Apple today introduced the next major iOS upgrade: iOS 12. The latest update to the company’s smartphone OS is arguably a minor one, but it brings much-needed features such as notification grouping to the OS. With iOS 12, Apple is doubling down on how much users use their phone everyday. Like Android P, iOS 12 will come with new features that will focus on digital health — letting users better monitor their phone usage, and focus more on real life.
A big part of iOS 12 is Apple’s focus on performance for older devices. Following the release of iOS 11 and the #BatteryGate controversy, Apple is focusing on performance improvements with iOS 12 on older devices. With up to 40% faster app launch, up to 50% faster keyboard display, up to 70% faster camera launch, up to 2x faster app launch under load, up to 2x faster share sheet display under load, Apple promises to improve performance of older devices by up to 40% with iOS 12. With iOS 12, Apple is finally bringing support for third-party navigation apps to CarPlay as well.
But there is a lot of other things in iOS 12 — so here’s everything that’s coming with the next update:
A new set of tools to limit phone usage, and focus better on real-life activities.
- Notifications: You now have greater control over notifications, so they can be delivered quietly directly to the Notification Center. You can now also group notifications with iOS 12. Yes. Finally. Yes. This is not a drill.
- Do Not Disturb:
- Will be automatically activated during bedtime, so you are no longer distracted when trying to sleep. You will also be woken up to a new screen that gives you a summary of your day.
- You can now set an ending time for do not disturb — for 1 hour, until a certain period, or when you leave a location or meeting.
- Screen Time: A new app that provides daily reports on how much time you are spending on your apps, what apps are sending you the most notifications, what type of apps you are using (productivity, social, and more).
- App Limits: You can now limit your app usage, but you can ignore the limit if you want to. Family Sharing is supported too, so parents can control how their children use their phone.
- Animoji: There are four new Animojis: a new tiger, koala, t-rex, and your own Animoji: Memoji. You can make your own personal emoji, customize the look, the skin, the hairstyle, your outfit, and so much more. Animojis also now includes tongue detection, so you can stick your tongue out if you want. But I wouldn’t recommend doing that in public.
- iMessage: Along with the new Animoji features, there’s now a new in-app camera where you can add effects to your photos, and even add Animoji over your face. Kind of like Snapchat.
- FaceTime: Group calls. Up to 32 people. It also integrates with iMessage, so you can invite others in a group to join your call right from iMessage. It also includes the same new camera effects like iMessage, so you can add filters or Animoji to your face on the call.
- The default Photos app in iOS finally has a built-in intelligent search feature — you can now search for multiple terms, locations, and more. All powered by on-device machine learning.
- For You: a new personalized feed that will suggest effects, featured albums, pictures you might want to look at, sharing suggestions (based on face detection) and your friends can share back photos of you, too.
- Siri Shortcuts: a new feature that lets third-party apps add actions/shortcuts for Siri, so they can be triggered by your voice. Siri can even automatically suggest shortcuts every day based on your habits.
- Shortcuts app: A new app that lets you combine the actions from multiple different apps, bring them all together, and make your own custom shortcut useable through Siri. It will also give you access to some pre-made shortcuts by other users, Apple, and third-parties.
Improved face tracking, realistic rendering, 3D object detection, persistent and shared experiences.
- Shared Experiences: ARKit 2 brings multi-user ARKit experiences, so you can play a game together, or play around with AR objects in the real world together, at the same time.
- 3D Object Detection: letting apps identify existing real-world objects, update them, interact with them, and place AR objects on top of them.
- Apple is making a new AR (open) file format with Pixar called USDZ that’s optimized for size, and can be shared via email, Apple News, or simply iMessage. Will be natively supported on Adobe Creative Cloud, too.
- Measure: A new ARKit app that lets users easily measure things in real world, kind of like the MeasureKit app.
News, Stocks, Voice Memos, Books
- News has a new sidebar on the iPad. You can now search for your favourite channels, news sources, and more.
- Stocks: a new Stocks app re-design, with News integration, and available on the iPad.
- Voice Memos: a new design and iPad availability. iCloud support is also coming so your voice recordings will sync across your devices.
- Apple Books: iBooks is gone for a new Apple Books branding, a new store for books, and more.
iOS 12 seems like a meaningful step forward for the operating system. Even though it isn’t as big as one would have expected, key new features such as notification group, shortcuts for iOS, search on Photos, and all the digital health features make up for an update that seems quite promising. The update will be available to developers today, with a general public release coming later in the year.