Apple Updates: AR For iOS, a Better Siri, and a Remedy for Tech Addictions

June 4, 2018
Updated 9mo ago

Here's the latest from Apple's annual conference for developers in San Jose, Calif., where the company is announcing software upgrades and new initiatives:

  • As expected, Apple unveiled tools to help iPhone and iPad users manage the time they spend glued to their screens. The new tool, Screen Time, is part of the new iOS 12 mobile operating system. Screen Time shows how much time users spend with each app, how many times they pick up their phones, and which notifications catch their attention. It will also enable users to set limits.

  • The iOS 12 will also include upgrades to the FaceTime app to enable group video chats with as many as 32 people simultaneously. And users can create their own animated emojis that look like them, what Apple is calling a "Memoji."

  • As competition among voice assistants heats up, Apple announced changes to Siri, which will be able to give iPhone users suggestions based on their location and the time of day. If you're running late, the new Siri can suggest you call or send a text to alert your next appointment from the phone's lock screen.

  • Apple will also roll out Siri Shortcuts to help users customize Siri's suggestions and program regular reminders for daily tasks.

  • The Photo app will be redesigned to make searching through images on an iPhone or iPad easier, allowing users to better sort by location, categories, and events. It will also incorporate facial recognition to make it easier to share images with friends.

  • Apple's new iOS 12 mobile operating system will also include a new tool, Measure, that lets users measure the dimensions of objects through their device's camera.

  • The company unveiled its big push into augmented reality with a new file format for AR content ー .USDZ. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said it would be integrated with Adobe's Creative Cloud ecosystem and can be easily shared via text message and email.

  • Tim Cook opened the keynote of Apple's annual developers conference by highlighting the 10th anniversary next month of the company's App Store. Cook, Apple's chief executive, said developers have earned more than $100 billion through the App Store since its inception.

  • Apple is expected to focus on software at the developers conference. The company's services ー Music, Pay, and iCloud ー account for about 15 percent of total revenue, up from 10 percent in the fourth quarter last year, as sales of the iPhone are slowing.

  • Watch the keynote live on Apple's website.

Check back for updates from the conference, and interviews and live analysis from Cheddar's Hope King (@lisahopeking on Twitter) at WWDC 2018.