WWDC 2018: 5 Tech Firms Apple Just Tried to Kill With iOS and macOS Mojave

Tim Cook is taking on the titans.

Apple is on the warpath. The company announced a number of products that directly take aim at their rivals at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, on Monday, with new features built into iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS adding new functionality for users.

The company has such a habit of building in these ideas that it’s become something of a meme in the tech community. “Sherlocking” is a term that refers to Apple taking a product that runs on its platforms and incorporating its main ideas into the operating system itself, referring to the Sherlock built-in search tool in Mac OS 8 that made Karelia Software’s third-party Watson tool obsolete overnight.

Here’s who Apple is coming for next:

Apple MeMoji Are a Shot Over the Bow At Snap Bitmoji

Bitmoji, the avatar creation app snapped up by Snapchat in 2016, could be in danger. One of the key reveals at the conference was improvements to Animoji on the iPhone X, with new support for tongue detection and “Memojis” that users can create as cartoon-style representations of themselves. These even work with FaceTime during group conversations.

“I can apply my favorite Animoji, right here, live,” said Apple Messages team manager Kelsey Peterson.



Will Siri Better Compete With Google Home?

The Google Assistant-powered Home device may have outsmarted Siri in analyst Gene Munster’s tests, but Apple isn’t resting on its laurels. The company unveiled changes to Siri that should benefit the iPhone, Apple Watch and HomePod with new “Shortcuts” that enable devices to undertake multiple tasks at once. Users can set a “returning home” routine, for example, that checks the distance to get home and sets the thermostat accordingly.

Google may have just received a big new competitor.

Apple Digital Health Calls Out Facebook

Apple’s focus on digital health could apply to most social networks. Patrycja Slawuta, co-founder of expert collective Self Hackathon, explained to Inverse in September 2016 how these companies thrive off Pavlovian responses, creating habits beneficial to their business. You want to check social media because you might have a notification, right? And why don’t you keep scrolling and see other things you may enjoy? Don’t forget to check again, and look at an ad while you’re here!

Apple’s new features could help break that cycle at the expense of advertisers like Facebook. Its screen time measuring features, bundled into iOS 12, will now ask people to stop using an app after a certain amount of time. Instead, users may find themselves drawn toward speaking with friends over the updated Messages app, requiring less input from the user.

Another big change that could break Facebook’s hold is new privacy features in Safari, which help block cookies that track users on other websites. This is a technique used by the social network to build up broader profiles. Apple’s privacy focus could hamper one of Facebook’s major strategies.

Apple TV Is Taking On Roku

Apple is out to get Roku. While Steve Jobs once famously described the Apple TV as a “hobby,” tvOS 12 brought a slew of updates like Dolby Atmos support and seamless content sign-in procedures.

Almost a third of French households subscribe to the cable provider Canal+, for example, and now users can choose Apple TV as their box. In Switzerland, Apple has partnered with Salt. In the United States, Charter Spectrum will be coming to Apple TV later this year, meaning more than 50 million households can choose an Apple TV as their set-top box.

Quick access on iPhone will mean users can quickly access Apple TV remote from the Control Center, while third parties can also create remotes to interface with the box. That means if you’re not a fan of the touchpad remote, you can switch out for whichever you have closest.

MacOS Mojave Takes Fire At Windows 10

Apple’s next update to the Mac takes direct aim at Microsoft. With Windows 10, released in 2015, the company sought to merge its various computing platforms so developers could write once and run almost anywhere. With macOS Mojave, Apple introduced new tools to enable easier moving of iOS apps from the iPhone to the Mac.

“Inspired by Pro users, but designed for everyone,” CEO Tim Cook said during the keynote speech.

Part of this new push is camera support for Continuity, which means users can add photos into documents by using their iPhone in a snap:

Camera Continuity.


Another big change is support for the UIKit set of developer tools used on the iPhone, set to launch on the Mac in 2019. Apple has laid the groundwork for this release next year by porting Voice Memos, Stocks, Apple News and Home over to the Mac using UIKit tools. The tools could leverage the iPhone’s big advantages in the marketplace with new developer support.

“It’s at the heart of what makes Mac a Mac,” said Apple vice president Craig Federighi.

Beyond UIKit and Continuity, the release contains a number of unique day-to-day features. A dynamic desktop, with the wallpaper slightly changing throughout the day, is joined by a dark mode that changes the user interface elements to make content stand out better on the display.

Read our complete WWDC 2018 Coverage Below

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