Although there were rumours that new devices would see the light during this year's Apple mega geekfest, the WorldWide Developer Conference held in San Jose, the company stuck to just software announcements.

Apple named the next version of macOS, calling it Mojave because the marketing people want mountain names according to the company's software boss Craig Federighi.

In fact, macOS Mojave might even drop the 10.x.x version numbering as we no longer call the desktop and laptop operating system OS X (you remember your Roman numerals, right?).

While there were some amusing new fluff features like more animojis and the personalisable memojis (the latter name doesn't quite work for me, as I see memo, and not me), the key news were two long-term strategy announcements.


First, macOS and iOS won't merge, despite rumours to the effect. They will be more interoperable, with iOS apps like the updated Voice Memo, Apple News, Stocks and Home coming to macOS but both will live on, and remain free upgrades.

The Kiwi developers I spoke to were also excited that they'd have less work on their hands when writing apps for both iOS and macOS, as Apple will unify the coding frameworks (that are currently quite different on the two platforms) into one.

This will roughly halve the effort to write apps that have to work on both operating systems, but we'll have to wait until the final versions of the frameworks appear next year to see how well that pans out.

Apple also drew a line in the sand on privacy-intrusive business models and threw a couple of jabs at Facebook.

The Safari browser in iOS 12 will feature "Intelligent Tracking Prevention", which stops social media buttons and widgets used to like and share content from following users around the web.

Safari will also be more careful about what it tells websites on the internet about itself.

That "fingerprinting" technique can be abused by data collectors to uniquely identify users, again for surveillance purposes, to track what you're up to on the web. Yes, Apple specifically pointed the finger at Facebook for being the bad guys here.

It'll be interesting to see how well the intelligent tracking prevention and anti-fingerprinting features work, but it's a given that Facebook will try to get around them - and when it does, Apple will hack up another countermeasure to put spanners in the automated surveillance machine.


I think this is the start of an arms race between Apple and Facebook.

At the same time the company had a go at the social network, Apple announced that it was best buddies with Microsoft and Adobe, which will both put their wares into the macOS App Store for the first time when Mojave comes out.

Does that mean Apple will get 30 per cent of Microsoft and Adobe's App Store revenues from Office and Lightroom CC buyers, and there won't be any charges for updates on macOS Mojave? We're about to find out, but it appears Apple is selectively opening up towards companies that it considered mortal enemies.

It'll even let Google Maps come and CarPlay in iOS 12, but that was probably just a strategic move to slow car makers from using Android Auto.

Apple gave Google a poke about the poor uptake of the latest version of Android on smartphones compared to its iOS 11; just 6 per cent of Android devices run the latest and greatest version of the OS, whereas Apple claimed 81 per cent of active iPhones and iPads run the current iOS 11.

This is no doubt a response to speculation that Apple bloats iOS with each new iteration to force users into buying new, more powerful devices to handle the latest version. Apple promised that iOS 12 will be much faster than iOS 11, and run on all 64-bit devices back to the 2013 iPhone 5s.

Both macOS Mojave and the next major version of Apple's mobile operating system, which will be iOS 12) will be out our spring if the beta software testing programme for the two that was launched at WWDC goes smoothly.

That means we can fire up the rumour cannons about new Apple hardware arriving around the same time, to coincide with the new macOS and IOS versions, so watch this space.

Three-camera iPhones and a Mac Pro cylinder desktop machine with support for external graphics cards anyone?

• Juha Saarinen travelled to WWDC 2018 as a guest of Apple.