Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off today (June 4), with a keynote address that is taking place live now, and can be streamed here in Apple's Safari browser.
During the presentation, Apple is expected to unveil its new iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 (macOS Mojave, with dark mode), which it says will allow apps to open and load 40 percent faster, as well as new innovations built around AI and AR and upgrades to several of the apps on its platform. Below, Billboard will be updating this story with new information as the presentation progresses.
Apple Watch OS 5 includes several improvements in its fitness capabilities, including competitions with others within its activity-sharing functionality and awards for achieving goals. New workout types like yoga, hiking and outdoor running aim to provide users with better fitness data and guides for those tracking their routines. Last year, the Apple Watch incorporated Apple Music for the first time, though no updates to that functionality were announced. It's unclear if a new ability to use third-party apps on Apple Watch will include support for other streaming services like Spotify, though audio will now be able to be played in the background while other apps are in use. Podcasts, however, will also be incorporated into the Watch for the first time, and can be synced automatically. (A new walkie-talkie functionality announced today does seem pretty cool, too.)
Of the updates, one of the most highly-anticipated involved ways that Apple would be automating certain functions in order to allow users to spend less time on their phones. That will involve an updated Do Not Disturb function for nighttime and other scenarios, allowing users to set a time limit for the function that will suppress push notifications for a period of time. There will also be support for grouped notifications, which can be grouped by app or topic and can be dismissed en masse or addressed on the home page.
A new Screen Time feature will provide weekly activity report telling iPhone users how they've interacted with their phone through the course of the week, how much time they are spending on different apps, which send the most notifications and the number of times a user checks or unlocks their phone, and manage how much time users spend in an app and set limits on that time. Parental locks can monitor usage for kids' phones, too, both by individual app and by category.
One of the most intriguing AR demonstrations so far involves a collaboration with Lego, allowing users to build within an AR environment. An update to emojis -- called, humorously, Tongue Detection -- allows emojis to customizably stick out their tongues, for instance, or create "Memojis," a personalized emoji based on your own physical appearance. The company has also unveiled new upgrades to its Photos app, including advanced searching and tagging and a new section called For You which creates collections and featured photos.
In terms of numbers updates, the company revealed that 2.7 billion photos are taken on iPhones each day, and that Siri, its built-in assistant, processes 10 billion requests each month. Siri also will now have a Shortcuts feature, allowing for quick management of tasks based on calendar, time of day or other prompts, with hundreds of pre-loaded shortcuts already available. The company's AppleTV business has grown by 50 percent in the past year as well, according to CEO Tim Cook, since the introduction of AppleTV 4K in 2017. AppleTV 4K will also now have Dolby Atmos incorporated into it, vastly improving audio quality through a Soundbar.
The company also introduced updates to its Apple News app, introducing a Browse tab and a navigational sidebar on tablets. Apple News will also be incorporated into its Stocks app, with curated business-related news built in to the app. And CarPlay, which allows users to stream audio in the car, will now also be compatible with navigational apps.
And if you're big on FaceTime, Apple introduced group FaceTime for up to 32 people at once, transforming a video call functionality to a full-on video conference app, which will also be integrated into Messages to turn a group chat into a group video.
It's unclear if Apple will update or introduce any innovations to its Apple Music or iTunes services, or make any announcements regarding its music initiatives. Billboard will update this story as the presentation continues and more information becomes available.
Update (3:13 pm): The live stream of the event is now over. This story has been updated with additional information.