Apple Revealed Walkie-Talkie for Apple Watch, Memoji for iOS, Dark Mode for macOS and Group FaceTime at WWDC 2018
In the movie Forest Gump, a key line of the movie is when Gump, played by Tom Hanks, says: Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Well, that pretty much summed up Apple's WWDC 2018 Keynote. No one is going to like the entire keynote, but you're likely to find a few gems along the way coming to iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.
The full keynote is presented below for your convenience. Throughout this report I'll point you to key starting times of segments of the keynote so that you could see specific product highlights faster.
One of the fun new features coming to iOS is called "Memoji," as highlighted in the graphic below.
Apple has been working on this app for many years. The first published patent application surfaced in 2011. Others surfaced in 2012 with a couple of updates last year (one and two).
Apple fans didn't want anything to do with "Avatars," as these patent reports fell on deaf ears each and every time. So it was most interesting to see that Apple found a way to re-imagine them as "Memoji."
This part of the keynote to create a custom Memoji starts around the 54:20 mark of the video above.
In fact this was brilliant re-engineering from their marketing department. This part of the iOS keynote demo was actually very good as it was later extended through to "Group FaceTime."
In and around the 1:01:34 point we see that Group FaceTime could also be done as characters Animoji or Memoji which was actually funny. Cook comes into one part as a Memoji at around the 1:01:43 mark of the keynote video at the top of our report.
Group FaceTime is done in an interesting way. As one in your group is talking / sharing, their stream is highlighted by being enlarged as you can see in the graphic above. Group FaceTime begins at 57:59 of the keynote.
Apple began describing the use of a personal transmitter system or walkie-talkie like technology back in 2011. Apple was granted a patent for this kind of walkie-talkie technology in 2014 at the same time as wining another patent for Avatar creation, now Memoji.
The Walkie-Talkie app was introduced as part of Apple Watch OS 5 in and around the 1:11:30 mark starting with a short video.
Next Shift Coming to Apple TV
Last month Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple TV is Entering the Pay-TV world with Canal+ in France." The new service was about customers with a TV 4K box, would be able to access their channel lineups, including including a lineup of 4K and HDR content, as well as access Apple's App Store, Apple Music, Siri voice recognition, and other features."
At the end of that report I noted: "Timed so closely to Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, the question becomes: Is this a one-time project or is this an Apple pilot project for a future service coming to other cable companies?
The answer to that question was delivered around the 1:28:25 mark of the Keynote where we're told how cable companies are fundamentally shifting. This is where the Apple TV + Canal Plus deal was reintroduced, and yes, this kind of bundling service is coming to other cable companies. It's coming to Switzerland via Salt and in the US via Charter Spectrum.
This is a big deal. And yet, it still wasn't time for Apple to introduce any part of their new Apple Worldwide video division / future service in any way shape or form. We're still in the dark if this is a Fall 2018 service or one rolling out when 5G rolls out.
Considering that Mobile TV is likely to be a part of this new service, if not the driving force behind it, the timing may be pushed out a little longer until the whole package can be cemented.
One last point on Apple TV is that Dolby Atmos will be coming to Apple TV.
On the Rumored macOS + iOS Merger
The never ending question of whether macOS will ever merge with iOS was answered emphatically by Apple's SVP Software Craig Federighi during the keynote. The graphic below says it all.
Point of Interest: bout the macOS branding rumor. An odd rumor surfaced from MacRumors back in late May about a thought-to-be shell company of Apple's who had filed for a new series of possible macOS brand names way back in 2014. I noted in that report that there was always a chance that MacRumors had been tipped off about this.
Well, it's obvious now that another insider at Apple leaked that connection to MacRumors because there wasn't a chance in hell for anyone to have "accidentally" stumbled on this connection to Apple. However MacRumors got it, it was correct.
Point of Interest: Apple's Metal support for External GPU's was another fascinating segment of the keynote from Federighi and that Segment begins around the 2:00:16 mark of the keynote if you want to check it out. The graphics of a video game shot in the woods starting at around the 2:00:57 was truly fantastic. If you're a gamer, check it out.
Point of Interest: Lastly, something every iPhone user wants to hear was first and foremost: iOS 12 will be a speed demon.
For more, check out the rich details about what's coming to all of Apple's Operating Systems this Fall:
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