Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2018 – Keynote Recap


Today marked the beginning of the software focused event from Apple, targeting primarily the development community.  Or at least, that’s how its been in the past, with this year’s event a bit more “community” than “developer” (or at least that’s what it seemed like to me.  I was a bit underwhelmed truth be told, but here is a rough list of what I found most interesting from the keynote event that took place today.

iOS Updates:

  • Photos is getting an update, which will incorporate some very Google Photos like features surrounding sharing, automatic recommendations, and “rediscover this day” like albums/photos being surfaced
  • More new AR supported features, including a measuring tool, as well as a few more Animoji (with support for more expressions, including “tongue detection”)
  • MeMoji – built in support for you to turn your own face into an Animoji style character (similar to Bitmoji if you are familiar)
  • Updated Do Not Disturb settings/features
  • Digital Well Being information, including restrictions on apps used and the time of use (user configurable and adjustable)
  • SiriKit updates to allow for “macro” style Shortcuts, to allow certain events or trigger phrases to cascade into other actions
  • Facetime Group Calling – up to 32 people can now be visible and talk in a “chat room” style setting
  • Grouped notifications – similar to Android, all notfications will now be bundled into channels based on the app with the notifications (in a card stack like format)

watchOS Updates:

  • Walkie Talkie – support for short voice notes send directly from one Apple Watch to another over cellular or WiFi networks
  • Podcast support directly from the Apple Watch
  • Limited web browsing functionality
  • Student ID support for the Apple Watch wallet

tvOS Updates:

  • Apple TV will now support the standard for Dolby Atmos (audio) (as was said  previously that it would, and currently supports Dolby Vision)

macOS Updates:

  • The new version of macOS will be called Mojave – ending the run of mountain themed releases (I just installed High Sierra, which will be the last)
  • Dark mode theme will be supported – similar to the Twitter dark theme
  • Initially they announced iPad like apps for the Mac, such as Voice Notes, Home, and a couple others – it was later announced that support for a great many/most iOS apps should be coming to the Mac beginning in 2019 (these initial apps are a way of beta testing how well it works)
  • Stacks – groups of files will now be sorted and an icon set will be placed on the desktop for easier sorting and finding of specific types of files (photos, PDFs, etc…)
  • Apple File System support for both Fusion drives as well as hard disk drives only (supports only SSDs currently)

I’ve highlighted in red those things that I found most interesting – and honestly, while there are a few game changers here (FT group calling, grouped notifications) this year’s keynote was a bit lackluster to me.  While this is a software focused event, there was some hope we’d see some hardware related news (Macbook Pro or otherwise) and it didn’t happen just yet.  It may not even happen at all…but we’ll wait and see.  Most of the other changes were just – meh.  I don’t want to undersell it, and I’ll put a link to the Verge’s coverage here (video) and here (to read) if you want a deeper dive.  But I was disappointed and let my feelings be known out in the Twitterverse:

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 9.28.22 PM

Seemed like more than a few folks felt the same way.  More details from the rest of the 4 day event are to come!



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