Apple has announced iOS 12, which will come to iPhones and iPads later in the year.
The next major update to the iPhone and iPad8217;s mobile operating system was rumoured to be all about improvements to quality and performance, though we suspected Apple would have a few surprises in store.
We stayed positive, and sure enough, Apple wowed us.
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First of all, Apple said iOS 12 will be available on all the same devices as iOS 11. The company said it is 8220;doubling down on performance8221; with this update, too. For instance, the software was optimised with Apple8217;s chip team, and as a result, apps should launch up to 40 per cent faster. It even put the software through stress tests. Apple said it8217;s focusing on improving performance on older devices, as well.
Apple worked with Pixar to make a new file format for AR called USDZ. It works in multiple apps, and several companies will support it, including Adobe and Autodesk. Native USDZ support coming to Adobe Creative Cloud, too, so there will be new apps for Creative Cloud and a new iOS app that lets you take images and text and put it in AR, Apple explained.
Apple announced a new AR measurement tool called Measure. It can measure and detect real-world objects. There are two tabs in the app 8211; measure and level 8211; and the app has a camera view, which lets you tap, drag a line, and measure.
Apple is improving ARKit with face tracking, realistic rendering, 3D object detection, persistent experiences, and shared experiences, the latter of which will let you have single AR experience used on multiple iPhones. Martin Sanders, director of innovation for Lego, came onstage to show a Lego kit that he and others could manipulate together with an AR app. More experiences will arrive later this year.
Apple explained that the Photos app is gaining a new 8220;For You8221; tab, similar to Apple Music. It has an 8220;On this day8221; section featuring existing memories, looping Live Photos, Portrait photos, and more. The For You tab will also suggest editing tools to try. Apple also updated the Photos app so you can do multiple search terms and get suggestions for multiple search terms. It can index by time, place, categories.
Apple, of course, also talked about SiriKit. Going forward, Apple said, 8220;any app can expose quick actions to Siri.8221; So, apps will be able to have an 8220;Add to Siri8221; button with your own search phrase. With this new functionality, you can say, 8220;Siri I lost my keys,8221; which could then launch Tile. In a demo with the Kayak app, Apple showed there8217;s an 8220;Add to Siri.8221; You tap it, record a custom phrase, and then you can say it to Siri.
This entire effort also includes a new Shortcuts app so that Siri can handle routines for the first time. So, on your way home from work, you8217;ll be able to automatically send a message to your partner.
Apple said it wants to 8220;give you more control8221; over notifications. Starting with Do Not Disturb, a new 8220;Do not disturb during bedtime8221; will hide notifications on a device8217;s lock screen at night. You can also hard press this function so you can easily set a time limit for it. There will also be instant adjustments. You 8220;press in8221; to a notification and see a few options, like 8220;Send to notification center.8221;
This new iOS feature shows you how much you use your phone. You can get a weekly activity summary with a graph that shows how much time you8217;re spending on your phone. It reminds us of the dashboard in Android P. You can also set time limits for each app. When time is up, the app will show 8220;Time8217;s up8221; notification, and then you can tap a link to ask for more time.
You8217;ll be able to see how long you are using each app for, when you8217;re using each app, how often you unlock your phone, and which app serves up the most notifications. It will be possible to limit how much you use an app each day. If you have children, you can set app app 8220;allowances8221;.
But the most interesting new thing is something called Memoji, which is what happens when you make an Animoji of yourself. It8217;s different from Bitmoji and Samsung8217;s AR emoji 8211; but also similar. With the new Memoji builder, you can select your skin colour, hair, etc. You then pull up the camera in iMessage, and there8217;s a star button you can tap to access effects. You can even do a live recording of the Animoji.
There will likely be three iOS 12 release dates: one for developers, one for public beta testers, and one final version for general iOS users. The first developer beta is available right now to developers who have a paid membership with Apple. The iOS 12 public beta typically launches late June. This beta is free to download and use. And the final version, which is also free, should be out in September alongside the new iPhones.
iOS 12 will run on an extensive list of iPhones and iPads. But, essentially, it will support any iOS device released since 2013. Check out: Can I get iOS 12 on my iPhone or iPad?