Apple has recently launched its new OS in the market and after a successfull beta testing it is now globally rollig out in the iPhones. More than three months after its beta testing, the Cupertino giant has now made the stable version of its latest mobile platform available to all compatible iPhone and iPad models, including iPhone 5s and later models, all iPad Airand iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and later models, iPad 6th generation and later models, iPad mini 2 and later models, and the iPod touch 6th generation. Highlighted features of the latest version include Memoji, Siri Shortcuts, upgraded Photos, Screen Time, and Group Notifications among others. Alongside iOS 12, Apple has released tvOS 12 for Apple TV models, and also brought watchOS 5 as the new software for Apple Watch models.
iOS 12 Features
iOS 12 is the biggest update for the platform that’s been released this year. To recall, it was officially unveiled back at WWDC 2018. It majorly aims to improve performance on older devices. Apple claims that iOS 12 enables the devices to launch apps up to twice as fast as on the last iOS update. Also, the camera launches up to 70 percent faster, whereas the keyboard appears up to 50 percent faster, and typing is also more responsive than last iOS version. Apple also notes in the official changelog that all supported iOS 12 devices see the improved performance – starting from iPhone 5s and iPad Air.
In addition to the boost in performance, iOS 12 brings the all-new Photos app that includes a new For You tab that includes all the personalised memories and highlighted photos that are from the same day in the past year(s), combining Memories and iCloud Shared Albums. The Photos app also has Sharing Suggestions to recommend sharing photos taken at events with the people who are featured in them. Further, there is an improved search within the new Photos app that lets you find your memories based on any particular place, business name, or event. The import functionality of the camera has also been improved with a large preview mode as well as an overall faster import experience than the previous Photos version. Apple has additionally provided the ability to edit images in RAW format.
Apart from the new features on the Photos app, iOS 12 brings a fresh camera experience that has an improved Portrait mode and the support to scan QR codes. Apple has also updated messaging on iOS 12 with Memoji that allows you to bring you as an Animoji with customisable features. Animoji on the latest iOS version has also been expanded with T-Rex, ghost, koala, and tiger characters. Apple has also added the ability to make Memoji and Animoji with wink and stick out their tongue. You can now also capture Animoji recordings for up to 30 seconds. This is higher than the original 10-second limit. Further, there are new camera effects including filters, text effects, and iMessage sticker packs and shapes to enhance your messaging experience.
Apple gained huge audience attraction at the time of announcing iOS 12 at its WWDC 2018 back in June for the Screen Time feature. This helps you see detailed information about how much time you spent with apps and websites on your iOS device. There are also built-in tools to offer you the right balance of time spent. You can see the time spent on apps, usage across categories of apps, and how many notifications are received and how often the device is picked up. Likewise, you can set app limits as per your convenience to set the amount of time you or any of your family member spend in apps and on websites. The latest iOS version also has an improved Do Not Disturb feature that you can turn off after a certain time, location, or calendar event. There is also a Do Not Disturb During Bedtime that hides all notifications from your Lock screen while you sleep.
Siri has also been uplifted in iOS 12 with Siri Shortcuts and “Add to Siri” buttons for third-party apps. Siri can also suggest shortcuts on the Lock screen and in Search to ease your experience. You can also translate phrases in more languages, with support for over 40 language pairs. Further, you can ask Siri to check facts about celebrities, such as when they were born, and ask questions about food, including calories and nutrient content, and even turn the torch on or off. The experience is also more natural than before and expressive voice has been provided in Irish English, South African English, Danish, Norwegian, Cantonese and Mandarin (Taiwan).
Some awesome new features in iOS 12
1. Performance improvements
When even the good old iPhone 5s is getting an upgrade, the focus better be on improving performance on older devices. Thankfully, that is the case with iOS 12 and we’ve seen our older iPhones performing much better. Animations are no longer as pronounced, share sheets launch faster, and apps are quicker to open on iOS 12. This extends the life span of your device and in many cases, a relatively affordable battery replacement will ensure that your old iPhones work as well as it did on day one.
2. Better notifications
If ever there was a feature that made us go, “Finally!”, it is this. Notifications are finally grouped by app so all the clutter from WhatsApp and other apps gets hidden behind the newest notification. If you are getting too many alerts from any app, you can quickly swipe towards the left on any notification and tap Manage. This quickly allows you to stop notifications from that app or to stop them from appearing on the lock screen via an option called “Deliver Quietly”.
3. Curb your iPhone addiction
The Screen Time feature of iOS 12 allows you to reduce the amount of time you spend using apps on your iPhone. Go to Settings > Screen Time and put app limits for yourself. You can easily extend the amount of time you spend using any app for which you hit a limit, so for this to work, you need a bit of self-control too.
4. Automate everything
The Siri Shortcuts app is your new best friend if you like tweaking things on your smartphone. From setting custom phrases such as, “Show me the money!”, to open your banking app to executing a seven-task chain of actions via multiple apps with just one tap — Siri Shortcuts is your best bet for automation on iOS 12. The app will be available after iOS 12 releases.
5. AR goes to the next level with 3D object recognition
Is this the year when augmented reality goes mainstream? No one can say for sure, but the demo of the Homecourt basketball app during the iPhone XS launch event definitely got us excited. That app lets you track a player’s basketball performance without putting any kind of sensor on their body. Imagine if this kind of an app could be designed for other sports — a whole bunch of sensor-making companies may go out of business. iOS 12 and ARKit 2 could combine to make this possible. There are a couple more neat AR features on iOS 12 — a Measure app that lets you measure the distance between two points in the real world, or the dimensions of real-world objects, and this release also marks the debut of a new file format for AR (USDZ), which could allow you to quickly see if a certain piece of furniture fits in your living room, among other things.
6. Voice Memos
The redesigned Voice Memos app is such a basic thing that we’re surprised that it took so long. As journalists, the Voice Memos app is something we use frequently and until now it was extremely frustrating to use. With iOS 12, it finally makes seeking through a recording easy in the Voice Memos app. Recordings are also automatically tagged by location so you don’t have to worry about naming each file individually, and sharing and duplicating these files is also pretty easy. This app now has iCloud syncing so your recordings are synced across devices. If we were to guess, it appears as though a journalist joined Apple and helped them make the app user friendly. Apple Books and Stocks apps have also been revamped, but Voice Memos’ redesign is the most useful for us.
7. Siri has more general knowledge, is better at translation
Siri, even though it’s not very useful in India, is getting a lot smarter. Apple has been working on expanding its repertoire. Try asking Siri for trivia questions and find out if it can answer more of these. It can now answer questions such as “How healthy is fish?” and provide suggestions from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) database. Siri also has an improved motorsports database to answer your racing related queries, is better at answering questions around celebrity facts, and also at translating languages with up to 50 language pairs now supported.
8. Improved Photos apps
The Photos app has a new look that resembles Apple Music, with a For You tab for personalised albums and sharing suggestions. The latter is really useful if you’re the kind of person that forgets to share photos with close ones or on social media. The Photos app smartly creates albums of your recent outings for you to go through or share. Apart from this, the stock camera app on iOS now has improved Portrait Lighting modes for iPhone models that support this and better QR code detection.
9. CarPlay to get Google Maps
Apple Maps just doesn’t work in India, and that means Apple’s CarPlay is practically useless. CarPlay is a platform for cars, which links your iOS device to the car. It’s slated to get Google Maps sometime soon, and if that happens, finally CarPlay will support navigation in India.
10. Animoji and Memoji
Animoji is one of the headline software features of the iPhone X, even though it’s goofy and perhaps not as useful as other features of iOS 12. If you ever wished that you could do some voice acting for your favourite animated character, maybe Animoji can make it come true. With iOS 12, Animoji has four new characters — T. Rex, koala, ghost, and tiger — and a new feature called Memoji, which allows you to create an animated character that looks just like you. There’s also tongue and wink detection for your Animoji to look more like you.
11. Group FaceTime
Well, this is one of those features that was shown off at the WWDC 2018 keynote, but delayed in the run-up for iOS 12’s release. If and when this update ships, FaceTime will soon allow you to have group audio and video calls with up to 32 people at once. If you want to host a family gathering on FaceTime, well this is your chance.
12. Even better privacy
Apple has been quite vocal about the fact that it cares about protecting your personal data. With iOS 12, some key privacy features have been added. One of these is device fingerprinting protection, which means that advertisers can’t distinguish your device from others on the Internet and that leads to fewer ads following you across the Web. Safari browser also ensures that social widgets (like and comment buttons) on websites can’t track you without your permission. There’s even an improved password suggestion service that suggests stronger passwords and helps you replace weak or repeated passwords quickly.