Another WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference) is now underway, and if you missed Monday’s keynote presentation, there’s some pretty exciting things on the horizon. And no, I’m not talking about Memojis or AR Legos (though I think we need to add Legos to our budget, you know, for research…). Here’s the top 5 things (in no particular order) I found most impressive.
1. Even better integration between iPhone and Mac
For a while you’ve been able to start a task on your Mac or iPhone, and pick up where you left off on the other. These are limited to only some apps, but on those apps it’s really nice! I’m a big user of Safari’s iCloud Tabs myself. Well the integration between iOS 12 and macOS Mojave will be even better.
Some of the examples given were needing to add a photo to a Pages document, and being able to click, have it open your phone’s camera to capture the picture, and it automatically add it to the doc. Or to be able to scan a document to your Mac using your iPhone.
What’s interesting is the plan to allow iOS apps to be installed on a Mac. This was something they said they plan to open to everyone in 2019, but are already doing with a few of the new native apps, such as Home, News, Stocks and others. I’ve been suspecting for a while now that iOS and macOS someday will merge. (Was I the only that saw OSX and iOS 10 being the perfect time to merge?) Even though Craig Federighi said “No.” I still wouldn’t be surprised if that happens sometime in the next few years.
2. Siri Shortcuts
Shortcuts are probably the thing that excited me the most. Not only can you now tell Siri a shortcut phrase that will accomplish a task that would normally take a round of 20 Questions to complete. You can now build your own set of complex tasks to kick off with the mention of one simple phrase.
The example given was for someone on their way home. They set up a short cut that would send a text saying, “I will be home in [Travel Time]”, set the thermostat, turn on a fan, get travel information and start playing NPR, all just by telling Siri, “Heading Home.”
These shortcuts are available to be set up in the new “Shortcuts” app, and I’m really excited to get it and start seeing what I can do.
3. Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb is becoming smarter and more respectful. DND now hides notifications from the lock screen as to not get you stirred up when you check the time in the middle of the night. You can now turn DND on for only an hour, or it will recognize events on your calendar. So if you’re running into that meeting and don’t want to be bothered, you can chose to have it stay on until the end of your meeting.
Apple is really recognizing that for the health of humanity, they need to help people use their phones less. Which leads us into the next point.
4. App Limits
Like I said, not too many companies would build tools to tell you to stop using their products, but Apple is realizing something needs to be done. So they have built in the ability to set up app limits. These record the time spent in your apps and you can set up warnings for yourself or even lock yourself out of apps when you’ve exceeded the time you’ve set. Or if you have children, you can configure these for your children via Family Sharing.
And yes, Android now has something very similar that they announced a few weeks ago at Google I/O. Sometimes they steal ideas from each other, but sometimes they both come out with new features at the same time. You could say great minds think alike.
5. CarPlay 3rd Party
As an automotive enthusiast in my spare time, I was excited to see CarPlay is now opening up to third party navigation apps. Sorry Apple… Apple Maps still doesn’t do it for me. And I’ve yet to be in a car that has built in navigation that is satisfying. Being able to have Google Maps right on my cars screen will be fantastic! Maybe we’ll see even more apps hitting CarPlay soon.
Ok… the multi-player augmented reality mixing physical and virtual Legos WAS pretty cool, I’ll admit it. *turns to coworker* “Can we get that Lego order in ASAP?”
If you have a different list for your top 5, hit us up on social media and let us know!