WWDC Introduces New iOS 12 and AR Innovations

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The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicks off on stage at the San Jose Convention Centre today with exciting announcements.

With over 20 million Apple developers around the world, and many of them sharing their works through the App Store, Apple wants more people to be involved in the power of code. Swift and Swift Playgrounds, in particular, were created to let users learn how to code, and already thousands of apps have been written in the Swift programming language in the App Store.

Apple believes coding is an essential skill that should be offered at every school. It has benefits such as problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

More on accessibility, Apple aims to continue putting their customers at the centre of everything they do. Their developer community is working hard to provide better experiences expressed through the iOS mobile operating system.

iOS 12, in particular, is the next big release, and Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, announced that all their current customers will get it as a free software update. Federighi reminded the audience about the capabilities of software updates with the iOS 11 as well. For example, it supports devices as far back as 2013. In just seven weeks after the iOS 11 software release, half of their customers upgrade their devices as well. Overall, customer satisfaction for the iOS 11 is at 95 per cent.

The iOS 12 will also be changing the way users see the world using AR, as well as making communication fun with Memoji and Group FaceTime. In addition, the iOS 12 will introduce Siri Shortcuts, which lets Siri work with any app to help Apple users get things done.

“We’re very excited about the new communications features we’re bringing to iPhone and iPad with Memoji, a more personal form of Animoji, fun camera effects and Group FaceTime,” said Federighi.

“With iOS 12, we’re enabling new experiences that weren’t possible before. We’re using advanced algorithms to make AR even more engaging and on-device intelligence to deliver faster ways to get things done using Siri.”

For Apple Developer Program members, the developer preview of iOS 12 is now available at developer.apple.com. Meanwhile, a public beta program will be available at beta.apple.com later this month. iOS 12 will be available this coming fall as free software.

In terms of AR innovations, AR changes the way people have fun and the way they work. Federighi announced that they collaborated with Pixar to create USDZ, a file format created for AR. It would allow users to place 3D objects into the real world.

Adobe users, for example, with the creative cloud, would be able to use the apps they love, like Photoshop, to create AR content. Abhay Parasnis, the executive vice president and chief technology officer at Adobe, said it can bring images, videos and text directly into the AR environment.

The Lego Group is another company that is making innovations in AR. “With ARKit 2, we get to expand those possibilities like never before and take things beyond the physical,” Martin Sanders, the director of innovation at Lego, said.

Since Lego is a starting point for children’s imaginations, 3D object detection technology would allow kids to bring their Lego models to life in digital form. It opens up more creative play possibilities, and Sanders demonstrated the capabilities to a live audience.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Remington Joseph’s article on virtual reality.

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