Apple's software improvements could make AR as universal as iOS

Delia Walker
June 6, 2018

The updates come after Apple faced backlash from investors and iPhone users over concerns about its devices becoming increasingly addictive and distracting for children.

Apple's WWDC 2018 developers conference kicks off today with the U.S. technology firm expected to unveil a swathe of important software updates.

An App Limits feature will let you limit how much you use an app in a single day, and iOS 12 will send you alerts when you're near that limit. Parents will be able to choose times when certain apps or app categories can't be used.

Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, said the flexibility of Apple's system set it apart from others designed only for parental monitoring, offering the ability for teens and adults to impose their own limits.

Here's a look at the newest features coming soon to the iPhone when iOS 12 launches as a free software update in the Fall. It will also have some new augmented reality features, including a new file format that's being supported by Adobe called USDZ.

The new iOS 12 software that powers the iPhone and iPad was revealed during the company's annual developers conference. The app allows the user to accurately measure the size of objects and items around them via AR.

Closing off the iOS 12 presentation was the unveiling of Memoji - personalised emoji based on a user's appearance which can be customised - and FaceTime upgrades. A public beta will also be available to iOS users to try out these features later this month. iOS 12 is getting some meaningful updates that will help you be more productive and potentially less distracted by your device. Four Apple-built iOS apps - Home, Apple News, Stocks, Voice Memos - will now work on Mac computers, the company said.

Apple will also be releasing a new Shortcuts API for developers to take advantage of if they wish. Video of users who are now talking will be displayed most prominently on screen, this changes dynamically as other people carry the conversation.

Grouped notifications: We all get a rush of anxiety, or even panic when we see how many notifications our phone has racked up while away from it. Support for Apple Podcasts is coming with watchOS 5, too, letting you automatically sync new episodes to your watch. Here's a look at some of the standouts from Apple's WWDC. Even crazier, Apple has stated that up to 32 different people can take part in a group video chat at the same time. Apple says this makes apps load 40 percent faster, and the keyboard loads 50 percent faster.

Apple's next macOS will be named Mojave, after the desert in California. Instead of saying Safari shouldn't block Like buttons or comment fields, Stamos argued Apple should have gone further.

These three things are pretty significant in terms of how people use iPhones, and it'll make older iPhones feel a lot snappier and faster than they are running on iOS 11 or other previous versions of iOS.

"Great technology should improve life, not distract from it", reads Google's new digital wellbeing site.

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