Apple has officially unveiled the iOS 12 at its annual WWDC conference. And thankfully it will be coming to all the same devices as iOS 11 (no depreciating this time) plus the new 2018 devices that will be launched later this year. "With iOS 12, we're doubling down on performance," Apple's senior VP of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said with a promise to focus on old devices such as iPhone 6. The latest iOS will make app launches 40% faster and also quicken the slide to take photo feature by 70% as compared to iOS 11.
Let’s look at some of the key features:
Finally, after years of wait, Apple has introduced the group notifications. With more refinement and focus on making you less of a phone addict, iOS 12 has changed notifications for the better. Now they will be grouped by app, topic, or thread -- and you’ll be able to swipe old notifications away in bulk.
Do Not Disturb During Bedtime
Activating Do not disturb during bedtime (the new mode in control centre) will hide all the chatty notifications until you get up. They’ll start showing in the morning once you tap to accept the notifications.
Screentime and App Limits to Reduce Smartphone Addiction
Screentime will notify you of the total time you’ve spent on your device including how often you use it, how many notifications from each app, how many per hours, and more. Along with App Limits feature (notifies if you use an app for too long) that lets you restrict your and children’s (say yes to parental control) usage for individual apps, it is Apple’s way to make you use your smartphone a tad less.
Who doesn't love animoji? But now you can make an animoji of yourself using the front-facing 3-D camera. You can make the mimoji feel like you by adding skin tone, hairstyles, facial features and accessories like sunglasses. Some might say that Apple 'copied' Samsung. Plus iOS has added four new animojis including a koala, a ghost, a tiger... and a T-rex.
With iOS 12 you can do a Group FaceTime with up to 32 members and it also allows for the integration of animoji and sticker packs. Even the layout has been made so that it accommodates everyone’s faces in form of tiles and a roster at the bottom which houses all the listening members. When someone speaks their tile gets enlarged giving everybody a better view. However, at one time there would be only four active tiles on the screen.
An Improved Siri
Siri gets a new shortcuts feature that provides you with information and services you need throughout your day. For example, it’ll remind you to turn off your ringer, when you go for a movie or prompt you to call your mother on her birthday, etc.
Siri will also identify your behaviour patterns and offer actions that make your life easier. You’ll be able to program Siri to fulfil certain tasks by creating voice prompts like "find my keys", "order my groceries," etc. A new shortcuts app with a shortcuts editor will help you set these up. Customised shortcuts are much like routines of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant where users can trigger multiple commands through a single phrase.
Another highlight of iOS 12, ARKit 2.0 allows multiple users to interact with the same AR experience using their own devices in real time. Apple hopes to make AR more social this way. Plus there’s a new app called Measure that uses the phone’s camera to measure real-life objects accurately. AR on iPhone also allows you to drop any 3D object into the real world like a toy, object or a character. And to help ease the burden of app developers, Apple has developed a new file format called USDZ, in conjunction with Pixar.
Better Search in Photos
In iOS 12 you’ll be able to search for multiple search terms, people, and scenes. Also in the ‘For You’ tab you’ll see recommendations for memories to revisit, suggestions to share photos with your key people and suggestions like apply loop to this photo. Moreover, photos will share at full resolution out of your iCloud photo library.
These are some of the most exciting features of iOS 12. There weren't any major announcements regarding special features for iPhone X or upcoming versions. The beta version of iOS 12 will be available later this month.
Security and privacy
One of the focus areas for Apple has always been security and privacy of its users. iOS 12 introduced a bunch of features in that verticle. Most notably, Safari will prevent trackers to look at your data while browsing. A lot of companies such as Facebook and Google track general browsing data to show ads to you later. Which won't be possible now.
Additional Reading: There are the Privacy and Security features on iOS 12