May 22, 2019

Apple’s OS Updates on Their Way

The San Jose McEnery Convention Center plaza outside the  WWDC. (Wikimedia commons, CC0)

For Apple enthusiasts, September means two exciting events: Apple’s annual announcement (September 12 ) and OS (operating system) updates.

While speculations abound on the internet, details for the OS updates have already been announced at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Updates include iOS 12, MacOS Mojave, watchOS 5 and tvOS 12, with each update improving general performance and adding more features.

iOS 12, along with performance improvements brings new features, such as Memoji and Measure. Memoji allows the creation of personal emoji, and Measure is a new app that performs IRL measurements using augmented reality (AR). FaceTime has received a major overhaul, allowing users to FaceTime up to 32 people at once. ARKit 2 allows the ability to have multiple people see and interact with the same AR interface. Other more minor updates have been added to photos, Siri, Stocks, News, iBooks and Voice memos.

MacOS Mojave brings Dark Mode, Stacks and a revamped App Store. Dark mode is just as it sounds: it allows Mac users to use a dark theme, making working in places with low light easier on the eyes. Along with Dark Mode comes dynamic desktop backgrounds, which change to match the time of the day. Stacks is a feature that automatically sorts desktop files into “stacks,” with stacks such as photos, documents, presentations and spreadsheets. 

watchOS 5 adds a number of minor additions, such as activity competitions with friends, automatic workout detection, pacing for runners, the addition of Apple Podcasts, the addition of a simple type of phone called Walkie-Talkie, Siri and Notifications upgrades and registration of student ID cards.

tvOS 12 introduces support for Dolby Atmos, a surround sound technology, as well as other minor conveniences, such as password autofill and the addition of Apple TV Remote to the Control Center on iPhones and iPads.

Although the OS updates’ betas are out and stable, there’s no real point in registering for them anymore: the estimated date for all the completed OS updates to go live is around the September 12 event.