Today’s two and a half hour long Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote was jam packed with announcements that give us a taste of what using an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac will be like in the year to come.
Here are all the highlights condensed into 18 bitesized bits.
1. New Animoji can do more
Apple adds four new Animoji characters to iOS 12: ghost, koala, tiger, and T-rex. But the fun doesn’t stop there, all 20 Animoji can now detect winks and tongue movement, so if you stick out your tongue, your Animoji will do so too!
2. Me, me, MeMoji
If that’s not enough, you can also turn yourself into your own Animoji character. They call it MeMoji, and from what we’ve seen, it’s much better than Samsung’s own AR Emoji attempt on the Galaxy S9. You get plenty of customization options to ensure that it creates a close cartoony match.
3. Shortcut me Siri!
Siri may not necessarily be getting smarter, but is definitely getting more useful. With something called Siri shortcuts, you can create your own voice commands for Siri to carry out tasks. For example, you can say, “I’m coming home” and Siri will then proceed to turn on your air conditioning at home, turn on navigation, and launch Audible so you can listen to a book on the commute home.
4. FaceTime Calls, the more the merrier
Ever wished you could group FaceTime? On iOS 12, you’ll be able to do just that, from two people all the way up to 32. When several people are on a call, the interface looks rather quirky, with several floating boxes with faces. When someone speaks, his or her box becomes the biggest one on the screen. Of course, all your friends will need to own an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to join in on the fun.
5. Google Maps on CarPlay
If Apple Maps is not your navigation app of choice, that’s okay. CarPlay now supports third-party apps like Google Maps and Waze.
6. More or less screen time?
Looks like the effort to strike a balance between using our devices and enjoying the real world is an industry shift. After Google talked about Digital Wellbeing features in Android P at Google I/O last month, Apple is doing the same here at WWDC with what it calls ScreenTime.
Activity Reports lets you monitor how much time you spend on apps, and then sets limits if you feel like you’re on Instagram too much, for example. It’ll warn you as you get close to the allowed time, and when your time is up, it locks you out. You have full control and can get back in with a few clicks but the added steps is supposed to help you learn the discipline of stepping away form big attention-sucking black holes.
The feature isn’t just for adults, but also a great way for parents to understand where their children spend the most time. The app lets parents monitor their children’s app usage, and gives them the ability to assigning limits also.
New Do Not Disturb features also help get notifications under control and out of the way.
7. LEGO like never before
Apple’s been working on developments to its augmented reality platform and to showcase this, they are shipping an app called Measure that can measure objects in the real world. There’s also a new LEGO app that lets you play with physical sets and merge them with digital sets and characters. And finally, there’s a game called Swift Shot, the first multiplayer AR game of its kind.
8. Walkie Talkie
Apple Watch gets a whole bunch of updates including a new WalkieTalkie app.
9. Wear it with Pride
As a bonus, Apple is bringing back the Pride watch band with an updated design. This new limited edition strap is available starting today and it matches the Pride watch face that just rolled out to celebrate Pride month.
10. WebKit Integration
Apple Watch gets WebKit integration, meaning you can now read full emails and web pages from your watch.
11. Surround me with sound
Apple TV 4K now supports Dolby Atmos (apart from Dolby Vision) so you get can get surround sound audio in your home with supported sound bars. Existing content will be updated and you get free updates for movies you already own.
12. Breathtaking views from outer space
Apple TV owners have become fond of aerial flyovers over scenic spots. Have you ever wondered where those places were? I have, and now with a short press on your remote, you can find out. There are also new aerials featuring the earth shot from the international Space Station. Stunning!
13. The next version of macOS will be called…
The cat’s out of the bag, and nope it’s not a cat. The next version of macOS will be called Mojave, named after the Mojave Desert in California.
14. A taste of the dark side
To give the new operating system a fresh look, macOS Mojave will come with an optional, high-contrast dark mode that should make it easier to focus on your content.
15. De-clutter your desktop
If you’re like me and have a desktop that’s peppered with icons everywhere, you’ll like a new feature called Stacks, that as its name implies stacks similar apps on top of each other on the home screen. You can sort by file type, date, or tags you assign. Speaking of desktop, there’s a new Mojave Desert wallpaper that changes to match the time of day.
16. No, you can’t Facebook
Privacy is a big issue in today’s world and in a subtle jab at Facebook, Apple says macOS will shut down apps and services that track your activity. Safari will now alert users for their permission whenever Facebook attempts to track a user’s online activity.
17. iOS apps on macOS
Many have asked if Apple was merging iOS and macOS at some point, and the answer is a resounding No. But it is working on helping developers bring iOS apps to the Mac starting with their own apps, News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home.
18. Redesigned App Store
Speaking of apps, there’s a redesigned Mac App Store that’s aimed at making it easier to find new apps. The new desktop App Store will follow the lead of the new iOS App Store, with editorial content that will highlight the best apps the store has to offer, like Microsoft Office 365 which is coming to the App Store real soon.
5 accredited Airbnbs you can book in Boracay
Life is always better at the beach
Boracay is one of the Philippines’ most beautiful islands. Every tourist dreams of seeing its majestic sunsets and enjoy its heavenly white sands.
After Boracay’s rehabilitation in 2018, the Department of Tourism of the Philippines has limited the number of tourists arriving in the island, hence, every traveler must present proof of booking from an accredited accommodation.
Most Airbnbs in Boracay aren’t accredited yet. Thus, we prepared a list so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.
Bianca’s Garden Apartment
If you’re looking for a safe haven away from the crowd, then you should stay at Bianca’s Garden Apartment! Located at the quiet side of Station 3, the apartment is situated on a peaceful hilltop side of Boracay. Despite being situated at a distance from the popular tourist attractions, it’s still just a few minutes away from the center.
Tropicana Ocean Villa
Families can enjoy this entire villa by Tropicana Oceana. It’s a home perched gracefully on a slope, offering a beautiful and panoramic view. In addition, it’s situated in Din-i-wid beach, ensuring a serene and relaxed atmosphere away from the typical Boracay buzz.
Apartment 3, Sheridan Villas
For those looking for a homey place, Apartment 3 in Sheridan Villas is the place to go. It’s suitable for groups, and it’s also just a few minutes away from the white beach area in Station 3. Furthermore, you can bring your friends and families to nearby restaurants and eat to your heart’s content.
Bamboo Bungalows Rest House
Bamboo Bungalows screams tropical and nature, adorned with a little bit of sleek and contemporary. Located at Station 2, this place might be ideal for couples wanting an oasis surrounded by lush greenery, but it’s also great for solo travelers seeking tranquility. Nonetheless, Bamboo Bungalows are best for those who want to take a retreat whilst still near all the adventures Boracay has to offer.
Marrakesh Resort: Ocean View with Balcony
Located at the picturesque Station 1, Marrakesh Resort offers a stunning view of the beach and breathtaking sunsets. It also lets you experience Morocco through its themed rooms, restaurants, and bar serving Mezze and delicious cocktails. Enjoy a romantic getaway in one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
Friends is leaving Netflix for HBO Max
This is a huge blow to Netflix
Friends is officially leaving Netflix. Earlier this year, there were rumors that Netflix will lose Friends. It was officially confirmed when WarnerMedia — who owns Friends’ distribution rights — launched HBO Max as the new home for the well-loved TV series.
Along with Friends, titles such as Pretty Little Liars, Batwoman, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air will be streamed when HBO Max launches in spring of 2020. The streaming service is positioning itself to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu.
The show won’t depart the streaming giant until later this year so you and your friends can still binge-watch until then. On the other hand, Netflix might take a huge blow from this since Friends is one of the most watched shows, according to research by Jumpshot.
More and more companies are capitalizing on video-streaming apps and services with paid video offerings. On a larger scale, this isn’t just a problem for Netflix but for the whole industry as well. Users might find it expensive to maintain multiple subscriptions and might resort to piracy instead. Sure as hell, we won’t pay three different subscriptions just to watch my favorite shows.
More than 1,000 Android apps are mining your data
They can bypass your restrictions
The world knows what you did last summer. Well, more than a thousand Android apps do, to be precise. A group of researchers have recently discovered the shadier ways of the Android ecosystem. According to a short report, several Android apps can bypass certain permission restrictions imposed by the user. The discovery reemphasizes the need for a crackdown on data collection.
Of course, excessive data collection has always terrorized the digital world. Software companies continuously find ways to extract data from us. As consumers, we can only restrict app permissions to combat malicious apps. For the most part, permissions can ward away the more rudimentary data collection method. For example, a selfie app absolutely has no need for access to your messages. A simple restriction can ideally stop this.
The latest findings reveal the futility of app permissions. Using a variety of methods, apps can still collect data, bypassing the imposed restrictions. Notably, most examples use readily available data on your device outside of the restrictions. For example, a restricted app can tap into an allowed app’s database to extract data. Baidu’s Hong Kong Disneyland app, for one, can access other Baidu apps with the right permissions. These allowed apps can store vital data on your internal storage, waiting for other apps to extract it.
Another example sends seemingly innocuous data hiding important information. Shutterfly, a photo management app, can sneakily bypass geolocation restrictions. Normally, users can restrict the app from sending geolocation data. If restricted, Shutterfly will instead send photos to its server. The server then extracts the photo’s EXIF or metadata to mine the same geolocation data it was restricted from.
These are just some examples presented by the short report. In August, the researchers will reveal more methods and examples including the full list of 1,325 apps. Additionally, Google has already promised to patch these exploits out in Android Q.
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