This is part of my WWDC 2018 coverage. Check out my roundup of everything Apple announced HERE!
iOS 11 was a mess! I’m not exaggerating here: Apple really had the buggiest iOS update EVER. I got lucky that I never got the short straw, but others weren’t. It’s unlike Apple for them to have a lot of bugs that got out to users. (Then again, this is a different Apple.) This year, Apple is doubling down on making iOS more stable and have less bugs. iOS 12 brings that and more to the table. Without further ado, this is my iOS 12 roundup! I’ll tackle my Top 12 features of iOS 12.
- Third-party Password Manager support in iOS keyboard
iOS 12 FINALLY brings us notifications that group themselves per app! It’s been a long time coming! (Android had this feature like 3-4 years ago, but better late than never.) You can 3D Touch on the stack to see all notifications of that app. Swiping all the way to the left removes that stack. It’s insane to me that Apple took so long to put this in. Another feature of iOS 12 is the ability to do Instant Tuning to your notifications. That way, you can change how the notification works directly after you receive that notification.
New Do Not Disturb Options
I use Do Not Disturb regularly. I always have a scheduled one so that I don’t get random notifications while sleeping. With iOS 12, they’re adding few new options to it. You can now automatically enable Do Not Disturb until you leave a certain location or a calendar event ends. You can even set it for just an hour! This is really useful for people who need to focus on certain things and want nothing to do with their phone. There’s also this new feature called Do Not Disturb During Bedtime. This feature dims your iPhone’s display and silence overnight notifications until you unlock your iPhone in the morning. I like how it works as it is, but this is a welcome improvement.
After putting out Animojis with the iPhone X, they’re going one step further. You can now make an Animoji of yourself! It’s called a Memoji and you can customize its look like what you see in the image! Not only can you use it in Messages, you can also use it in FaceTime! Speaking of FaceTime…
You can FINALLY now have group FaceTime calls thanks to iOS 12! Up to 32 people can join the call. The call shows people in squares. The person who is currently speaking gets to have a prominent square. You can show Animojis or Memojis and apply camera effects on FaceTime now! iMessage has those same camera effects as well. It will be interesting to see where Apple takes FaceTime in the future.
Take Control with Screen Time!
Let’s face it. Some smartphone users use their phones a lot more than they should. (This is relatively subjective though.) People are starting to realize that fact and want to find ways to lessen their use of their phones. With that in mind, Google and Apple added ways to help you manage your time with your phone. In iOS 12’s case, you have Screen Time. It basically summarizes your phone activity and determines how long you use each app. You can also have App Limits that lets you set a limit for how long you can use an app in a day. You can also do all these things for your kids so that you can limit their overall device usage. The downside to this is that you have to really get into these settings to set these all up. It takes some dedication to do these and I hope people utilize this feature.
I have to admit something. Siri sucks. It sucks so bad that even catching up to Google Assistant is difficult enough. Sure I would love to see a revamp of Siri by now, but Apple gave us something else. In iOS 12, Siri is intelligent enough to suggest a shortcut for you based on what you do a lot in your phone. An example is Siri suggesting your usual coffee order. You can just tap on the suggestion and make the order! Again, this takes some work with the third-party developers to make the feature worth trying out. I think they can though. It’s a nice nifty feature. You can also get other shortcuts through the new Shortcuts app.
A Faster iOS!
Thanks to the nightmare that was iOS 11, Apple made sure that iOS 12 will run faster than ever! Old devices such as the iPhone 5s will see great performance improvements compared to iOS 11. You will see a faster Camera, a faster keyboard, and more!
A More Private iOS.
Websites are getting heavier and heavier. It actually isn’t because of the actual site itself. The root of it all is those pesky cookies and trackers. They follow you around wherever you go on the web. With that in mind, iOS 12 doubles down on privacy with notifications like this to help you block those trackers if you want to. Steve Jobs once said that privacy is knowing what you signed up for. I believe that Apple still holds that mantra today and it carries over with iOS 12.
Shared Augmented Reality!
With iOS 11, Apple brought augmented reality (AR) to the mainstream. ARKit made it possible for developers to create apps that have deep AR experiences. Shopping for furniture has never been easier! Now with iOS 12, ARKit 2 is set to bring a lot of improvements including the ability to share an AR experience with friends! It was awkward to use AR apps alone in the wild. At least with iOS 12, you can play AR games with your friends without it being a weird moment.
Improved Portrait Lighting
Have you seen a Portrait photo with Portrait Lighting on an iPhone 8? Did it look bad? Not blaming you if you thought so. I wish they rolled this out sooner but it’s a good thing Apple is improving that with iOS 12. I hope this will make that feature more usable.
Google Maps in Apple CarPlay! :O
In a shocking move, Apple opened up CarPlay to third-party navigation apps! This means Waze and Google Maps (both are from Google) get to be in CarPlay for a better navigational experience. A lot of people with CarPlay-equipped vehicles are so happy right now.
Better Password Manager Support
With iOS 12, all password manager apps get a HUGE upgrade. iOS can now pull some passwords that are stored on apps like 1Password and LastPass! This is really useful especially if you don’t use the built-in password manager that much.
That is all for my Top 12 features of iOS 12! What do you think of my list? Did I miss a feature that you’re really excited about? Sound off in the comments!