iOS 12 is almost here.
Apple announced the newest version of its mobile operating system at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but September is typically the month when Apple launches its major iOS updates – usually a few days before it begins shipping its new iPhones.
But what can you expect from iOS 12?
Here are the 15 most useful features to look forward to in iOS 12:
1. Apple is making sure iOS 12 works great on older devices. For instance, it says apps will launch up to 40% faster on the iPhone 6S running the new software.
2. iOS 12 offers some nice performance boosts too. This means you can snap photos up to 70% faster, for example — but the system is generally smarter about when to use power, which should also help you preserve battery life.
3. iOS 12 features ARKit 2, which offers improved face-tracking, more realistic rendering, and support for 3D object detection and persistence for more immersive augmented-reality experiences. The coolest part: You can play AR games with multiple people, who can see a common virtual environment.
4. iOS 12 makes it easy to share your augmented-reality experiences. Apple worked with Pixar to create a new file format that’s optimised for sharing but has great 3D graphics and animations.
5. A new iOS 12 app called Measure lets you, yes, measure distance and length using augmented reality. Just point your phone’s camera at what you want to measure, then tap and drag a line with your finger to create a measurement. The Measure app can automatically detect the size of photos and other rectangular images.
6. Apple’s Photos app is getting a nice boost in iOS 12. A new “For You” tab lets you see photos you took that day in past years, or some Apple-made effects that could be applied to your photos. There are also new search suggestions for people, places, and even categories of photos, like water sports. And iOS 12 can even detect which friends are in your photos and offer to send those photos to them.
7. Apple made Siri more powerful in iOS 12 with a new feature called “Siri Shortcuts.” Basically, you can create “if this, then that” commands — so saying a phrase like “I lost my keys” to Siri could automatically trigger your Tile app to play an alarm so you can find them. Siri Shortcuts are also proactive: If Siri recognises that you usually buy coffee in the morning, it can surface that ability right on your lock screen.
8. Apple’s Stocks app is getting a pretty big overhaul. Now, you see various stocks you’re following. In iOS 12, you’ll also get news headlines about those stocks, thanks to an integration with Apple News.
9. If you have a car that supports Apple CarPlay, iOS 12 for the first time provides support for third-party navigation apps, including Google Maps and Waze.
10. Notifications also got a big overhaul in iOS 12. You’ll be able to group them by app, topic, or thread, as well as tweak each app’s notification settings right from the lock screen.
11. In iOS 12, you’ll get a new app called Screentime, which gives you data and insights about how you spend time in your apps. You can see how often you’re picking up your phone, which apps are drawing you in, and which apps are sending the most notifications.
12. iOS 12 will introduce a feature called “App Limits” designed to help you manage your time with certain apps. For instance, if you want to spend only an hour on Instagram per day, you can do that. Parents can also set limits for their kids by category or individual app, in case you always want them to have access to, say, educational apps.
13. Apple is taking its Animoji feature to the next level in iOS 12. Now, you’ll be able to create a personalised Animoji, called Memoji, choosing skin tones, freckles, hairstyles, head shapes, eye colours, eyebrows, and more to create the Animoji of your dreams (or nightmares).
14. Apple basically made its own version of Snapchat within its Messages app. Your camera can now add filters, text, and stickers — as well as Animoji or Memoji — to your photos and videos.
15. FaceTime is getting a huge upgrade in iOS 12 with the introduction of “Group FaceTime,” which can support up to 32 simultaneous participants. You can also add stickers, filters, and Animoji to your FaceTimes. Unfortunately, it won’t be ready when iOS 12 launches — expect an update later in the year with the new feature.
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