iOS 12 should be popular, thanks to Apple’s focus on enhanced performance and new time-management features for both adults and children. Expected in September, the free update will work on all iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches that can run iOS 11, including the iPhone 5s and the original iPad Air.
During its Worldwide Developer Conference keynote earlier this year, Apple shared impressive performance numbers about iOS 12, using the iPhone 6 Plus as an example. On that older iPhone, apps will launch 40% faster, the keyboard will display 50% faster, and the camera will come up 70% faster. This improved responsiveness is made possible by a change in how quickly the CPU ramps up when a burst of CPU power is needed.
Do you ever receive annoying notifications on your iPhone’s Lock screen and wish you could quickly reconfigure things to eliminate that app’s notification next time? A new feature, Instant Tuning, allows you to do that easily without having to hunt around in Settings for the correct switch.
Apple improved another notification-related feature, Do Not Disturb, to provide more peace of mind when you turn it on (say, at the start of a lecture), since you won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. Instead, you’ll be able to select whether it should turn off automatically in an hour, at the end of the day, when you leave a location, or at the end of a calendar event.
iOS 12 also introduces Bedtime mode. With this new mode, if you glance at your Lock screen to check the time at night while Do Not Disturb is on, the screen won’t light up all the way and new notifications won’t appear until you unlock your iPhone in the morning.
Better Tools for Tracking and Limiting Use
iOS 12’s new Screen Time feature will help you monitor usage of your device, showing how much time per day you use it, how many times per hour you pick it up, and more. A new App Limits option will let you limit how much time you spend in certain apps, plus iOS 12 will provide vastly improved parental controls.
These changes will make the upgrade worthwhile for some users:
- Password management will be simpler, thanks to new iCloud Keychain features for creating and storing passwords, and for sharing them among your Apple devices easily.
- CarPlay will support third-party GPS apps such as Google Maps and Waze.
- The new Shortcuts feature will allow non-Apple apps to offer Siri voice commands, and you’ll even be able to string together multiple commands in one shortcut.
- Apple has improved augmented reality (AR), adding features that developers are using to build apps that blend real and virtual worlds. Apple’s new Measure app also uses AR to help you measure real-world objects with an iPhone or iPad.
Enhanced Apple Apps
A few apps receive significant interface updates, including the iBooks ebook reader, which will be renamed Books in iOS 12. News also benefits from a revamped look, as do Stocks and Voice Memos. Those last two have long been available on the iPhone, but they’ll make their iPad debut in iOS 12. News and Voice Memos will also become available on the Mac with macOS 10.14 Mojave, and you’ll be able to sync recordings through iCloud.
Photos will have a beefed-up search and a new For You view that hosts Memories and Shared Album activity. If you attend an event—like a wedding—Photos will help you share photos with others who were at the same event. And Photos can now edit raw photos, so long as your iOS device has an A9 chip or later.
Safari picks up several privacy-related features that make it more difficult for Web sites and Web advertisers to track you without your permission. And, SMS one-time passcodes will be less annoying, because when you log in to a site that requires you to enter a code sent via text message, iOS 12 will help you fill in the code.
The FaceTime video chat app will no longer be limited to one-on-one calls. Instead, you’ll be able to connect up to 32 people at once, making it useful for family chats or work conference calls.
Those are some of the most notable changes you can look forward to in iOS 12, but they’re far from all that Apple has in store for us. We’ll look at more of these features in depth once everyone can upgrade to iOS 12.