WWDC: Everything Apple Announced (iOS 12, watchOS 5, macOS Mojave)

The Worldwide Developer Conference is only just beginning, but Apple’s annual summer keynote has concluded. We’ll take a look at everything Apple announced at its 2018 WWDC keynote; and this year, it’s all software. As expected, iOS 12 focuses on stability and performance; but Apple made quite a few other surprise announcements regarding the new iOS. During the keynote, Apple also announced its new watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave. We’ll look at all the new features of the software below. Everything Apple announced will be arriving later this fall, but you can learn more about all the new things to look forward to below.

Related: WWDC 2018: macOS Mojave Highlights & Release Dates

When Will iOS 12 & Other New Software Be Available?

iOS 12 beta for developers is available now. The iOS 12 Public Beta for consumers will likely become available later this month, though Apple hasn't officially named a date yet (visit Beta.Apple.com to find out more). 

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iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave will all be available this Fall. We expect the release date to be around the same time as Apple’s regular fall keynote event, which is when we’ll learn about new hardware.

iOS 12: Stability, Performance, and Your Face

Quick Look:

  • New features to curb smartphone addiction and improve general digital health, including weekly review of how you use your device (called Screen Time).
  • New Animojis + Memoji (create your own face!)
  • Improved Do Not Disturb, including bedtime and morning views.
  • Significant increase in Notifications customization.
  • New Parental Controls.
  • Big AR updates, including new file format USDZ & new app, Measure that uses AR to measure real objects in your environment.
  • New tab in Photos app called For You, includes photo sharing suggestions.
  • Improved Siri with new Shortcuts feature that allows third-party apps and yourself to create “if then,” “then that” shortcuts. For example, if you tell Siri, “time to meditate,” your Headspace app will launch.
  • Improved News app; redesigned Stocks, Apple Books (formerly iBooks), and Voice Memos apps.
  • New effects added to Message’s Camera, including stickers, filters, and ability to cover real face with Animoji or Memoji.
  • Carplay to support third-party navigation apps, such as Google Maps and Waze.
  • Introducing group Facetime, ability to Facetime with up to 32 people simultaneously

Apple stated that it’s “doubling down” on performance updates. So much so that all devices that were able to update to iOS 11 will be able to update to iOS 12 as well. Though Apple was insistent upon user’s high level of satisfaction with iOS 11, it also made clear that it’s heard the stability, performance, and battery complaints and plans to put a whole lot of attention on it.

We have a full in-depth article on everything iOS 12 that Apple announced. Otherwise, here are some of the top iOS 12 highlights from the WWDC Keynote event:

Managing Smartphone Addiction & Digital Health

Apple introduced a new feature called Screen Time. Screen Time will give you a weekly activity summary detailing how you use your iPad or iPhone. This will include how much time, in which apps, during what times of day, and much more. This will also allow you to limit how much time you spend in apps, going so far as to kick you out when the time limit is up.

Siri & the New Shortcuts

What we didn’t see at the WWDC keynote was Apple overhauling Siri to the point of being competition for Alexa. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t see some massive improvements. Siri Shortcuts allow third-party apps to create quick actions for Siri. For example, if you tell Siri you’ve lost your keys, Siri will automatically open your Tile app and sound the ringer so you can find them.

You’ll also be able to create your own series of shortcuts. Let’s say you’re going on a trip, you can have Siri prepared with a chain of actions. That way, you’ll be able to quickly say, “surf report,” to know the tides, or “hotel information,” to be reminded about your reservation. You’ll even be able to record custom phrases for Siri that activate the various apps or functions. Lastly, all of these shortcuts will sync across devices—that way you can activate them on HomePod or Apple Watch as well.

Performance Promises:

Apple stated that one of its biggest focuses for iOS 12 is to optimize the system when it’s under a heavy load. Apps are currently launching twice as fast with iOS 12 in Apple’s testing, so let’s hope those stats hold in the public release. Also, with iOS 12, your phone will pay attention to sudden needed performance boosts. When needed, the central processing unit (CPU) will ramp up instantly then ramp back down just as quickly in order to preserve battery.

As stated above, all devices that were able to download iOS 11 will be able to download iOS 12. iOS 12 beta for developers is available now; iOS 12 beta for consumers hasn’t been announced yet, though we expect late summer. The public iOS 12 will be released this fall.

WatchOS 5: Fitness Tracking, Walkie-Talkie, and Pride Month

Quick Look:

  • New 7-day activity competitions with friends.
  • New workout tracking for Yoga, Hiking, and Outdoor Running. Apple also added new tracking features for runners, including rolling pace and tracking cadence.
  • Apple Watch will automatically detect workouts, beginning and end.
  • New Walkie-Talkie feature—talk with close family and friends just like a walkie-talkie but using Wi-Fi and Cellular connections.
  • Siri watch face improvements, including ability to raise wrist and immediately speak with Siri (without needing to say: Hey, Siri).
  • Stock Apple Podcast app comes to Apple Watch.
  • Third-party apps can now play music in background.
  • Interactive Notifications allow you to respond within notification. 
  • Ability to customize Control Center on Apple Watch.
  • New Pride month watchband and Apple Watch face are available today.

Apple opened this segment with a story about how the Apple Watch saved yet another person’s life. This is the beauty of technology at its finest. Apple then stated that the Apple Watch is (and has been) number one in customer satisfaction every year since its 2015 launch. Apple Watch adoption also grew by a whopping 60% this year, likely thanks to the introduction of a cellular model.

tvOS 12: Zero Sign-on, Live Sports & News, Plus Dolby Atmos

Quick Look:

  • Previously purchased movies auto upgraded to 4K HDR.
  • Apple TV 4K has Dolby Atmos: room-filling sound. Plus, all previously purchased supported titles will be upgraded for free to Dolby.
  • Apple TV app now has live sports and news. Plus, in the United States, Charter Spectrum will be coming late this year, which means up to 50 million homes will be able to access live channels without a cable box.
  • Zero sign-on (instead of single sign-on). If you’re on your tv provider’s broadband network, all supported apps will be automatically unlocked.
  • Aerial Screensavers will show the location when you tap the remote, plus new location: Earth, taken from international space station.

The Apple TV saw a 50% growth this year. There is a lot of talk about live channels becoming available on Apple TV. I hope we’ll start to see the ability to watch certain channels without a cable package very soon.

macOS Mojave: Dark Mode, A More Secure Safari, Plus Stock iOS Apps Come to Mac

Quick Look:

  • Dark Mode!
  • Dynamic Desktop backgrounds subtly change throughout the day from morning light to afternoon to night.
  • Desktop Stacks to keep your desktop from looking cluttered. Files are automatically arranged by kind, date, etc.
  • New sidebar view in Finder called Gallery View that makes it easy to preview images, PDFs, etc. and puts other images in a strip along the bottom. Plus, the sidebar shows metadata.
  • New Quick Actions options in the sidebar of Finder that easily lets you edit images, select multiple files and easily assemble them into a PDF, or even launch Markup.
  • Improved Continuity between Mac and iPhone. For example, from an app on Mac you can choose “Take Photo” which will open camera on phone. Once photo has been taken, it will automatically appear in the correct place on Mac.
  • On Mac, scanning documents (from phone) goes straight into the referencing app.
  • Home, Stocks, Voice Memos, and News app all coming to Mac.
  • Improved security, including adding more protections for third-party apps.
  • Safari also gets major security improvements, including ability to shut down comments section and likes tracking, as well as making it so that data companies have a difficult time tracking your Mac’s “fingerprint” by showing only default fonts, etc. This will make it hard for companies to identify your unique device and track you.
  • Redesign of Mac App store (similar to iOS App Store now).

As Craig Federighi said, during the event “macOS is the heart of what makes a Mac a Mac.” While that may be an obvious statement, there’s no doubt it’s also true. In my opinion, macOS Mojave looks to be the best macOS update in a couple years at least.

During this time, Craig also addressed the many rumors regarding Apple merging macOS and iOS. In short, the answer is “No.” Well, that’s a mystery we can stop asking about now!

Lastly, Apple gave us a sneak peek at its multi-year project that takes key frameworks from iOS and adopts them for Mac. This allows apps available on iPhone to more easily be ported to Mac, and it will be coming to developers next year. Overall, macOS Mojave put a huge emphasis on privacy and security, as well as focusing on aligning certain iOS features with the Mac. It’s the first Mac update I’ve been genuinely excited for.

That’s your quick look at all of the Apple software coming this Fall. What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below or in the iPhone Life Facebook group.


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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.