iOS 12 Released
Introducing iOS 12, the latest version of Apples phone OS, has made the claim to make everyday tasks on iPhone and iPad faster and more responsive. Available today as a free software update, iOS 12 introduces new AR experiences, new features like Memoji, Siri Shortcuts that finally work with Siri (how well is yet to be known) and new tools to help people reduce interruptions and manage screen time for themselves and their families.
iOS 12 brings performance improvements across the system and to more devices than previous versions, supporting back to iPhone 5s introduced in 2013. Here are the claims… the Camera app should launch up to 70 percent faster, the keyboard should appear up to 50 percent faster and typing should be more responsive – whatever that means in the Apple-sphere.
iOS is now even more deep in the AR gimmick and with iOS 12, multiple people can play the same game or collaborate on projects like home renovations or schoolwork, support for image detection and tracking (so it should try to detect 3D objects and automatically apply reflections). AR files can now be viewed nearly anywhere in iOS, including apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News.New features include new Animoji and personalised Memoji characters that are customisable. People can create Memoji right within Messages by choosing from a set of inclusive and diverse (aka. people that actually have skin pigment) characteristics to form a unique personality. The existing set of Animoji also expands with ghost, koala, tiger and T-Rex.
New camera effects bring Animoji, Filters, Text and Stickers to Messages and FaceTime. Filters like comic book and watercolour add personality to photos and videos, new labels and shapes let people add captions and titles to highlight parts of an image, and stickers can be placed using iMessage sticker packs.
Screen Time provides users with detailed information and tools to help them manage the time they spend with apps and websites, and better understand and control where their child spends time. Daily and weekly Activity Reports show the total time spent in individual apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received and how often iPhone or iPad are picked up. App Limits allow people to set a specific amount of time to be in an app, and a notification will display when a time limit is about to expire. Screen Time also gives parents access to their child’s Activity Report right from their own iOS devices using Family Sharing in iCloud, and allows them to schedule times to limit when a child’s iOS device can be used, such as during bedtime.
New modes in Do Not Disturb automatically end based on a specified time, location or action, and Do Not Disturb during Bedtime helps people get a better night’s sleep by dimming the display and hiding all notifications on the lock screen until prompted in the morning.
To help reduce interruptions, iOS 12 gives users more options for controlling how notifications are delivered. They can instantly manage notifications to be delivered quietly or turned off completely. Grouped notifications make it easier to view and manage multiple notifications at once.
Siri takes a major step forward with the introduction of Siri Shortcuts, allowing any app to now work with Siri. With powerful on-device intelligence, Siri learns user routines and provides suggestions at just the right time. Users can also use their voice to run any Shortcut, making it even easier to use their favourite apps. The new Shortcuts app goes even further, allowing users to create custom Shortcuts to streamline frequent tasks. Popular apps like Kayak, hotels.com, Streaks, Tile and Lose it! support Siri Shortcuts and are available in the App Store starting today. Having said that I have yet to find a way to get Siri to play songs from Spotify, but have been able to use the Google Assistant app to do so. Let that sentence sink in…
- Apple Books is a new app that makes discovering and enjoying books and audiobooks effortless, thanks to the new Reading Now tab, the Book Store tab that makes it fun to browse all that Apple Books has to offer, the Library tab to easily organise one’s full collection, and a dedicated Audiobooks tab.
- Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics or jump straight to favourites, with a new sidebar on iPad and the Channels tab on iPhone.
- Stocks features an all-new design with a customisable watchlist that makes it easy to follow the market. It also includes top business stories from Apple News and is available for the first time on iPad.
- Voice Memos is now available on iPad and adds iCloud support to sync recordings and edits across devices. A new design makes it easier to capture, share and edit recordings.
- Apple Music now has over 50 million songs. With an updated artist page, search by lyrics, Friends Mix, and Top 100 charts, finding and discovering music is easier than ever.
- Siri translation expands to more than 40 language pairs and brings more knowledge of sports, celebrities, food and nutrition. Siri can also surface favourite photos by person, place, event, time and topic, and more.
- CarPlay gives drivers even more choice with support for third-party navigation apps displayed right on the car’s dash, joining audio, messaging, calling, and automaker apps.
- Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch adds support for student ID cards, making it more convenient to access everything on campus. (US only)