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WWDC 2018: All the times Apple threw shade at Android and Facebook

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Tim Cook, before his subordinates dropped bombs on Apple’s Silicon Valley rivals.


James Martin/CNET

Apple may be one of the biggest tech companies in the world, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t too big to throw some grade-A shade.

Just like last week’s celebrity saga of Drake vs. Pusha T and Kanye West, but nerdier, Apple dissed two big rivals, Android and Facebook, during its annual WWDC conference.  

A few of the jabs related to how much people were “addicted” to these other apps and services, so you could see some of Apple’s comments as low-key compliments rather than full-blown insults.

Whatever the intention, it made for some pretty entertaining moments during a nearly two-hour keynote, in which Apple also announced the new iOS 12 mobile update, Memojis and MacOS Mojave. Read on to see what exactly Apple had to say about its software competitors.


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Highlights from Apple’s WWDC 2018 keynote


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On Android: ‘It’s hard to say they really have a software update model’

Before diving into the new features of iOS 12, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi boasted about how quickly iOS users updated to Apple’s latest mobile software. Its last OS version, iOS 11, can run on iPhones as old as 2013’s iPhone 5S and half of Apple’s customers were running the update seven weeks after its launch.

Federighi then stated that while 81 percent of active Apple iOS devices (which number more than a billion) run iOS 11, Google Android’s latest Oreo update has only a 6 percent distribution. According to him, “When you look at the competition, it’s hard to say they really have a software update model.” 

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Do you even update, bro? — Apple, probably.


Screenshot by Lynn La/CNET

On Facebook: It’s a timesuck! 

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Apple with the bonus self-diss that people barely use its News app.


Screenshot by Lynn La/CNET

As tech companies and social media sites reckon with how their products contribute to negative things like phone addiction, fake news and the downfall of society in general, Apple added a new feature to iOS 12 that helps curb your time on your iPhone — starting with apps from other companies.

The tool is folded into iOS 12’s Screen Time feature, which gives you weekly activity summaries of your phone usage. You’ll see data on how you use your iPhone or iPad, which apps you spend the most time on and how often you pick up your phone. 

During a quick preview, Federighi displayed the hypothetical usage of “Elizabeth,” who has Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Netflix as her top most-used apps.

This isn’t an offensive thing to say per se, since Facebook is probably happy to know that people spend a lot of time in its app. But it’s interesting to note that Apple posited the app first when talking about curbing phone addiction.

On Instagram: ‘Once you’ve reached your limit… It’s time to move on’

Shortly after his bit about spending too much time on your phone, Federighi introduced App Limits, which lets you set a specific duration on how long you want to use an app.

As an example, Federighi brought up the photo-sharing app Instagram (which Facebook acquired in 2012), and calls it out specifically as an app you “might want to be spending a little bit less time” on. After setting your own time restriction, your iPhone will tell you when your limit is almost up. You can give yourself an extension if need be, but, “we’ll give you a reminder later to move along,” said Federighi.

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Get off Instagram, kthxbai.


Screenshot by Lynn La/CNET

On Facebook: ‘Decide to keep your information private’

Facebook has faced lots of criticism over user privacy even before its Cambridge Analytica scandal in April, and Apple didn’t help matters by calling it out (again) during its keynote.

While going over Safari’s new features on MacOS Mojave, Federighi said the web browser works “really hard to protect your privacy.” He then pointed out that Like and Share buttons, as well as reader comment fields on other sites, can be used to track you, whether you engage with them or not.

“This year we are shutting that down,” said Federighi.

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Safari, trying its best to protect whatever ounce of privacy you have left from Facebook.


Screenshot by Lynn La/CNET

Using a Facebook-powered comment thread as an example, Federighi said Safari will let users know if they want to allow a site like “‘facebook.com’ to use cookies and website data while browsing” a specific site (aptly named “blabbermouth.net” in the demo).

Though Apple listed other privacy improvements for MacOS, it’s important to note that Apple’s belief in privacy isn’t completely at odds with Facebook’s, and that the social media site worked with over 60 device makers, including Apple, to give them access to user data.

iOS 12: Siri shortcuts, group FaceTime and “Memoji” — Animoji of you.

WWDC 2018: Everything Apple just announced.

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