The beginning of June starts with Apple providing a preview of what new features users can expect on their devices in the Fall. Apple updates all of their operating systems each year. There are a number of features coming to iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS. There are hundreds of changes and it is not feasible to cover them all in this post. Below are the biggest features for each operating system. Let us start with the biggest operating system, iOS.
iPhone Customers have expressed their discontent at how older iOS devices have performed when installing newer updates of iOS. With iOS 12 supporting the same devices as iOS 11, users of the iPhone 5s and the iPad Air 2 may be reluctant to install iOS 12 on their devices. However, this is one of Apple’s primary focus areas for the year.
In Apple’s tests, applications started 40% faster, the keyboard appeared 50% faster, and sliding to the left to take a photo was up to 70% faster. These improvements will mean that users do not have to wait for common actions to occur.
There is a new Augmented Reality quick look file format called USDZ, which will allow developers to show quick look previews within applications like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files, and News. This means that you can use augmented reality within a webpage to see exactly how that custom designed product will look, within your own space.
Adobe is brining the USDZ file format to all of Creative Cloud, that will provide a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWIG) editor in Augmented reality.
Some of the other items within ARKit 2 will be:
- Improved face tracking
- Realistic rendering
- 3D Object detection
- Persistent experiences
- Shared Experiences
Let us look at this last one, Shared Experiences. Shared Experiences allow you to have up to 4 people simultaneously interacting within the same app, all with their own personalized experience.
Photos and Camera
Photos and the camera are significantly important aspects to a lot of iOS users’ experiences. Apple is bringing some improvements to Photos. The biggest amongst these are when it comes to sharing photos.
With iOS 12, when you share a photo, or set of photos, with someone over iMessage, they will be receiving the full resolution of the photo. Similarly, when a photo set is shared with you, if you have any photos of the same event, you will be prompted to shared the photos that you have with the other person, so everyone can have the same set of photos for the event.
Animoji are a big feature on the iPhone X. Apple is adding some more Animoji, including the Koala, Ghost, T-Rex, and Tiger. Animoji can now also detect your tongue so yes, you can use Animoji to stick out your tongue at others.
While Animoji are great, it is better to be able to create an animated example of yourself. With iOS 12 this is possible with a new feature called “Memoji”.
Memoji takes the concept of an Animoji, but allows you to create your own custom Animoji for use with Animoji. You can customize your skin color, including adding freckles, hair color, and eye color. You can also add items like hats, sunglasses, earrings, and more.
Memoji will allow you to personalize your conversations even more than before. Besides messages, users also communicate via FaceTime, which has seen some big improvements as well.
FaceTime was introduced 8 years ago, in June of 2010. Since its release it has only seen minor changes. That is no longer the case.
Traditionally, when you use FaceTime can only be used between two individuals, With iOS 12 you can now use FaceTime in groups, up to 32 individuals. Having 32 people can make group chat a lot easier.
When you do have these FaceTime group calls, you can want to add some personality to them. You can do this by using your Memoji right within FaceTime, while you are chatting.
There are many times that a user wants to do something via Siri, but there is no capability within iOS to do so. There is a new feature called Siri Shortcuts that will allow you do just that. Siri Shortcuts allow any app to expose quick actions to Siri.
With Siri Shortcuts you will be able to name the shortcuts, and then use that phrase to activate the selected action. For instance, if you use the tile app to find something, like your keys, can you assign the phrase “lost my keys”, and with Siri Shortcuts the Tile app will automatically open directly to your keys so you that you can find your keys.
This is just an example and it will depend on application support.
The last feature to note of is regarding Notifications. With Notifications under iOS 12, you will get grouping options. You will now be able to group notifications by application, automatically, or turn it off. This can be done on an app by app basis. You will also be able to group by topic or thread as well. With grouped notifications you can remove an entire group by swiping left, just like notifications under iOS 11.
You can also turn off individuals notifications or types of notifications by pressing and holding on an individual notification.
Siri will also be able to suggest notifications to turn off for applications that you have not used for a while. This will be very helpful to reduce the number of notifications that you receive. Let us turn to the last new feature of iOS, called Screen Time.
Screen time, in general, is a problem for today’s technology-based society. The jury is out as to whether or not spending so much time in front of a screen is problematic or not. In order to provide users with information that they need around how much time they are spending on their devices, there is a new feature called “Screen Time”.
With Screen Time you can see how much time each type of app category, application itself, and website are used. You can take any one of those categories, apps, or website and set a limits to what you want. These can be customized on a daily basis, or even on a
Besides individuals wanting to get their traffic usage information, the biggest section of user who want to enable limits is parents. A parent can set up the limitations for their child. This can be done from the parent’s device and automatically applied to a child’s device.
Screen Time will be a huge feature for everyone to keep an eye on overall usage.
That covers the big features of iOS, let us look at tvOS next.
tvOS has only a few updates that most users will notice. The first of these is that Dolby Atmos audio is coming to tvOS 12. If you have a Dolby Atmos sound bar connected to your Apple TV, and the content that you are watching is Dolby Atmos enabled, it should work.
The second new feature is “Zero Sign-on”. Zero Sign-on is the idea that if you are using your cable company provider’s internet connection you can be automatically signed in to all of the applications that you can stream from, like HBO, ShowTime, and others. This will start with Charter Spectrum customers first, and will expand to other providers in the future.
The third feature revolves around the Aerial views on the Apple TV. With tvOS 12 you will be able to swipe between Aerial Screensavers. Along with this, you will be able to tap on the Siri remote and see the location of the screen saver.
The next feature is that you will be able to tune into live news and sports with the Apple TV. News and Sports are one of the key reasons that people still have traditional cable subscriptions, but that may change.
The last feature of tvOS is the ability to use third-party remotes instead of the Siri remote.
These are minor changes, but welcome ones for Apple TV users. It’s time to move on to watchOS.
The Apple Watch has a primary focus, health. That has not changed with watchOS 5. The biggest changes for watchOS 5 still revolve around health. These include a new workout type, workout detection, and staying connected.
The new workout type is for Yoga. It is primarily focused on heart-rate. There are millions of people around the world who like to do Yoga and having it be a workout type will allow those individuals to get credit for their Yoga Workouts.
There are often times that you forget to start a workout and only realize it afterwards. This can be particular problematic if you have gone for a while and are not going to get credit. With watchOS 5, this may no longer be the case. watchOS 5 can automatically detect that you are in a workout and suggest you start one. When this occurs, you will receive credit for the time that it detected you were active. Similarly, if you forget to end a workout, watchOS will do the same thing.
Another watchOS feature that may help people stay in touch. There is a large segment of the population that used walkie talkies when they were kids. Apple has brought the same feature to watchOS 5. It is cleverly called “Walkie Talkie”. It does just what you would expect. You can send short audio messages to those who you designate as contacts. The recipient will have to accept an invitation, but after that you will be able to talk freely.
The last feature to highlight is that Siri Shortcuts can now be included in the Siri Watch Face, which include third-party applications are supported.
There are more features on watchOS, but let us move onto macOS.
Modern macOS was introduced 17 years ago. Since 2013 Apple has been using California place names. For the last four years they have been mountain related. This year though, it is going a bit dryer, with macOS 10.14 Mojave.
macOS 10.14 Mojave has a bunch of new features, with Finder, the Mac App Store, and the Desktop. Let us look at the Finder changes.
The Finder has received a new view, called Gallery View. Gallery View will provide you with a preview strip at the bottom of the Finder window and a metadata information panel on the right. In this view, in the lower right corner is a new set of features, Quick Actions.
Quick Actions are just as they sound, actions that can be done quickly. These actions are context aware, meaning that you will see different actions for an image, versus a PDF, and other files. Developers can add quick actions if they wish using any combination of shell scripts or automator actions to perform actions all without needing to open an application.
Next, let us look at the Mac App Store.
Mac App Store
The Mac App Store has seen a complete redesign. This is similar to the one that iOS got last year under iOS 12. There is a new sidebar with seven different categories. These categories are:
Each tab contains a variety of applications that match that specific category. The Discover tab will let you find new applications that you may not know about as well as provide editorials about applications. The discover tab also shows the Top Charts.
That covers the Mac App Store changes, now let us move to the new features within the Desktop.
The changes around the desktop include a large item, and a small one. The small change is actually around screenshots. Screenshots on macOS now functions a lot like that on iOS. You can take a screenshot and do instant mark-up on the screenshot. It will be great to have consistency between iOS and macOS.
Many users use their Desktop as a temporary holding place for files that they are working on. In order to be able to more easily organize the myriad of files on your Desktop, Apple has created “Stack View”. Stack View will allow you to see all of the files on your desktop within stacks. You can organize Kind of file, Date, or Tag. When you add a new item to the desktop, it will automatically be sorted.
The biggest change for the desktop is an all new Dark Mode. Dark Mode on macOS is a true Dark Mode. In previous versions you could have the menu bar and dock be dark but now with macOS Mojave, all aspects of the operating system can be Dark, including applications, provided the developer has added support for them.
If you use your Mac throughout the day, there is a Dynamic Desktop which will automatically adjust the screen throughout the day, from Light Mode to Dark Mode.
There have been a large number of changes across iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS. iOS brings ARKit enhancements, new Animoji, the new Memoji feature, FaceTime group chat, Siri Shortcuts, the ability to group notifications, and the all new Screen Time all bring iOS forward and help people more quickly do things to get back to what they were doing.
tvOS has a few new features that include Dolby Atmos, Zero Sign-in, Live News and Sports, and the ability to swipe to switch Aerial views and their locations. These are minor, but well needed updates.
watchOS brings Siri Shortcuts, the Yoga workout, automatically starting and ending of workouts, and the new Walkie Talkie feature.
macOS includes a whole new Mac App Store, new Quick Actions in Finder, a new Gallery View for Finder. The Desktop gets Dynamic Desktop, a whole new Dark Mode, and Markup.
Overall, the changes to all of Apple’s operating systems should be quite beneficial for users across all of their Apple devices.
There are even more features that have not been included, but will be covered in my e-books. There will be more information about those later in the summer.