Apple to tout Digital Health, augmented-reality features at software conference

Apple is betting big on Augmented Reality with its new operating system iOS 12

Apple is betting big on Augmented Reality with its new operating system iOS 12

In recent years, Mac software has taken a back seat to new features for iPhones and iPads, which makes sense given that those iOS devices generate about two-thirds of Apple revenue. Both Bloomberg and Axios recently reported that Apple's software division wants to focus on performance and reliability issues for iOS 12. But Apple's other platforms - the Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV - have become less attractive to developers, and Apple has the opportunity to turn that around.

Apple's World Wide Developer Conference kicks off next week, but reports claim that those hoping to see some new hardware at the event will be disappointed.

Apple's got a new iOS 11.4.1 update in beta, but the update probably won't be much more than a collection of bug fixes and patches.

Many also expect Apple will more forcefully enter the debate into digital health and questions of what responsibilities it bears to keep people from using their phones too much. Nonetheless, here are a few things we expect Apple to unveil at WWDC 2018.

Apple debuted its ARKit augmented reality tool for app makers previous year, and has since been pushing the iPhone as a powerful device for all kinds of AR trickery.

Additionally, Apple will also likely show off the newest version of its desktop operating system, macOS.

Not much is now known about macOS 10.14-however, Apple is known to be working on a software development framework to bring macOS and iOS applications closer together.

Apple is reported to have delayed more dramatic changes to iOS - an overhaul of the home screen interface, for example, and enhancements to core apps like Mail and Photos - until 2019. The OS is likely to get a new dark theme and a dedicated Apple New app. The new features are unlikely to roll out to users before fall, which is when Apple usually releases its major updates. The latter is becoming especially important as Apple leans more heavily on services - which require more ongoing collaboration than a gadget does - to make its money. A second AR mode allows for "objects to be dropped into an area and virtually remain in place". On its phones, it plans to add more predictive Siri features this year, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.

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