iOS 12 Brings Improved Performance, Screen Time, ARKit 2, More

Posted on September 17, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, iOS with 21 Comments

As you may have seen, Apple released its next big update for iOS to all supported devices today. The company started testing iOS 12 with developers a few months ago since its initial announcement, and the update is now rolling out to all supported devices today. Here’s a more detailed look.

iOS 12, like many other previous iOS updates, is a major update for your iPhone. This time, though, if you aren’t using the latest iPhone devices, you don’t have to be worried about the performance. In fact, Apple has worked on significantly improving the performance of older iOS devices with this year’s release. “Whether you’re using your iPhone or iPad, iOS has been enhanced for a faster and more responsive experience all round,” the company said.

Opening the camera from your lock screen is up to 70% faster, the keyboard opens up to 50% faster, up to 2x faster Share sheet display under load, and up to 2x faster app launches under heavy workloads, combined with smoother animations throughout the OS. That’s a ton of impressive gains, and even though I own the iPhone X, these performance upgrades are very noticeable on the iPhone X. I have been using the iOS 12 beta ever since it came out, and the performance has been so much better than iOS 11, it’s actually unbelievable.

In terms of new features, there’s a whole lot of new things. If your device supports Animoji, there are four new Animoji — koala, tiger, ghost, and T.rex. But Apple is taking things a step further — you can now create an Animoji of yourself, kind of like Snapchat’s Bitmoji. It lets you create multiple characters of yourself, with different characteristics and accessories. You can use these new Memoji and Animoji on iMessage, and on FaceTime — which, by the way — are getting major updates.

You can now add filters like animated text effects, stickers, Memoji, and more when taking pictures on iMessage or during a video call on FaceTime. Sending pictures and videos on iMessage also seems a little faster with iOS 12, by the way. As for Facetime, Apple is introducing support for group calls of up to 32 people with iOS 12, though that’s going to come out at a later date.

Apple’s introducing features like ARKit 2 with iOS 12, which brings 3D object detection, ability to share ARKit objects through Mail and iMessage, and a new Measure app that helps you measure real-world objects. 3D obect detection is going to make AR experiences really crazy on iOS 12, as developers will be able to leverage objects in the real world and turn them into cool AR experiences.

The company’s even doubling down on Digital Health with this year’s iOS release — there’s a new Screen Time feature that will help you track and limit your phone’s usage, even for your family members. To add to that, the company is making it possible to schedule Do Not Disturb, with added controls to the feature. Notifications are much easier to control now as well, with the ability to easily opt out of notification or at least deliver them “quietly” so you don’t get distracted easily.

But wait, there’s more. Yes:

  • There’s a new Shortcuts app that lets you automate workflows and other tasks with third-party apps with Siri — this feature is actually really cool, even though it’s really meant for professional users who want to go through the trouble of having to manually setup these shortcuts. There are some preset shortcuts you can use, but they are quite basic for the most part.
  • Photos now has a smarter search, with contextual sharing suggestions and easier photo sharing.
  • The default iOS keyboard will now suggest one-time passcodes delivered to your inbox with AutoFill. This may just be my favourite feature of iOS 12, it’s so convinient.
  • A new Apple Books app.
  • A redesigned Stocks app.
  • Voice Memos on the iPad.
  • A redesigned Apple News.

iOS 12 is a HUGE release for Apple’s operating system. There are so many new things you will find once upgrading your iOS device, even though the performance will actually feel better, mainly because the update is incredibly polished when compared to iOS 11. And if you are really interested in changelogs, I suggest checking out the full changelog for the release here. As for compatability, iOS 12 is available on the iPhone 5s and newer iPhones, and the majority of the iPad devices.

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Comments (21)

21 responses to “iOS 12 Brings Improved Performance, Screen Time, ARKit 2, More”

  1. SimonFlynn

    Except for the new way to access multitasking I can't really notice any difference whatsoever on my iPad.

  2. DaleDietrich

    Was very disappointed to learn that Shortcuts wasn't coming to my iPhone 6. Only the newer iPhones get Shortcuts. Was really hoping to set up a verbal shortcut so that if I said 'OK Google' or "Hey Google' the Google Assistant would launch and we could finally bypass Siri!

  3. Ensign Eddie

    I love the grouped notifications. I don't love that the background for them (and a lot of other things) has gone from easy-to-read white to a sort of putty gray. Does anyone know how to change it back to white? I already had transparency turned off, so that doesn't do it. I assume it is picking the atrocious color from my wallpaper, but I could be mistaken about that.

  4. justme

    I've got this on a 6SPlus. I don't use or care about 'moji' anything, but I am looking forward to seeing the Car Play and performance improvements. My phone does seem to respond quicker with 12 installed, and apps do seem to launch quicker. It will take a little time to see if I get any battery improvement out of it.

  5. RobertJasiek

    Over a year ago, iOS 12 was described (e.g. by Apple salesmen in an Apple shop) as a major update for iPads, their productivity incl. a fully functional Files app. Now, I read nothing about this. The other thing I have been desperately awaiting is elimination of bugs related to video streaming but there is no such information. iOS12 promises lots of irrelevant new features and continues to fail at the essential basics.

    • provision l-3

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      I'm surprised Apple disclosed features of iOS 12 to it's sales folks in retail when iOS 11 hadn't even been released. That seems odd for a company that values secrecy. It also seems like the development at that point would be more based on what features they would like to get in vs. what they would be able to commit to shipping.

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to provision l-3:

        Yes, it also surprised me. I also read about that somewhere and before iOS 11.

        The spirit of the conveyed messages was that productivity improvements for iPads would be necessary, not make it to iOS 11 but planned for iOS 12.

  6. SvenJ

    Question for the knowledgeable. If you go to Settings>Siri & Search, there is the facility to create Shortcuts. There are My Shortcuts, Suggested Shortcuts, All Shortcuts. You can add shortcuts of various types and record phrases you want Siri to listen for to initiate these tasks. How are these different than the new Shortcuts, and why, when you install the Shortcuts app, don't these other shortcuts, already created, appear there?

  7. SvenJ

    Paul Thurrott in Apple Releases iOS 12

    "By many measures, iOS 12 is a fairly minor upgrade."

    Mehedi Hassan in iOS 12 Brings Improved Performance, Screen Time, ARKit 2, More

    "iOS 12 is a HUGE release for Apple’s operating system. "

    Did you guys get the same update?

  8. jimchamplin

    During the beta, even, the performance gains were good. Now on GM code, it’s wonderful.

    Im especially excited for Shortcuts!

  9. Corbey

    It also allows for better integration with third-party password managers, like LastPass, meaning you don't have to always use the share sheet.

  10. fraXis

    Hopefully we will get the ability to customize our home screen to our liking in iOS 13. I read that it was going to be in iOS 12 originally, but they delayed working on it so they could concentrate on making this update more stable that iOS 11 was.

  11. Polycrastinator

    I'm on a 6S, and it's making a huge difference. Really noticeable.

  12. cokernut

    iOS 12 is really cool and very fast. I even installed cokernutx app to try some third party apps. It is just perfect.