Apple's smart devices are about to get even smarter

Nichole VegaJun 06, 2018

The next iPhone software, iOS 12, is expected in September following the announcements on new iPhones, for instance.

The photos app will become more dynamic, offering search suggestions such as "hiking" and categorising events by place and time, with a separate "For You" tab offering suggestions for edits or people you may want to share images. In introducing Screen Time at WWDC, Apple used Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, as an example of an app that users could cut back on.

Apple's software upgrades also include features that help users understand how much time they are spending on their devices, amid concerns of growing smartphone addiction. Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi spent a brief time covering what's new for Photos in iOS 12 (at least compared to the amount of time spent talking about new AR features), but don't take that to mean that the app isn't getting some significant updates.

CNET reports the new tools on iOS 12 can be synced across devices, and also allow parents to set limits for kids to help them better manage their children's screen time.

Facebook has said it disagrees with the report but the claims have raised new questions around online data privacy.

The company is also clamping down on a technique called "fingerprinting" which allows advertisers to identify and track individual web users based on the unique way their computer is set up, including the device, operating system and fonts they are using.

Apple says Safari will prevent share buttons and widgets on websites from tracking users without their permission.

Apple, which is known to talk about stress on user privacy and data protection is one of those mentioned in the list.

It's easy to see how both users and developers could use Siri Shortcuts, and the drag-and-drop editor tool that powers it, to build out complex strings of smart home actions.

Users will be able to try out the first Apple-made AR app, the simple and useful Measure, a digital tape measure.

Apple also rolled out group video chat sessions with up to 32 users, putting it in direct competition with companies such as Cisco Systems Inc and Microsoft Corp's Skype.

Shared AR Experiences, Fun New Ways to Communicate and Screen Time Come To iPhone and iPad This Fall. The watch will also automatically detect workouts without having to launch the fitness app. One way it's doing this is with a Screen Time app that'll show you info like how long you've used your phone in a day, which apps you've used, and how often you pick up your iPhone.

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