Some Apple WWDC Highlights; Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Launch In August; Microsoft Buys GitHub

Apple’s keynote at the World Wide Developers Conference was a bit of a marathon, going on for over 2 hours. While I kept wondering if Steve Jobs would have made them keep it to an hour and 15 minutes, here are a few high points: for coolness, the ‘wow’ award goes to the new Animoji….and specifically a new feature Apple has dubbed ‘Memoji.’ It allows you to build your own animoji of yourself and send it in iMessage. They seem to have a massive variety of skin tone, face shape, hair color and style, eye color, and accessories like glasses, hats, etc. People will go nuts with this feature, I’m thinking.

iOS 12 will bring a performance boost to older devices, and there are some pretty spectacular AR abilities that were demoed….including a cool app using Legos. Photos search picks up better object and scene recognition.

Siri is getting Shortcuts. These are quick actions like ‘I lost my keys’ that Siri can then help with….another example was texting meeting attendees that you will be late. In addition to stock Shortcuts, an app lets you make your own using drag and drop.

Something for mobile device addicts and especially for kids….Apple has beefed up Do Not Disturb to work outside of just bedtime. You can also fine tune all notifications to cut down on the number of the things that pop up.

Something called Screen Time gives people and idea about how much they use (or over use) their phone. Parents can even set up to report child use on a main device.

FaceTime has added Group Chat for up to 30.

One feature a lot of people will be happy to hear about tis that Apple’s Car Play will now play nice with Google Maps.

Apple Watch got a new Pride band and watch face…available today, but also Watch OS 5 picks up automatic workout detection and a walkie-talkie feature. It also adds yoga! as a workout.

The next iteration of MacOS is called Mojave. It includes a much wanted Dark Mode, and also enhanced privacy, and Desktop Stacks, that group things automatically by date, type, or tag…then kind of unfurl with a click. Finder has a new Gallery View to preview images, video, pdf’s, etc. The App Store has gotten a fresh coat of paint. Safari has Intelligent Tracking Prevention to stop social media ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons, and makes it harder for advertisers to track you online.

While Apple is putting on their big show, word is out that Samsung’s delayed Galaxy Note 9 should get here in early August. Bloomberg.com says it will run on the same CPU as the S9 and S9+, the Snapdragon 845. It appears to be an incremental upgrade to the Note 8, not a major overhaul.

Rumors have flown, and now Microsoft has announced that the are picking up social coding platform GitHub in and all-stock deal running $7.5 billion. According to thenextweb.com, the deal will close by the end of 2018. Microsoft is putting in a new CEO, Nat Friedman…late of Xamarin, but also claims GitHub will run independently. Former CEO and co-founder Chris Wanstrath joins Microsoft as a technical fellow.

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