WWDC 2018 outtakes

4 minutes estimated reading time

Introduction to WWDC 2018

This summary of the WWDC 2018 keynote has been re-organised to try and provide a bit more coherence as Apple took things in a slightly different order to try and create ‘surprise and delight‘.
WWDC 2018 highlighted how cross-platform they’ve evolved Continuity and Siri to try and make them more useful (if, not smarter). All fo the changes outlined at WWDC 2018 represent a slow and steady progression to a more programmatic world.
I’ve made some notes in green that are designed to flag points of interest to marketers and advertising folk. 

App Store

  • 10 years old (and the app store search is still not where it should be)
  • World’s largest app marketplace
  • 500 million weekly visitors (might be due to moving away from iTunes for app updates)
  • $100,000,000 developer revenues to date


  • 350,000 apps coded in it (no measure of the variable quality though)

iOS 12

  • Focus on system optimisation
  • Faster app and function launches
  • They haven’t dropped any devices previously supported by iOS 11; a nod to longer device lives

AR Kit – v 2

  • Adobe Creative Cloud support
  • USDZ format support throughout the system including News app
  • Multi-player AR experiences (demoed with Lego). Attribute digital assets to a physical object – interesting execution

Measure – digital tape measure

  • Facilitated by MEMs, presumably the software technology comes out of AR work. Handy hack, I could have used this when I was eBaying stuff. I could see it being nice for things like home furnishings retailers and clothing e-commerce


Search suggestions – tries to predict what you want
  • Searches EXIF data for locations, events etc
  • For you function is a bit like Facebook memories
  • Photo sharing – recommended what to share and who to share them with. If its going to another iPhone user it prompts the recipient to share photos that they may have taken. Implications for social photo sharing apps
  • Full resolution over Messages


  • Shortcuts to any app. It reminds me a little bit of Apple Script. Allows you to build multi-app behaviours – drag-and-drop
  • Suggestions based on app usage, calendar, locations
  • Possible implications for app usage – content opportunities to suggest ‘Shortcut workflows’ to build. Poses a bit of a thread for IFTTT’s smarthome ambitions
Default iOS apps
  • Better charts
  • Native iPad and Mac version
  • Integration of Apple news in Stocks
Voice Memos
  • iPad and Mac native version
  • iCloud support
iBooks renamed to Apple Books
  • Redesigned
Car Play
  • Supports third party navigation apps presumably to try and reduce iPhone to Android migration
Efforts to limit mobile distraction
  • Do Not Disturb – improved view without notifications during bed time
  • Can be triggered from calendar or location (meetings, going to the cinema)
Notifications – huge pain point addressed, particularly with people used to Android devices
  • Notifications ‘tuning’ – so that you can only see the notifications from apps you care about
  • Grouped notifications: app, topic and thread
  • Tracks device usage for the user
Child app usage
  • Child locks on mobile device usage


  • Group FaceTime supporting up to 32 participants. Shows the speaker by making their tile bigger. Challenges to Skype, WhatsApp
  • Integration into Messages, so you can go from group message to Group FaceTime

watchOS 5

  • Walkie Talkie – push-to-talk app – watch-to-watch. Surely it would make sense on iOS and macOS as well?
  • Web content on watchOS via WebKit


  • AppleTV 4K to support Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision certified
  • AppleTV as cable set-top box for (Salt in Switzerland, Canal+ in France, Charter Spectrum). OTT on iPhone and iPad as well. If cable companies move to just being media content aggregators, how will this affect DOCSIS and FTTH roll out?
  • Zero-sign on for content when part of a cable TV offering
  • 3rd party remotes will work with AppleTV

macOS – Mojave

  • Dark Mode – dark skin of OS. Nice level of integration and easier to work with during the evening, but not exactly ground-breaking
  • Desktop stacks – arrange by date, kind or tag
  • Contextual quick actions in Finder – can include Automator actions
  • Screen capture for video should make presentations a lot easier
  • Dev tools to make it easier to move iOS apps to the Mac framework – used this time on Apple default apps, Apple will roll out to developers in 2019
  • Beefing up security including app permissions to cover your mail database, camera and microphone use
  • Shutting down tracking on likes, shares and comments. Strong focus on attacking ‘Fingerprinting’ – making it harder to track – Macs will be harder to distinguish from one and other (its also in iOS 12). Only providing basic web fonts as data, no data on legacy plug-ins and cutting back on app set-ups
  • Favicons in tabs (this annoyed the bejesus out of me, its a small thing but I am glad to see it)

App Store

  • Revamped App store allows more content to market your app and improve usage / engagements. Opportunities for in-appstore content marketing (demo videos, ongoing articles with tips etc)
  • Ratings and review API (which will likely be a bit annoying). This will provide an incremental benefit for app marketers
  • Microsoft Office and BBEdit will be in the Mac app store – huge boost for the credibility of the Mac App Store
Machine learning
  • CreateML – trying to make machine learning training easier for apps
  • CoreML 2 – Improved machine learning performance using batch predictions
More related content here. More details for Apple developers here.