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18 Highlights from WWDC 2018 Keynote

The biggest announcements from Apple’s major developer show

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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

Jen Folse shows new tvOS 12 aerial screensaver features on Apple TV 4K, including aerials shot from space by NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station. | Apple Newsroom

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.

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J.Lo dishes out online dating advice

If you had my love…

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Online dating is hard. Though online dating apps like Tinder make it easier to put yourself out there and meet people, it doesn’t guarantee a happy ending for all the Tinderellas in the world.

This being the case, Tinder decided to help out some of their app users. They brought in none other than timeless dazzling diva singer and dancer Jennifer Lopez to give out tips to a single girl named Brooke.

Watch J.Lo’s amusing advice as they swipe away to find Brooke true love.

Of course, J.Lo’s dating advice came with a little shade aimed at her past experiences. But all in all, it was a successful swiping session.

Do you agree with J.Lo’s tips? What are your Tinder tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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ZOZOSUIT scans your exact body measurements with a smartphone

Have all your clothes custom-made for your size!

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Online shopping is technology’s gift to the modern shopping woman. These days, you can buy anything online! The big problem? You can’t really fit outfits from the internet, and as every girl knows, the fit is everything.

Japanese online fashion retailer ZOZOTOWN is trying to combat this problem with a new clothing brand, ZOZO. How are they different? They offer custom-made fast fashion pieces, and you won’t even need to leave your house to get them. How is it all doable online? It starts with the ZOZOSUIT.

This polka-dotted ensemble allows you to scan your precise measurements with just your smartphone. All you need to do is order the free suit from ZOZO, put it on, position your smartphone on a stable area, and twirl. No really, you just need to turn around slowly as the phone scans your whole body with the free ZOZO app. It then calculates everything and gives you your measurements. Easy peasy!

From this data, you can order clothes from their website that’s custom-fitted to your specific body type. You won’t ever end up with ill-fitting pieces again! It’ll only take around two weeks for them to make and each piece won’t cost you more than US$ 100.

As of now, ZOZO, which is widely popular in Japan, carries basics like crew neck shirts and denim pants, but there are plans to expand this lineup. According to the retailer, business shirts and suits are also coming soon.

ZOZO aims to bring this tech and better-fitting clothes to the world. They’ve just announced that it’s coming to 72 new countries including Australia, Brazil, China, US, and UK.

“The time where people adapt to clothing is over,” according to ZOZO’s chief executive Yusaku Maezawa. “This is a new era where clothes adapt to people.” With the ZOZOSUIT, that definitely sounds like a plan.

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App developers have been reading your emails on Gmail

A common but unnoticed practice

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Image credit: Jay Wennington on Unsplash

When using an app or browsing the internet, privacy is always a concern. After the Facebook Cambridge Analytica fiasco, people have been wary about their private information freely being available online. If you use Gmail, you might want to double check the permissions you give to third-party apps connected to your account.

A report from The Wall Street Journal stated that third-party app developers are able to read the contents of the emails of millions of Gmail users. It’s not a bug though, and you have to give your consent to it.

Gmail’s access settings allow data companies and app developers to view people’s emails and other private details like recipient addresses and timestamps. Don’t blame yourself if you have allowed this because the consent form isn’t exactly clear that it would allow humans — not just computers — to read your supposedly private emails.

Google reached out to The Verge and clarified that it only gives data to selected third-party developers and with users’ explicit content. The verification process of Google checks if a developer’s company is well-represented by its own app. The app’s privacy policy should clearly state that it’ll monitor emails and the requested data should also be used for proper matters.

Image credit: Google

Take third-party email apps as examples. They need access to Gmail to properly work, or else they won’t show any content inside the app. Google said not all requests from developers are granted, but they didn’t specify how many were rejected during the application process. Google themselves may also read your emails in very specific cases.

So before you grant an app access to your Gmail account, think twice. There’s no evidence of any misused data from third-party Gmail add-on developers yet, but you should know that they can read your emails and you’ve permitted them.

SEE ALSO: How to activate the redesigned desktop Gmail

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