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June 5, 2018

iOS 12 will make your iPhone faster and less annoying. Here’s what’s coming

by John_A

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system: iOS 12. While the final version of the new OS won’t be available until September, the company announced a ton of new features to look forward to.

Ranging from app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.

Better performance

New iOS 12 Features

Better performance
New AR file format
Measure app
ARKit 2.0
Photos
Siri Shortcuts
A variety of app updates
Do Not Disturb at bedtime
Grouped notifications
Managing screen time
Animoji and Memoji
Group FaceTime
Apple TV in the Control Center

In particular, iOS 12 will be focused on doubling down on performance. Apple plans on delivering an operating system that’s faster and more responsive across all iOS devices. The focus has mainly been on optimizing the system when it’s underload, with load speeds up to two times faster for sheet display and app launches.

CPU performance will also be ramped up to its highest state for performance and will be ramped down just as quickly in order to preserve battery life.

New AR file format

Apple wanted to make it easier to experience augmented reality with a new file format called USDZ. Developed in partnership with Pixar, USDZ is an open file format that allows developers to create and share 3D Augmented Reality assets, all through a single and compact file format.

Measure app

With the Measure app, you can easily get direct measurements of any objects around you. By tapping the object and dragging out a line, it’ll display a measurement right on your screen. You can also extend the measurements by tapping along the edges and dragging down. You’ll also have the ability to tap on an object like a photo, and have the app automatically detect the measurements, providing you with each dimension.

ARKit 2.0

Following the release of ARKit with iOS 11 last year, iOS 12 brings along a new version. ARKit 2.0 delivers improved face tracking, realistic rendering, and support for 3D object detection. There’s also support for shared experiences with multi-user augmented reality — you’ll be able to play AR games against other users in the same virtual environment.

Photos

In the Photo app, iOS 12 brings Search Suggestions, which highlights your photos based on key events or categories such as swimming and hiking. You’ll also be able to search for places by business name or a broader category such as a museum. Photos also indexes more than 4 million events by time and place, allowing you to search for specific photos based on terms like vacation and surfing. You’ll also receive suggestions on specific things to search.

The all new “For You” tab will provide you with featured photos. Whether it’s a photo you took on the same day a few years back or effect suggestions for looping a live photo, the tab provides individual suggestions for different actions you can take with the pictures in your album.

There’s also Sharing Suggestions, which will come in handy when you see all your friends and take tons of photos together. For example, if you go out to dinner and take pictures, you’ll see suggested photos you might want to share with your friends, along with who you specifically want to share them with. Each photo is shared at full resolution in your iCloud photo library.

Siri Shortcuts

With Siri Shortcuts, Siri is capable of much more via quick actions that can all be assigned through the new Shortcuts app. For example, if you use the Tile app, you can add a shortcut to Siri such as “I lost my keys.” That way, when do lose your keys, you can let Siri know and it will automatically start ringing your Tile.

You’ll also see suggestions for apps appear on your lock screen. If you’re running late, Siri will suggest you text the meeting organizer, or remind you to call your grandmother on your birthday. Even if you’re at the movies, Siri will suggest putting your phone on Do Not Disturb.

Users will be able to use Siri Shortcuts on not only their iPhone, but also on the HomePod and Apple Watch.

A variety of app updates

The News app didn’t receive a huge overhaul — those who use it on the iPad will now have a sidebar to scroll through in order to make it easier to find stories. As for the Stocks app, there’s a new spark line that shows stock performance throughout the day. Apple News has also been integrated into the Stocks app, allowing you to see top stories right in Stocks without having to leave the app. You’ll see relevant headlines from Apple News and be able to tap on them to view the full article. Stocks will also be coming to iPad with iOS 12.

Apple has also updated the Voice Memos app with availability on the iPad. The app also has added iCloud support, allowing you to sync your recordings across all Apple devices.

Previously known as iBooks, the redesigned app also has a new name — Apple Books. New features include a “Reading Now” section that previews where you left off, allowing you to easily pick right back up again. There’s also a new “Book Store” that makes browsing for new books easier than it was before.

With CarPlay, Apple has added support for third-party navigation apps.

Do Not Disturb at bedtime

With a new Do Not Disturb feature, you’ll no longer wake up to a ton of different notifications on your lock screen. By turning this feature on, all of your notifications will be hidden until you toggle Do Not Disturb off.

For those who find themselves using Do Not Disturb often, you’ll also be able to set an end time to automatically turn the feature off whether it’s when you leave a particular location or an event ends.

Grouped notifications

Rather than seeing a long list of notifications, iOS 12 will now group them for you — not just by app but also by topic and thread. You’ll be able to tap in and look at a particular notification and then delete an entire thread with a single swipe.

You’ll also be able to tune your notifications and decide whether you want a particular app to send you ones in the future or if you want it to bypass the lock screen. Siri will even suggest which notifications you should turn off depending on the apps you don’t use often.

Managing screen time

To allow users more insight and control over how much time they spend on a device, iOS 12 will provide users with a detailed weekly activity summary. You’ll be able to see how much time you spent on your iPhone or iPad — whether it’s within a specific app, how often you’re picking up your phone, or what apps are sending you the most notifications.

Thanks to an App Limits feature, you’ll be able to set your own limits for how much time you want to spend on a specific app. You’ll then receive notifications letting you know that time is almost up and once you’ve reached your limit.

Parents will also receive a report of their kids’ phone usage and will have the ability to give them allowances. With a Downtime feature, parents will be able to choose whether they want to limit their kid’s usage by category, individual app, or unplug altogether. There’s also an Always Allowed section that gives them the ability to still make phone calls, use educational apps, and more. Parents can also limit access to movies and websites if they’d like. All of this can be managed remotely across iPhone and iPad using the Family Sharing app.

Animoji and Memoji

The new OS also brings along more Animojis — specifically the ghost, koala, tiger, and T. Rex. There’s also a new feature that allows you to add a tongue to any Animoji.

But that’s not all — Apple also introduced Memoji (which might be its response to Samsung’s AR Emoji). You’ll now be able to create an augmented reality character that resembles you — with the option to choose from different hairstyles, eye colors, and more distinct features like freckles.

Apple has also added fun effects into the iMessage camera. Users can add things like shapes, texts, filters, and stickers to their photos that they can then send within conversations. They’ll even be able to insert Animojis and Memojis into photos.

Group FaceTime

You’ll now be able to FaceTime not two or three people simultaneously, but with iOS 12, you can video chat with up to 32 people. Since it’s now integrated into iMessage, you can easily set up a group FaceTime call through the iMessage group chat window. You’ll also have the option to add fun effects like stickers and Memoji while on the FaceTime call.

The feature works on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. For Apple Watch users, you’ll be able to answer via FaceTime Audio.

Apple TV in the Control Center

For those who use Apple TV, you’ll now be able to add an Apple TV tile into the Control Center in iOS. That way, you’re able to easily access it by swiping up to the Control Center menu and tapping on the icon.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Live updates: How to watch Apple’s WWDC 2018 keynote
  • Here are five new features we want to see in Apple’s iOS 12
  • Apple’s iOS 13 could feature a revamped Files app and better multitasking
  • Apple’s iOS 11.3 is now available for download on the iPhone and iPad
  • 28 iOS 11 tips and tricks to help you navigate Apple’s latest update with ease


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