Since the beginning of time, all of man’s efforts have been aimed at one thing: making life easier. And one thing that has surely made our life convenient and comfortable is a smartphone. Apart from making calls and sending messages, these mini-computers allow us to find directions via GPS, take pictures, play games, watch movies, book tickets, buy stuff, set alarm, and even perform tasks that once only could be done by humans. Luckily, developers have noticed the new level of efficiency and comfort that humans seek in their lives. Apple, the American multinational technology company is looking to push things further and made some important announcements at the WWDC 2018, its biggest conference of the year.
The company announced its partnership with Pixar, a computer animation company with the aim of enhancing its influence on augmented reality (AR). The partnership helped it create a new compact and simple file format for AR called USDZ. The format allows people to share AR content such as videos and GIFs without losing 3-D graphics and animations. AR is a technology that allows the elements of the virtual world to connect with the real world, thereby enhancing the things we see, hear, and feel.
Apple also announced the launch of an app called Shortcuts in its new iOS 12 to make Siri much more useful. Resembling the Workflow automation app that the company acquired in 2017, the app lets one connect shortcut operations to Siri, making complex jobs as simple as speaking a command. For instance, if one tells Siri, “I’m coming home”, it can quickly text his family member the same message, pull up directions to the home in Apple Maps and set the thermostat so it’s perfectly cool while entering the home. If one orders coffee in the evening every day, Siri can suggest it in the evening with his usual order loaded up in the app of his choice.
Apple recently incorporated several new features to its macOS Mojave, the latest version of the desktop operating system with new features. A new Dark Mode feature transforms the look of the desktop that puts the focus on user content. Another feature called the Stacks helps organize all random content in one’s desktop by automatically stacking files into neat batches. The best thing about this feature is that it will stay organized regardless of how many documents one adds to his desktop. Stacks can be arranged by file type, date, or tag.
Apple introduced new features in its latest operating system iOS 12 that limit distraction and help the user focus on the things that are important to him. Among the new components to avoid distraction, one is the Do Not Disturb mode which hides all notifications during bedtime. In the morning, the user can tap a button to see all his notifications and begin the day. Another component is the ‘Instant Tuning’ update that allows the user to turn off notifications for apps at any time or helps notifications bypass the lock screen. Apple also plans to add grouped notifications to iOS so they’re grouped by app, topic, or thread. The new Screentime app provides deep insights on how one spends time in his apps. The App Limits component helps one manage one’s time on his phone and works on both iPhone and iPad.
Other features announced at the conference include search and sharing suggestions in photos, the transformation from iBooks to Apple Books, the incorporation of third-party navigation apps to CarPlay, grouped notifications, and group FaceTime.