There were some big announcements for tech lovers at Apples WWDC 2019 keynote (the Worldwide Developers Conference for those in the know), but we have the info parents will really care about. We already told you the biggest news — how Apple Music, Podcasts, and TV will no longer be lumped together with iTunes — but Apple CEO Tim Cook and crew announced other big things as well.
Sure, iPhone photo and video editing will be better. Most folks — parents or not — will love that. A new swiping keyboard in iOS 13 will mimic Android devices and third-party apps that users appreciate, removing the need for hunt-and-peck typing. And the Apple Watch OS6 will offer some other changes so it functions as more than just a FitBit with texting and email capabilities.
But here are 9 things you’ll really want to know about from Apple’s WWDC 2019 keynote.
1. Privacy Protection — Sign In with Apple
You know how apps require you to use an email or Facebook to sign up and sign in? Sign In with Apple gives you the option to login using your Apple ID or a fake email that Apple creates. That way, your data stays with Apple. Why does that matter?
Apple generates revenue from the sale of devices and services, and not from ads like Facebook or Google. This strategy keeps your data private so that third-party apps and companies can’t track you or your kids. Sign In with Apple will also work with your Apple Watch and Mac.
2. Home Security — HomeKit Upgrades
HomeKit, Apple’s home monitoring accessories, get a security upgrade. Information is recorded and analyzed on your home device, but there is a new encryption system for storing all that info in iCloud. Apple claims it won’t have access to that data — only you and your family (or people with your iCloud login).
3. Find Everything and Everyone — Find My
Apple is combining Find My iPhone and Find My Friends into one app: Find My. Not only can you find your child with location services, and that phone you misplaced somewhere (or that your kid misplaced somewhere), but here’s the big upgrade over past versions: Now you can find your device (or your child’s device) when it’s turned off. Plus, the company says the function is encrypted and anonymous, again protecting your privacy and security.
4. Stress Reduction — Updated Reminders app
Reminders are super useful to busy, stressed parents; tell Siri to make a reminder, and it’s done. Now you’ll be able to better create, organize, and track reminders, as well as attach things to them. It’s the next best thing to a personal assistant.
5. Bye-Bye Telemarketers — Silence Unknown Callers
Silence Unknown Callers is a new iOS 13 feature that helps you ignore calls from spammers and telemarketers. It uses Siri to put through calls from people found in your Contacts, Mail, or Messages apps, and automatically sends everyone else to voicemail. It’s not an automatic option — you will need to turn it on.
6. Sharing the Sound — AirPods Update
You can now sync two AirPods with one iPhone or iPad device. We could come up with a bunch of reasons why this is great for families — like teaching siblings how to share one device, having a backup plan if one device breaks, or letting you hear what they’re watching when you can’t see the screen. However you use it, we think you’ll love it.
7. iPads for Kids — iPadOS
The iPad is getting a dedicated operating system separate from the iPhone OS. Before, it often felt like an iPad worked like an oversized iPhone, but this new operating system offers features that let the device function almost like a computer with a touch-screen. Some features may be more exciting to parents than kids, but the new onscreen keyboard and additional text editing power also ups the functionality. It’s especially great if you have a budding artist or graphic designer on your hands.
While it may not replace everything a laptop can do for your kid, it could delay the need to purchase a bigger machine until they’re older. And by then, who knows what the iPad will be able to do?
8. Better Gaming — 3D AR Apps
New Augmented Reality developer tools will change the way kids game on the phone. Presenters at the event showed a demo of the 3D AR Minecraft world, and there was more to come.
9. Fun — New Memoji Avatars
With iOS13 you’ll be able to do more with your Animoji, from fixing up the hair and accessories to including your personal emoji in texts and emails. It may not matter to security-minded parents, but it’s fun. And we can all use a little fun now and then.
Get more about the event from the CNET video.