On Monday Apple kicked off their annual worldwide developers’ conference. This is their annual conference where Apple talked about all the new software.
Of course, one of the many big talking points was iOS 12. There’s a lot to cover so let’s dive right in with Screen Time. This first one lets you see how much time you’re spending on your apps on your iPhone or iPad. You can even set up time limits on your apps so that after a given amount of time, you will be forced out of the app. With that said they will allow you to give yourself an extension (if you want).
Whilst we are on the topic, I should also mention that if you have kids that use iPhones or iPads, you will be able to control what they have access. For example, you can lock things down on your child’s iPhone so that they don’t see any notifications during bedtime. I don’t know if this would be a thing, but I can see a lot of parents limiting their kids to 30 minutes of Candy Crush on their iPhones before they have to come out of it.
Are you a user of FaceTime on iOS? If you are then you will like this one. With iOS 12 you will be able to make group FaceTime calls. You will be able to have up to 32 people in a group video/audio call at the same time. Everyone gets their own square in the video call, when they are speaking their square will get larger and take the main portion of the screen.
Of course, there are some updates to some of the apps on iOS. For example, Stocks on iOS is getting a bit of revamping. For example, there will now be a news section where you can see business news stories that have been curated by Apple’s employees. Additionally, I should also point out that with iOS 12, the Stocks app will be coming to the iPad.
Speaking of news. the News app is also getting a re-work as well. For example, you will have a “For you” section when you launch the app. This will be news stories that are curated based on the stories that you view in the News app. If you have various news sources that you have saved as a favourite, then you will be able to get to them even quicker.
If you use Siri then you will like this one. This is because with iOS you will now have something called shortcuts. It allows you to use Siri to help you save time when using your phone. For example, let’s say you have one of those devices like Tile that helps you to track your keys. You could record a specific phrase (such as “I lost my keys”). Siri will then launch Tile and help you to reunite you with your keys. Alternatively, if you pick up a coffee on your way to work, Siri will see this and will display a notification to order that coffee so it’s ready for you to pick up later.
Animoji was announced with the launch of the iPhone X and the iPhone 8. These were animated emoji that you could use in the Messages apps. However, One of the big things coming to Animoji in iOS 12 is MeMoji. MeMoji are Animoji which you can customise to look like you. Whilst you will be able to use them in the Messages app, you will also be able to use them in a FaceTime call.
Other features worth mentioning include the battery reports in settings. You will now be able to see your usage for the last 24 hours or 10 days. The wallet app will also support contactless student ID cards. This means that you can use your iPhone to access the library at your university (if they support that). Last but not least, if you do voice recordings using the Voice Memos app, then you will also be able to sync them to your iPad using iCloud (yes, the Voice Memos app is coming to the iPad in iOS 12).
Overall, this is going to be a release that Apple touts as being more about performance. It’s about making things run faster on your iOS device. This includes things like typing with the keyboard or swiping to get to the camera. On paper, Apple says that apps should launch up to 2 times faster than they did before.
Whilst Apple said that it was all about performance there were some changes to the apps between the News app, the stocks, app, FaceTime and the new Screen Time feature.
On the group FaceTime calls, We’ve had group video calling in Skype and Google Hangouts. With that being said, Skype allows 25 people to be in a group audio/video call.
If you are someone who is looking to curb the amount of time that you spend on your iPhone on Facebook (or another app) then it could be useful. Better still, if you have kids and you notice them spending way too much time on their iPhones or iPads then that could be a godsend.
However, keep in mind that Google announced a similar feature to Screen Time which will be in Android P. With that said we will have to wait until iOS 12 comes out to see how good Apple’s implementation really is.
On the MeMoji thing, I have to say that when I saw this in action, it made me laugh. I think it will be a fun addition to your messaging between your friends and family (if they are iPhone users that is!).
So let’s answer another big question that some of you might have: When can you expect to get your hand on iOS 12? Well, iOS 12 is coming out in the Autumn (or Fall if you’re in the USA).
However, if you cannot wait then there is some good news. This is because there will be a beta available very soon. You can sign up using the Beta Program page on Apple’s website.
iOS 12 will be available on the iPhone 5S or newer, the iPad Pros, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 or newer, the 5th and 5th generation of iPad and the 6th generation iPod Touch.
Of course, if you are a developer and you are a paying member of Apple’s developer program then you should be getting the beta today.
What are your thoughts on iOS 12? Leave a comment below!