An Apple press release tells us about calls to US emergency services sharing location information when dialled from an iPhone with iOS 12. Apple is using tech from RapidSOS, as well as its own Hybridised Emergency Location tech which estimates location using mobile towers and on-device sources such as GPS and nearby Wi-Fi access points, to deliver potentially life-saving location data to emergency services securely.
Ars Technica’s piece on how ARKit 2 works and what it improves on over the current iteration of ARKit is a layman’s guide to why Apple are investing so heavily in the technology despite no must-have use case and even worse ergonomics when running on an iPhone or iPad. But the things that Apple is doing with AR tech is pretty cool, whether that’s tracking objects in 3D space, better image recognition, or being able to share AR objects between devices with the new USDZ format.
The New York Times reports Apple is planning to close technical loopholes that allow third parties and law enforcement agencies to gain access to the contents of an iPhone without the owner providing a passcode. By disabling the Lightning port after a device has not been unlocked for over a hour, Apple effectively prevents devices like Grayshift’s from accessing the contents, which is a sore blow to every legitimate agency or shady organisation that purchased one.
A 24-minute interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook by David Rubenstein from last month has just been published by Bloomberg Television. The list of topics discussed is familiar, with Cook talking about the usual social topics of privacy, equality, as well as politics and equality, but also reflecting on his education and career path, his relationship with Steve Jobs, and how the Apple Watch is entirely capable of saving lives via near-continuous heart rate detection.
If you haven’t already seen it, the preview page for iOS 12 on Apple’s website is a fantastic overview of the main features coming to the platform later this year. Through liberal use of animations showing how various features will work, the page highlights the major changes to iOS 12, including improvements to performance, notifications, new animoji and memoji, and Screen Time.
While the announcements at WWDC were all about the software, rumours claim this year’s Apple Watch update will make the change to solid-state buttons with haptic feedback. Like the not-really-a-button Home button on the iPhone 7 and 8, replacing the physical click of the side button and the Digital Crown with a haptic feedback will improve water proofing, although Apple is said to be keeping the scrolling motion of the Digital Crown.
The only new hardware Apple released was fresh new colours for some iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands. This year’s summer range (for the Northern Hemisphere, anyway) has a number of brightly-coloured pastels in peach, marine green, and sky blue. Of course, there’s also the new Pride Edition Woven Nylon band, which is available for a limited time at Apple exclusively.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was interviewed by CNN after the WWDC 2018 keynote. Cook discussed his own iPhone usage habits in light of Screen Time, the iOS 12 feature to help manage how much time you spend in various categories of apps, as well as reiterating his stance on privacy as a fundamental human right. Interestingly, despite some interesting choices for screenshots, Cook doesn’t believe pointing the finger at individual companies does anyone any good, but believes we should be working together to make the web better for everyone.
The internet says people are addicted to their smartphones, and if you look around you, you’ll see that there’s a good chance it’s at least partly true. With iOS 12, Apple introduces Screen Time, a set of smart new features to help you manage the time you spend on your phone. A new page within Settings lets you know how much time you’ve spent on certain categories of apps, letting you set time limits for apps and schedule downtime.
It’s the morning before WWDC, which means that there are a lot of posts out there telling us what we should (and shouldn’t!) expect from Apple. Software and stability seems to be the flavour of the month, with Ars Technica saying that Digital Health is likely to play a part in iOS 12, and while we’ll probably also see a new version of macOS previewed at the event, it’s not currently known what that will have in terms of new features. The chances of new hardware are low, but we’ve had a hardware-less WWDC before.