As expected, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) didn't include any hardware announcements. But there were plenty of updates when it came to software. First and foremost, the company gave the world a glimpse of iOS 12, MacOS Mojave, WatchOS 5, and the latest version of tvOS. But there were some other notable announcements, including improved mobile notifications, a dark mode for Mac, and more.
If you didn't tune into Apple's live stream of WWDC18, here are the top three top announcements you won't want to miss.
Dark Mode for Mac
A major new feature for the latest Mac operating system, MacOS Mojave, was Dark Mode. The feature gives Mac users a darkened color scheme that helps put the focus on content. Taking Dark Mode beyond its operating system and its built-in Mac apps, Apple released a Dark Mode application programming interface (API) for developers, enabling them to implement Dark Mode in their apps.
Apple similarly developed a feature called Dynamic Desktop, which automatically changes the desktop picture to reflect the time of day.
With iOS 12, Apple aimed to give users more control over how they interact with their phone, as well as tools to help users manage screen time.
Central to these new features are more options for controlling how notifications are delivered. iOS 12 makes it possible for users to instantly manage notifications by either turning them off or delivering them directly to the Notification Center. In addition, Siri will make suggestions for how to manage notifications, based on how a phone is used. Furthermore, Apple also introduced a way for notifications to be grouped together, "making it easier to view and manage multiple notifications at once."
Apple also announced a new app called Screen Time, which gives users "insight and control" into how they spend their time on Apple's mobile devices, explained Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. With detailed reports on users' activity, customers can see information on the apps and websites they spend their time on, how often they pick up their mobile devices, how notifications are received, and more.
Over a year ago, Apple tried to simplify the experience of watching content from different providers on Apple TV by launching its TV app, an app Apple asserted would bring all digital content from across different Apple TV apps all to one place. But some friction in the user experience across TV providers has persisted when it comes to the process used for logging in to providers' content.
With the latest version of tvOS, Apple said it solves this friction with a process called "zero sign-on."
"Apple TV simply detects the user's broadband network and automatically signs them in to all the supported apps they receive through their subscription -- no typing required," Apple explains in its press release about the new feature.
But Apple TV customers shouldn't get too excited about a simplified sign-in process yet. Apple's zero sign-on feature will initially only be available with Charter later this year, coming to other providers "over time," Apple said.
Other notable features Apple debuted on Monday include a redesigned App Store for Mac and the launch of Apple's News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home apps -- all apps that were previously only available iOS and WatchOS -- on Mac for the first time.
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