The annual Apple Keynote spearheaded by Tim Cook revealed all the new developments and features of the new ios12 in the recent Worldwide Development Conference (WWDC). It includes a host of upgrades and fun addition to the existing iOS features.
If you are waiting to download the new iOS, there will be three release dates, which means 3 options for you. The developer beta for Apple developers is available since June 4, 2018. The public beta is now available for the public for free. Lastly, you can also opt to wait for the final and stable version of the OS that will be coming out in September alongside the launching of new 2018 hardware such as iPhones, iPad, iWatch, and Macbook.
Here are some of the highlights of the new iOS that came with the public beta, and some impressions and comments from beta testers.
iOS upgrades and new features for iPhone and iPad
Spending Less Time with Your iPhone
Most people were not really surprised about this new feature because it was leaked around a week before the conference. Apple just confirmed that the feature is actually coming to the new iOS. It is designed with a goal in mind: to help users manage their time wisely by lessening the time they spend on their smartphone.
The new feature allows users to control how much time they spend on their apps every day by simply setting a timer. It somehow tests the user’s self-control as it promotes discipline and proper time management.
The screen time you put on your apps have a snooze button that you can easily control when you are past your time limit but have to use your apps for important reasons.
Do Not Disturb Mode
Users can expect a cleaner Do Not Disturb feature. Aside from silencing the notification sounds, it can also silence the visual notifications that can distract you when you are sleeping or trying to sleep. This means that as long as the Do Not Disturb mode is on, you will not see any notification on the lock screen until you unlock your iPhone when you wake up.
However, you can still allow some specific apps to send you notifications even on DND mode. This includes alerts that you chose and some critical alerts. Not only that, you can opt to automatically end DND after a few hours, when you leave a certain location, at the end of the day, or at a specific event in your calendar.
iOS 12 now has a 3D Touch Support shortcut for all your Do Not Disturb mode options. You can instantly dismiss alerts and notifications as well as control individual app notifications directly from your lock screen without having to leave what you are currently doing.
For parents, you can now limit the amount of time your kids use their Apple devices using the controls available for you in the Family Sharing mode.
Smart Notifications with iOS 12
As for the notifications window, users do not have to be overwhelmed with the flood of notifications from the different apps that are open and you are using. Loyal Samsung users would argue that this is another attempt by Apple to copy an already existing feature of Samsung phones. Copied or not, the smart notification is a great upgrade to the old and messy notification window of the older iOS software.
Notifications are now grouped by kind, which means it will be easier for users to browse through their notifications and choose whether to reply or not to messages or open the app.
If you have been enjoying Animoji, the feature Apple released alongside the new sets of iPhone models: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 plus, and iPhone X, you will probably enjoy this new feature called, Memoji.
Memoji lets users create an animoji and customize it to look like their own face. And if you think Face Detection feature for the Face ID is quite amazing, Apple up its ante and added “Tongue Detection” feature to make the Memoji the user created to stick their tongues as the user does.
Updates in the Camera App
Although there are no big changes announced for the camera app, Apple did some tweaking for the Camera app for the iOS 12 update. This includes making the Portrait Lighting mode on new iPhone models that have a dual-lens camera to look a little more natural.
The software will be able to effectively define and separate a person from the background. This means that edges will be crispier and clearer. Third-party apps are also allowed by Apple to use the software so users can tweak photos and separate foreground and background of their photos.
RAW photos can also be managed and imported on the iPhone and iPad with the additional option to edit RAW photos on the iPad Pro.
For the QR code scanning, the default camera in the updated iOS 12 allows reading QR code automatically.
Updates in Photos
Getting some inspiration from Google Photos, Apple’s Photos app now provides users with a more helpful way to find a specific memory or group of photos in their photo gallery. Through the multiple search option, you are now able to search for specific places where you took the picture, events you have attended, and people you were with.
There is also a suggestion on who you want to share your photo collections with. Also suggestions on how to improve or share your photos and with an option to share full-resolution photos. Another cool thing about the update is that you can “nudge” your friends to send you the photos they took using iMessage.
Not only that, if you like the “On This Day” feature of Facebook, Photos will send you a reminder from the photos you took on the same day several years ago.
Updates in Messages
iMessage did not really get a major update with the new iOS 12. Apart from being able to create, customize, and send Animoji, you can also use the built-in tool in the camera app to quickly edit and send photos with stickers and texts to your friends.
This is probably one of the most awaited features people are looking forward to. The new iOS upgraded FaceTime and let users chat with up to 32 people all at the same time with the options to add stickers, Memojis, and Animojis.
People included in the group chat have the option to drop in and drop out of the chat anytime they want to. The dynamic user interface is composed of expanding tiles, and the bottom part of the chat window has a “roster” that when a person starts to speak, that person’s window gets bigger even when they are at the bottom roster.
The group FaceTime works on iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. You can even use your Apple Watch and HomePod to answer the group chat using the audio.
Siri just got smarter with the release of the new iOS. Siri can now analyze how you use your phone and give you suggestions based on it. There will be a new shortcut app that lets users customize actions based on their smartphone use and needs.
This includes playing music from your favorite station, sending your loved ones texts saying you are on your way, ordering food from the restaurant you frequent, adjust your home’s thermostat, and many more. These shortcuts can also work with third-party devices.
As mentioned, shortcuts can be integrated with third-party devices. For instance, you can set phrases such as “I lost my key” and Siri will connect to your Tile tracker if you have one. You can basically configure everything with Siri shortcuts.
Siri Learned New Languages and Motorsport Scores
Siri gets better with understanding languages, Motosport schedules, statistics, and scores. It can now translate over 40 languages and can give you all the information that you need about NASCAR and Formula One such as schedules, stats, live standings, and roster.
Password Hunting with Siri
Siri can now let you search for any of your saved passwords for apps and websites in case you have forgotten them.
Updates with Apple News, Voice Memos, Carplay, and Stocks
There is now a new Browse tab for Apple news and a sidebar navigation. For Stocks, the design was improved and there is stock news integration. The voice memos now have menus that are easier to navigate and an iCloud support. It is also finally available on iPad. For the CarPlay, the new OS now supports third-party apps such as Google News and Waze.
Updates with MacOS
The keynote presentation also included some upgrades for the Mac. The new MacOs called, MacOS Mojave, is named after a wonderful landscape as per tradition. The new OS makes users feel like they have control over everything.
You can now opt to turn the Dark Mode on of the Finder Windows, which reverses the appearance to Xcode and turns it to black. The privacy mode is also significantly improved after the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The system configuration is now simplified to help users block websites that can track the user activities online and prevent the identification of the fingerprint of the device the user is using that can be used for targeted advertisements.
MacOs Mojave also makes it easier for users to clean up their files using Stacks. Taking screencaps is also made more uncomplicated on the keyboard. Users also have the option to sync their smartphones to automatically add the photos to documents.
Home feature is also coming to the new MacOS Mojave and lets users control and adjust all the smart home devices from the dashboard or ask Siri to do it for them.
AppleWatchOS 5 Update
People would argue that Apple’s new iOS has too many rip-offs from other software, devices, and websites. The new watchOS 5 draws inspiration from Fitbit and turning more social. Users can now connect with friends and even challenge them in fitness competitions to score better workout records and digital awards.
Apple also included a Webkit feature that allows users to visit and browse websites using their Apple Watch such as being able to visit a specific restaurant’s website for a menu after a workout session.
iOS 12 Wallpaper
As per tradition, Apple also adds at least one new wallpaper to its wallpaper gallery every year, and this year is no different.
Compatibility of the new iOS 12
The new iOS 12 is considered to be the broadest iOS Apple update yet since it can run on all 64-bit Apple devices. This means, compatibility starts with iPhone 5S, iPad mini 2, and iPad Air, which are old models and all the newer devices after that.
All in all, the update can support all 11 models of iPhones, 10 iPad models, and the remaining 6th generation iPod touch. This is an advantage that puts Apple ahead of Android phones.
Reliability of the new iOS 12 compared to iOS 11
Users should feel relieved that Apple is now putting the problematic older software that is iOS 11 behind. This means, that the performance of older iPhone models will significantly improve by 40% to 70%. Keyboard typing, camera app launch, and other apps launching that slow down with every launch of new iOS should not be a problem anymore.
After all the complaints received by Apple, specifically about the slow performance of older iPhone models that seem to slow down with every software update, is now being addressed. Apple is committed to improving the reliability and performance of the new software update to support all iPhone models, iPads, and all other devices that run iOS 11.
So those are all the upgrades you can expect and enjoy the new iOS 12. To wrap it all up, the biggest highlights of the new iOS 12 are the timer for apps, grouped notifications, group FaceTime with Memoji, and a smarter Siri. The beta users are reporting that the new iOS is working fine, but hopefully runs better in the stable version coming in early September.
At a relatively young age, Donald Fomby has already amassed impressive experience as a freelance writer. Currently, he is a valued member of the writing team at PickWriters.com. Donald studied Computer Science at Texas A&M and is a loyal Aggies football fan to this day.
In his spare time, Donald writes Sci-Fi short stories. He’s active on the convention scene as well. He also enjoys local music, and has a soft spot for authentic Texas BBQ. He has a passion for technology, social media, and travel that make him a great fit for PickWriters.