Apple Ups Privacy Controls

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – Apple Inc. (AAPL) will attempt to frustrate tools used by the social network to automatically track web users, within the next version of its iOS and Mac operating systems. Apple announced iOS 12, the latest version of the most advanced mobile operating system. watchOS 5 introduces Walkie-Talkie, new way to communicate with voice and just a tap of the wrist. Apple also previewed tvOS 12, operating system designed for enjoying entertainment on the big screen.

The web browser Safari would ask owners’ permission before allowing the social network to monitor their activity. Apple previewed macOS Mojave, the latest version of desktop operating system.

iOS 12 changes the way iOS users see the world using AR, makes communications fun and expressive with Memoji and Group FaceTime, and with Screen Time. iOS 12 introduces Siri Shortcuts, enabling Siri to work with any app.

In Safari, enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention helps block social media “Like” or “Share” buttons and comment widgets from tracking users without permission. Safari now also presents simplified system information when users browse the web, preventing them from being tracked based on their system configuration.

Safari now also automatically creates, autofills and stores strong passwords when users create new online accounts and flags reused passwords so users can change them.

OS 12 is designed to make everyday tasks on iPhone and iPad faster and more responsive with performance improvements across the system. Camera launches up to 70 percent faster, the keyboard appears up to 50 percent faster and typing is more responsive.

Designed in collaboration with Pixar, a new open file format, usdz, makes it easy to experience AR nearly anywhere in iOS, including apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News, delivering powerful graphics and animation features.

The existing set of Animoji also expands with ghost, koala, tiger and T. rex. All Animoji and Memoji now feature winks and tongue detection to capture even more expressions.

New camera effects bring Animoji, Filters, Text and Stickers to Messages and FaceTime. Filters like comic book and watercolor add personality to photos and videos, new labels and shapes let users add captions and titles to highlight parts of an image, and stickers can be placed using iMessage sticker packs.

FaceTime changed the way the users communicate and share important moments, and now with Group FaceTime, it’s easy to chat with multiple people at the same time. Participants can be added at any time, join later if the conversation is still active and choose to join using video or audio from an iPhone, iPad or Mac – or even participate using FaceTime audio from Apple Watch.

The company said that Siri Shortcuts deliver a new, much faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri. Siri intelligence can suggest an action at just the right time – whether it’s to order a coffee in the morning or start an afternoon workout. Users can customize Shortcuts by creating a simple voice command to kick off the task or download the new Shortcuts app to create a series of actions from different apps that can be carried out with a simple tap or customized voice command.

A new sharing suggestions feature makes it easier to share photos with friends, and friends who receive photos are prompted to share back any photos and videos they have from the same trip or event. Search suggestions surface the most relevant Events, People, Places, Groups, Categories and recent searches, and new search functionality lets users combine multiple search terms to find just the right photos.

New modes in Do Not Disturb automatically end based on a specified time, location or action, and Do Not Disturb during Bedtime helps people get a better night’s sleep by dimming the display and hiding all notifications on the lock screen until prompted in the morning.

To help reduce interruptions, iOS 12 gives users more options for controlling how notifications are delivered. They can instantly manage notifications to be delivered quietly or turned off completely. Grouped notifications make it easier to view and manage multiple notifications at once.

Apple Books is redesigned to make it easier to discover and enjoy books and audiobooks, and the Book Store tab makes it easy to explore new titles and browse the top charts, curated collections and special offers.

Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics or jump straight to favorites, and on iPad, a new sidebar makes navigation even simpler.

CarPlay adds support for third-party navigation apps displayed right on the car’s dash – joining music, messaging, calling and automaker apps.

Voice Memos is now available on iPad and adds iCloud support to sync recordings and edits across devices. A new design makes it easier to capture, share and edit recordings.

Siri translation expands to more than 40 language pairs and brings more knowledge of sports, celebrities, food and nutrition. Siri can also surface favorite photos by person, place, event, time and topic.

Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch adds support for student ID cards, making it more convenient to access everything on campus.

The developer preview of iOS 12 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today, and a public beta program will be available to iOS users later this month at beta.apple.com. iOS 12 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad 6th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and iPod touch 6th generation.

Screen Time creates detailed daily and weekly Activity Reports that show the total time a person spends in each app they use, their usage across categories of apps, how many notifications they receive and how often they pick up their iPhone or iPad.

The App Limits feature allows people to set a specific amount of time to be in an app, and a notification will display when a time limit is about to expire.

Screen Time also gives parents the ability to schedule a block of time to limit when their child’s iOS device can’t be used, such as at bedtime. During Downtime, notifications from apps won’t be displayed, and a badge will appear on apps to indicate they are not allowed to be used. Parents can choose specific apps like Phone or Books that will always be available, even during downtime or after a limit is spent.

Separately, Apple said it previewed watchOS 5, a significant update to watch, helping users stay healthy and connected. Apple Watch becomes an even stronger companion for fitness, communication and quick access to information with a host of new features including Activity Sharing competitions, auto-workout detection, advanced running features, Walkie-Talkie, Apple Podcasts and third-party apps on the Siri watch face.

For the most popular workouts on Apple Watch, auto-workout detection provides an alert to start the correct workout and gives retroactive credit. This feature also offers a reminder to end workout sessions after a period of inactivity if the user forgets.

watchOS 5 introduces Walkie-Talkie, an entirely new way to communicate with voice and just a tap of the wrist. A fun and easy way to quickly get in touch with friends and family, this new watch-to-watch connection is fast, personal and can be activated between any compatible Apple Watch users around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular.

Apple also released a new watch face to celebrate Pride, which Apple Watch users can download from the Face Gallery in the Apple Watch app.

watchOS 5 will be available this fall as a free update for AppleWatch Series 1 and later and requires iPhone 5s or later on iOS 12. watchOS 5 will not be available on the original Apple Watch. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions.

The new Pride Edition Woven Nylon band is available today on apple.com and will be available later this week at Apple Stores in the US and over 35 countries and regions, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and the UK. The Pride Edition Woven Nylon band is $49.

Meanwhile, Apple also previewed tvOS 12, operating system designed for enjoying entertainment on the big screen, which takes the cinematic experience of Apple TV 4K to the next level with support for Dolby Atmos audio, convenient new features to easily access the shows and movies you love and breathtaking aerials shot from space.

Apple announced that Charter Communications, the second-largest cable operator in the US, will begin offering Apple TV 4K to their customers. Later this year, customers in nearly 50 million households will have access to live channels and tens of thousands of on-demand programs via an all-new Spectrum TV app on their Apple TV 4K, iPhone and iPad, seamlessly integrated with Siri and the Apple TV App.

In addition, as part of this collaboration, Charter will be offering iPhone and iPad to customers as they grow their mobile presence. Charter joins AT&T’s DirecTV Now in the US, CANAL+ in France and Salt in Switzerland, which have begun offering their customers Apple TV 4K with their services.

Single sign-on for Apple TV and iOS has allowed users to sign in once to get access to all the video apps available through their cable subscription. With tvOS 12, Apple further simplifies the authentication process with zero sign-on. Apple TV simply detects the user’s broadband network and automatically signs them in to all the supported apps they receive through their subscription – no typing required. Zero sign-on begins with Charter later this year and will expand to other providers over time.

The new tvOS will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV 4th generation.

Apple previewed macOS Mojave, the latest version of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system. Familiar iOS apps, including News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home, are now available on the Mac for the first time. FaceTime now adds support for group calling, and the Mac App Store gets a full redesign featuring rich editorial content and the addition of apps from top developers, including Microsoft, Adobe and others.

The News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home apps were brought to Mac using iOS frameworks that have been adapted to macOS. Starting in late 2019, these additional frameworks will make it easier for developers to bring their iOS apps to macOS – providing new opportunities for developers and creating more apps for Mac users to enjoy.

AAPL closed Monday’s regular trading at $191.83, up $1.59 or 0.84%. In the after-hours trading, the stock further gained $0.52 or 0.27%.

This article provided by NewsEdge.