What to expect at Monday's Apple event

Apple is expected to launch an exciting new iPhone feature to address a problem it helped create: phone addiction....

Posted: Jun 3, 2018 8:09 PM
Updated: Jun 3, 2018 8:09 PM

Apple is expected to launch an exciting new iPhone feature to address a problem it helped create: phone addiction.

CEO Tim Cook will announce the company's latest software updates and roadmap for the future on Monday at the Apple's annual developer conference in San Jose. WWDC is a software-focused event for developers, and this year Apple isn't expected to make any major hardware announcements.

Here is a little of what you can expect from the keynote address. It begins Monday morning at 10 a.m. PT or 1 p.m. ET. Apple will livestream the press event on this site, so you can watch it on the phone you're totally not addicted to.

Operating system updates

This is the event where Apple previews the next major updates to its iPhone, Mac, Apple TV and Watch software at WWDC. The operating systems themselves won't be available to the general public until the Fall, but Apple does have an earlier public beta program for eager iPhone, iPad and Mac users. It's also not a full picture of what will eventually come to your devices. The company saves a few surprises for its September press event, when it also announces new iPhones.

On Monday, expect a peek at iOS 12, tvOS 12, watchOS 5 and macOS 10.14, which will be named after a random California tourist spot.

Tools for cutting down on phone use

Apple is expected to debut tools to help people stare at their phones less, and their loved ones and sunsets more. According to a recent Bloomberg report, the new "Digital Health" features will appear in iOS 12 settings. New additions could include a way to track and set limits for time spent on certain apps.

Related: Apple tries to help parents with screen-time concerns

These features have been expected for months. In January, two major shareholders wrote a letter to Apple asking the company to add more parental controls and to study the impact of excessive iPhone usage on mental health. At the time, Apple said it was working on "new features and enhancements" to address the concerns, and in March it added a new webpage to educate parents about existing controls.

Google unveiled similar Android tools at its developer conference last month. Its approach includes fading the screen to gray before bed, a dashboard that shows how much time you've spent on the phone, and a "shush" mode that silences calls and notifications when a phone is face down.

More iOS updates

iOS is Apple's most used, and most lucrative, operating system, so it tends to get the biggest chunk of time during these press events. In addition to the tools so you use the phone less, Apple is expected to announce new feature to draw you right back in.

Apple has been going all in on augmented reality, and it could debut new advancements. According to a Reuters report, Apple will add a way for multiple iPhone users to view the same augmented reality scenes and objects in the same room.

Also look for iOS performance improvements, more ways to use NFC technology, some redesigned basic apps like Stocks, and most importantly, Animoji news.

Siri could use some good news

Apple's Siri voice assistant avoids a lot of the splashy headlines about privacy issues that Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant seem to generate. Part of that is likely because Siri's technology has fallen behind and it isn't used as much as an always-listening tool.

Related: Apple posts record $88 billion in sales, but iPhone concerns loom

After a tepid reception for its HomePod smart speaker, Apple has been working to fix Siri. In April, it poached a top Google executive to lead its machine learning and AI efforts. It may be too soon for any big changes, but Apple could preview the Siri improvements it hopes to make.

iPhone apps on a Mac

The iOS App Store has been a huge money maker for Apple, and for its developers. The company wants to spread more of that warm glow to its computers with a new feature that lets iPhone apps run on Macs, according to Bloomberg.

Current events, with your host Tim Cook

Over the years, Cook has occasionally taken a moment at the start of his big press events to address topics in the news, like the shooting in Orlando. Given that there are so many things happening every moment these days, there's no obvious subject for him to dig into. Still, there's a chance he could mention immigration, gun control, or just wish everyone a happy Pride month.

It wouldn't just be the CEO speaking from his heart. If limited product announcements are scheduled, Cook could drum up more coverage around the event with any newsworthy comments.

Light privacy bragging

Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal and the roll-out of strict new GDPR privacy laws in the EU have finally managed to get consumers thinking about privacy. The privacy uproar is also good timing for Apple, as it distracted people from its own scandal over slowing down phones with older batteries to prevent sudden shutdowns.

Unlike Facebook and Google, Apple's business doesn't depend on gathering data to sell ads (though it does collect user data for ads in places like the App Store). Apple is in a unique position to toot its own horn. On Monday, it could include some mentions of its own privacy policies and practices, and digs at other companies without naming names.

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