Apple WWDC unveils software upgrades that push AR & AI

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Apple CEO Tim Cook welcomes developers from 77 different countries to WWDC 2018 on Monday. [Photo courtesy of Apple]

No new shiny gadgets at Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year, but there were still some cool features that Apple managed to unveil.

WWDC is all about inspiring app developers to create dazzling apps for the iOS and Mac ecosystem.

Apple has been pushing its augmented reality (AR) features in the form of ARKit for developers. Through AR, iPhone users now can measure objects.

Perhaps the most eye-catching demo was with Martin Sanders, the director of Innovation at Lego. He came on stage to show how a traditional Lego set combined with AR can be used to bring those block-like Lego characters to life.

Apple also greatly improved the capability of its FaceTime app while also making it more interactive and fun.

Previously, FaceTime only allowed two iPhone and iPad users to video chat with each other.

Now, Apple is raising the bar to allow for 32 simultaneous FaceTime users.

In addition, callers can change their face to what's called an animoji.

At the demo, a special guest paid a visit in animoji form.

Apple Watch's operating system also upgraded to WatchOS 5.0, which included a new feature where users can press a button and send their voice directly via walkie-talkie-style communication with other Apple Watch users.

Apple also unveiled the app Shortcut, which allows users to create a shortcut for multiple functions – such as ordering a cup of coffee, finding the best route home, playing the right music and turning on your home thermostat – all with a single voice command via personal assistant Siri.

Protect kids from device hooked

A new feature, Digital Health, aimed at helping people use their phones less often was also unveiled.

After Google announced its "Digital Wellness" for Android system, a function that can allow users to monitor how much they've spent on their handset, Apple followed suit in response to concerns raised by its investors calling for digital locks for kids.

These functions which are supposed to manage better screen time, track app usage and limit phone's ability to distract, might help parents control their kids.

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