With 6,000 folks in attendance at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California, and many millions more watching online, Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off WWDC 2018 by confirming this year’s big keynote presentation would be “all about software.”
Specifically, “exciting updates across all platforms”, including, you guessed it, iOS 12. Following in the footsteps of a widely criticized iOS 11 release that Apple still claims notched a 95 percent overall satisfaction score, the next big mobile OS upgrade is largely focused, as rumored, on substance.
Primarily aimed at “doubling down on performance”, iOS 12 will be officially available on all the same devices as its predecessor. That includes the ancient iPhone 5s, and in fact, Apple says it went the extra mile to optimize the speed and responsiveness of its oldest iOS 12-eligible devices.
As such, you should expect apps to launch up to 40 percent faster than before, the keyboard up to 50 percent, and the photo-taking experience to improve by a whopping 70 percent. At least, in ideal conditions, on paper, and we’re guessing, with the throttling “feature” switched off.
But performance enhancements and system optimizations are obviously just a small piece of the iOS 12 puzzle, which also includes a lot of AR improvements. USDZ is the name of a new file format developed in collaboration with none other than Pixar, which Adobe, Autodesk, Sketchfab and other companies are planning to support. Described as “something like AR Quick Look”, it’s coming to Adobe Creative Cloud.
Meanwhile, Measure is a neat new built-in app that uses augmented reality in a very practical way by, well, measuring real-world objects.
Unsurprisingly, AI is also a big part of Apple’s iOS 12 update, with the native Photos app now capable of suggesting searches based on “key moments and people”, places, categories and other stuff detected in your snapshots. A number of new features seem “inspired” by Google Photos, which is not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a “For You” tab now that features effects suggestions, and also, Sharing hints for sharing pics with people photographed alongside you.