Apple announced a whole bunch of new features at its developer conference, WWDC, today as part of the upcoming iOS 12 update. Compared to the last few updates, this one looks to be pretty massive, folks.
Here’s the most exciting features announced by the company.
It looks like Apple might have learnt its lesson after the whole CPU throttling controversy, because iOS 12 is going to have a big focus on performance, particularly on older devices. According to software VP, Craig Federighi, tests on the iPhone 6 show apps launch 40 per cent faster, the system keyboard opens 50 per cent faster, and opening the camera is 70 per cent faster. Not bad at all.
Federighi says the company is working on speeding up apps and process across the entire range of devices compatible with iOS 12.
If you’re the kinda person who receives a lot of notifications, you’ll know how messy that shit can get on your home screen. In iOS 12, your notifications will be grouped based on their source, so you won’t have to sift through 100 messages from a single group chat to get to everything else. You’ll be able to expand the list by tapping on the grouped notification.
You’ll also have more control over how and where your notifications are displayed, including a “quiet” mode that will show them in Notification Centre silently rather than your lock screen.
If you’re trying to cut down on how much you use your phones, good news, Apple is keen to give you a hand with a new feature called Screen Time.
As the name suggests, the feature will help users manage their phone time right down to individual apps and even app categories. It will show you things like which apps are sending the most notifications and a weekly summary of your usage habits.
If you’re the type of person who needs a bit of a nudge, you can set up limits for each app. When you’re getting close to the end of your set time, you’ll be notified, and when you’re completely out, you’ll receive a “time’s up” message. Of course, you can simply request more time, so it’s not a hard lockout.
Yep, a bunch of new Animoji characters are coming to the iPhone X, including a ghost, koala, tiger, and tyrannosaurus rex. The feature will now also be able to detect your tongue, so that’ll be fun, I guess.
Speaking of facial recognition…
Like Samsung‘s custom avatars, iOS 12 will have a similar feature that’ll let you create all sorts of wacky custom faces that behave like Animoji.
They’re called Memoji and essentially work like any other character creation app. You’ll b able to select skin colour, hairstyle, outfits and accessories for your little digital pal.
Group FaceTime calls
If you were the kind of person who got off on adding every single person on your MSN Messenger contacts list to a group chat just to watch everyone freak out, here’s a feature just for you.
FaceTime in iOS 12 will support up to 32 people, which, to me, sounds nothing short of a fucking nightmare. Never add me to your sadistic group calls. Do not.
Apple announced a whole bunch of new AR features for iOS 12, but the most practical of the bunch is the measure app.
As you’ve probably guessed, the app will allow you to point your camera at objects in the real world and get measurements for them by taping and dragging out a line. Of course, there’s a number of apps that do this already, but this first-party addition will utilise the functionality of Apple’s latest ARKit, so it’s likely to be more precise. At least until the others cop an update.
Both Google and Amazon already do this with their respective digital assistants, but it’s good to see Apple come to the party with its own Shortcuts app.
Essentially, Shortcuts will give you the freedom to create your own custom Siri requests which can trigger multiple actions at once.
Other iOS 12 additions include:
- Apple News improvements including a Browse tab
- The Stocks app has been completely rebuilt
- Voice Memos coming to iPad, adding iCloud syncing
- iBooks is now Apple Books
- CarPlay will support Google Maps and Waze navigation
- Siri will interact with more apps
- Updates to the Photos app including a For You suggestions tab
- Updates to the ARKit framework and better AR experiences
- The new emojis announced a little while ago including red haired faces
It’s a big update, folks. The iOS 12 update will rollout to users later this year, likely around September, with a beta later this month.Image: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan