Inching closer to its massive Fall rollout, Apple released the second developer beta of all of its four operating systems. Of course, most of the new features have already been revealed at WWDC earlier this month so there are few surprises here, if any. That said, it’s still reassuring to see those promised features come to life and hopefully remain there as developers help hunt bugs and iron out the kinks.
macOS 10.14 Mojave
Some Apple fans may feel that the company is focused too much on the iOS ecosystem, but macOS 10.14 Mojave tries to reassure them of Apple’s commitment. There is, for example, the new Dark Mode and dynamically changing wallpapers that try to give your eyes some reprieve, depending on the time of day. Mojave also makes it easier to find and organize your files by introducing Stacks desktop organization and adding a Gallery View and a Sidebar to Finder.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of macOS 10.14 is the foundation that Apple is laying for running iOS apps on the desktop. Stock apps like News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home have been updated to work this way in the future.
Another often neglected Apple platform is tvOS but it showed at WWDC that it was still in the running with more than 20 new features coming. The biggest one is the long-delayed Dolby Atmos surround sound support. Together with this, all 4K iTunes content are promised to be upgraded to support the feature free of charge.
tvOS 12 will also bring a host of conveniences, like the new Zero Sign-On. The successor to Single Sign-On, this feature will automatically use your location, local network connection, and others to automatically sign you into your apps. The QuickType keyboard will also give access to passwords stored on a connected iOS 12 device.
The upcoming watchOS 5 update is one of the most talked about because of one feature: the walkie talkie app. That is finally available on the Apple Watch with the latest beta, adding push-to-talk communication with selected contacts. The app also adds a small icon at the top of the watch if Walkie Talkie conversation is enabled with a contact.
Of course, that’s not the only thing that watchOS 5 brings to the table. There’s also the new third-party Siri watch faces, with Nike being first in line unsurprisingly. And speaking of Siri, you can now also simply raise your wrist to call it up.
Last but definitely not the least, iOS 12 will be bringing in a lot of new features across the board, ranging from the whimsical to the serious. For the former, you have Memojis that try to create your virtual likeness. For the latter, you have a variety of health-related tools like Screen Time for monitoring and limiting your use of your iOS device. Screen Time’s interface has been revamped in this second beta to show you your activity on a per device basis and to give you more info about an app with a single tap.
iOS 12 also improves your mental health by finally grouping notifications by app and offering more control over them. In beta 2, you can let Siri make suggestions about limiting notifications from apps you don’t often use or just keep the assistant silent.