Apple spent a big chunk of its WWDC 2018 announcement focusing on iOS 12 and new features that will be available in the update. These include improvement to performance, ARKit 2 – the Measure app is especially impressive – a new notification system, and of course, Memoji.
There are a lot of things to talk about in iOS 12, and here are the biggest new features you should know of.
This is probably one of the most important iOS 12 features that were unveiled today, and those with older iOS devices will particularly like this. According to Apple, iOS 12 will feel faster than ever, with quicker app launch and general increase in performance. Summoning the keyboard will also take less time, and so is accessing the camera.
iOS’ notification system can get really frustrating, and Apple will be doing something about it in iOS 12. In the upcoming update, notifications will finally be grouped to specific apps. Gone are the days where you need to repeatedly swipe away every single notification from the same app.
Much like Google’s initiative with Android P, Apple is giving users a way to measure their device usage with Screen Time on iOS 12. It will give you a weekly summary of your usage habits, right down to how much time was spent in each app, and which app is sending the most notifications.
If you’d like to spend less time on specific apps, you can set time limits on them too. iOS will inform you once you’ve hit your limit, but naturally, you can choose to ignore it. We imagine Screen Time will be especially useful to those who want to know their device usage habits and set limits for themselves – or for parents to control their kids’ usage.
More Siri Integration and Shortcuts App
Siri is also getting an update of sorts. in iOS 12, third-party apps can work with Siri by using simple commands. For example, if you’re using Tile to keep track of your keys, you can set Siri to launch the Tile app with a phrase like “I lost my keys.”
Aside from that, Siri will be able to perform a series of tasks through the new Shortcuts app. This can be triggered with a custom Siri request, and it’s somewhat similar in practice to what Samsung’s Bixby can do with Quick Commands.
Improved Augmented Reality Capabilities
The new ARKit 2 allows developers to create shared AR experiences across different devices, which opens up a number of interesting possibilities. Lego showcased how up to four players can interact with building sets in AR, and it’s just one example on how developers can take advantage of the new tool.
On top of that, Apple will also introduce a new app called Measure in iOS 12. As its name suggests, you can use the app as a measuring tool to accurately measure various objects. Of course, this possible thanks to iOS 12’s improved AR capabilities, and unlike Google’s now shuttered Project Tango, there doesn’t seem to be any need for specific hardware to make this app work effectively.
Always wanted to have multiple participants in a FaceTime call? Well, you can do that in iOS 12, and with up to 32 people. Each participant will have their own window, and those who are speaking will have their windows enlarged. We’re quite curious what would happen when more than one person is speaking at the same time.
Oh, you can even use Animoji and Memoji characters in your video calls.
More Animoji Characters, Tongue Detection, and Memoji
Speaking of which, Apple is adding even more Animoji characters in iOS 12. These include a ghost, tiger, koala, and…a Tyrannosaurus rex. On top of that, Animoji characters will have “tongue detection” in iOS 12, making them even more expressive.
Memoji, on the other hand, is your own custom character. You can customise it to your liking, and it works just like the Animoji characters. Yes, it’s quite similar to Samsung’s AR Emoji, but Memoji does look to be more polished and fun to play with.
iOS 12 is shaping up to be a rather major update, and it’s surprisingly feature-packed too. The developer preview of iOS 12 is now available, with the public beta arriving sometime later this month. As usual, iOS 12 will be available as a free software update in fall 2018.