Today’s announcements from Apple WWDC 2018: the extra concise edition

Today Apple kicked off their annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose with their signature keynote event. Though the week-long event is for software developers, the keynote is of interest to general users of Apple products since it is used primarily to show off the features of the upcoming software updates.

If you’re looking for in-depth coverage there are plenty of other sources out there. But here I’ll be covering the basics.

macOS 10.14 Mojave

Available in the fall (probably the 3rd or 4th week of September if their pattern continues)

Support for all 2011 and earlier Macs (2009 and earlier for Mac Pro desktops) is being dropped. The new requirements are:

  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013, plus mid 2010 and mid 2012 models with recommended Metal- capable GPU)

Features include:

  • Dark Mode. Makes content more visible, and easier on the eyes in a dim room.
  • Dynamic Desktop. Subtly changes your wallpaper throughout the day.
  • Desktop Stacks. Sorts your cluttered desktop into automatic stacks by file type, date, or tag.
  • Gallery View. Replaces Cover Flow in a slightly more simplified layout with less skeumorphism.
  • Quick Look markup. Markup tools are now built into Quick Look.
  • Screenshots. Improved screenshot workflow is more like iOS.
  • Continuity Camera. Allows your Mac to access the camera on iPhone for photos or scanning documents.
  • News app. Now on Mac, synced via iCloud.
  • Voice Memos app. Now on Mac, synced via iCloud.
  • Home app. Support for home camera, Siri commands.
  • Increased security. Apps now need explicit permission to access camera, microphone, backups, Safari, Message history, Mail database, and more.
  • “Fingerprinting” prevention. Safari hides system information from websites to make it harder for websites to identify you.
  • Mac App Store. Laid out a lot more like the iOS App Store.

iOS 12

Available in the fall (probably 2nd or 3rd week of September if their pattern continues)

Compatible with all devices that were compatible with iOS 11.

  • Better performance. Especially on older devices. Some functions up to twice as fast.
  • Siri Shortcuts. Allows developers and users to extend Siri’s capability with custom commands. Users can even create multi-step commands that perform functions in several apps using a drag and drop recipe creator. For example, “Go home” could get directions home, send your partner a message with your estimated arrival time, set your thermostat, and then play a particular radio station.
  • Measure app. Allows you to easily measure physical objects using your iPhone
  • Photos app. New features include far deeper search and smarter photo sharing.
  • News app. New design.
  • Stocks app. New design including links to related news stories and iPad support.
  • Voice Memos app. New design, iCloud support, iPad support.
  • Apple Books app. Previously iBooks, a new design.
  • CarPlay navigation support. Third-party navigation apps will be allowed such as Waze and Google Maps.
  • Do Not Disturb during bedtime. Notifications at night will be held for the morning when you are ready to receive them. No more anxiety when you wake up in the middle of the night and see a message that gets your brain turning.
  • Do Not Disturb. More customization, such as DND for an hour or DND until you leave your current location.
  • Notifications. You can customize notification delivery directly from the notification. Notifications can be grouped by app, topic, or thread.
  • Screentime. Gives you a detailed activity report and allows you to set personal app limits. Activity syncs across iPad and iPhone. Parents can see reports from children and you can give your children allowances by category or by app.
  • Memoji. Personalized animoji, similar to Bitmoji.
  • Group FaceTime. Up to 32 simultaneous participants.
  • FaceTime filters. Allows you to apply filters, animoji, stickers.

watchOS 5

Available in the fall (probably September alongside iOS 12)

Compatible with Series 1 and later. Unfortunately the original Apple Watch will no longer receive updates, but considering its limited abilities I’m not encouraging people to upgrade for better security as I often do with other devices. Your existing Apple Watch will continue to work as it always had, it just won’t be able to get new features.

  • Challenge your friends to an activity competition.
  • New workout types for yoga, hiking.
  • Support for rolling mile pace, pace alerts, cadence.
  • Automatic workout detection gives you retroactive credit even if you start tracking after you begin your workout, and it alerts you when you appear to have ended your workout.
  • Walkie-Talkie allows you to easily send instant voice messages with trusted contacts.
  • Siri Watch Face is getting smarter: Siri Shortcuts, third party apps.
  • No longer need to say “Hey Siri” when raising your wrist.
  • Interactive notifications like on iPhone.
  • Web content in Message or Mail links.
  • Podcast support.

tvOS 12

Available in the fall (probably September alongside iOS 12)

Compatible with Apple TV 4 and 4K, no change in requirements from tvOS 10 and 11. Though the consumer feature list doesn’t sound impressive most changes are for developers so they can make richer, more capable apps.

  • Dolby Atmos support with free upgrades to Dolby Atmos on all available titles in the iTunes Store.
  • Charter Spectrum customers able to use Apple TV instead of a traditional cable box, more to come later.
  • Zero Sign-on. If your Apple TV is on your cable provider’s network you don’t need to sign into apps (carrier support required)
  • Aerial screensaver location is revealed with a tap of the remote, and can be changed with a swipe
  • New screensavers from the International Space Station.
  • Siri support for Find my iPhone.


Other details

  • Microsoft Office 2016, Adobe Lightroom CC will be on the Mac App Store this fall.
  • Next year a single app will run on both iOS and Mac if the developer chooses, but this year several of Apple’s own apps will get the cross-platform treatment as a test.
  • Pride watch face available on watchOS 4.3.1 as of today.
  • Pride Apple Watch Band available to purchase today, matches the above band.
  • Three Summer colors for Apple Watch Sport Bands and iPhone Silicone Cases (7/8, 7+/8+, X) released. Sky Blue, Marine Green, and Peach.