing that changes the way we use our devices and apps.