Apple announced a range of new developments at their annual Worldwide Developers Conference last week, some of which included the new operating system for Mac, macOS Mojave, and a bunch of new fitness-related features on watchOS 5. Of all the announcements, that of iOS 12 was probably the most anticipated because it would affect anyone with an iPhone or iPad. With iOS 12 announced to drop in October of this year, here are the top ten new features to look forward to.
1. Better performance
Apple made it very clear that their priority above all else with the new operating system was performance. They keep working to make iOS feel faster and smoother than ever before. iOS has been overhauled for improved performance on devices as far back as iPhone 5s and iPad Air. Fans of the brand can look forward to up to 40% faster app launch, a 70% faster swipe to Camera from the Lock screen, 50% faster keyboard display and typing is more responsive, even when you’re pushing your iOS device to the limit, like multitasking between lots of apps, they will still launch up to 2x faster.
2. Screen Time
Apple has made it clear that they’re aiming to foster healthier relationships between users and their phones, so in an attempt to curb device addiction they’ve created a feature called Screen Time that helps you keep track of the time spent on your phone. It monitors the time spent on your device, on what apps, and it even lets you set limits with a timer. The additional “allowances” feature lets you manage your kids’ time on their devices as well. You’ll get a weekly summary of your activities and be able to adjust from there.
In iOS 12, you’ll be able to create your own personalised Animoji, letting you choose skin color, hairstyle, and outfitting your Memoji with accessories, a function akin to Nintendo’s Mii characters. This new tool allows for almost endless customization. Alongside this, Animoji will be able to detect when you’re sticking out your tongue or winking and be able to mimic that. You can even use your new Memoji inside FaceTime.
Notifications will now be way less messy and more manageable. Message threads and notification topics are grouped together, so it’s easier to see what’s important with just a glance at your iPhone or iPad. These grouped notifications also show up in a stack to give you a sense of how many are waiting for you. There’s also the ability to tweak notifications as they come in with the new Instant Tuning feature and you can do all of that without dropping what you’re doing.
5. Siri Shortcuts
In iOS 12, Apple incorporated the Workflow app that it purchased in 2017 into Siri. With the new Siri Shortcuts feature, you can create or customize your own shortcuts to run multiple steps at once. For example, Siri can let your family know you’re on your way home with the Messages app, turn on the lights at home through Homekit and open up the Maps app with directions home just by giving Siri the “I’m going home” command. You can add these kinds of shortcuts to Siri to run them with your voice on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or HomePod.
6. Group Facetime
Facetime can do more than host one-on-one conversations now. Group Facetime can facilitate conversations of up to 32 people and it will be supported across iOS and macOS. When multiple people are on a call, the video windows will adjust according to who’s talking, i.e. they will get larger when the person is speaking and shrink when they’re not.
Apple is trying to establish itself in the augmented reality sphere and they’re doing this by updating their ARKit framework and giving developers the ability to create shared experiences. The company is creating persistent, multi-user experiences that can be shared across time and fixed to real-world locations, so you can create a piece of AR art that can be viewed later in the same place by someone else. ARKit 2 recognizes objects and how your device is oriented to them and can use that information to trigger AR experiences.
8. Measure app
As part of the new AR framework, Apple released the Measure App. The app automatically measures flat rectangular surfaces and draws lines across flat surfaces to measure distances with your iPhone or iPad camera. You put the object in the camera frame, tap and drag out a line, and it measures it.
Apple made a few key improvements to the Camera app in iOS 12. Portrait Lighting features on compatible devices are much better thanks to the Camera’s ability to separate a person from a scene by generating a mask when it detects a person. QR codes are also easier to read thanks to a feature that highlights QR codes in the frame.
The new For You tab includes featured photos, effect suggestions, and sharing suggestions. The tab displays great moments from your photo library and intelligently suggests sharing photos with the people in them. Searching for photos is also smarter and more intuitive. Before you start typing, you’ll see suggestions for recent events, people, and places. The For You tab will also suggest filters and effects you might want to apply to images you’ve taken.
By Daniëlle Kruger
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