Apple World Wide Developers Conference 2019: new privacy and map features
Apple has redesigned its Maps app from the ground up, adding ‘significant new detail’ from hundreds of cars and planes outfitted with cameras and lidar, which measures the distance to a target by illuminating the target with a pulsed laser light. It will be rolled out across the US by the end of 2019.
The feature was released at the Apple’s annual developer conference, taking place at a particularly controversial moment for Apple, as the App Store faces new legal challenges in the US and Europe.
Meg Frost, Apple director or product design, said the best aspect of the feature was the ability to view on-the-ground images, then travel street-by-street smoothly, as if following a parade.
Apple also introduced ‘Sign in with Apple’, enabling users to sign in to various apps without using rival programmes — Sign in with Facebook’, ‘Sign in with Google — that share user data to third-party developers.
This gives users the option of hiding their email address and instead be assigned a random email address that will auto-forward to the user’s real email address. “Privacy is a fundamental human right,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice-president of software engineering.
Apple also introduced HomeKit Secure Video for security cameras used at home. Video footage would be uploaded securely, “where no one — not even Apple — will be able to see it,” said Mr Federighi. The product comes as another privacy challenge to Google and specifically its Nest cameras.
Watch and iPad changes
The conference saw a series of additions to the Apple Watch, including menstrual cycle tracking, demonstrated by WatchOS program lead Haley Allen. Apple was criticised when it first launched health without cycle tracking, but the release also drew out sensitivities over the display of the information.
A series of changes to the look, layout and controls of the iPad’s operating system took it several steps closer to what many analysts see as its inevitable merger with the venerable MacOS used on desktops and laptops.
The new iPadOS marks the first time that Apple’s tablet software has diverged substantially from the iPhone’s operating system.
Mac Pro hardware updates
Hardware updates for the Mac Pro earned the applause of developers but delivers a minimal impact on Apple’s business. Video editing and processing capacity was among the upgrades, as well as a cooling system for the hard drive.
More to come