THE new iteration of Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system has gone public, giving users the chance to check out a raft of new updates.
To download it, just go to the Settings app and under General, click Software Update.
Apple’s iOS 12 comes with lots of new features and a redesign of some of the most familiar apps. And if you’ve got an older phone and you’re thinking of upgrading to the new one, it’s certainly worth holding off until you’ve downloaded iOS 12 because it promises to boost speed and performance, making your phone seem brand new again.
One major update is the arrival of the Screen Time app which is the company’s attempt at showing it cares about our “digital wellbeing”.
When announcing the new app earlier this year at its developers conference, Apple said it wanted to design tools that empowered customers to manage their device time and balance the things that were important to them.
“In iOS 12, we’re offering our users detailed information and tools to help them better understand and control the time they spend with apps and websites, how often they pick up their iPhone or iPad during the day and how they receive notifications,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.
The app let’s you view all sorts of information about your phone use, like how many times you’re picking up your device a day, the apps that suck up all your time and when you are using your device throughout the day.
It also lets you set restrictions on certain apps or app categories which of course are very easy to override but will make you think twice about opening up Instagram again.
You can find the app in Settings.
The Photos app now includes a new For You tab that surfaces favourite moments in one place, combining your Memories and iCloud Shared Albums. You’ll also get sharing suggestions that make it easier to share photos with friends.
Siri will now let you use voice commands to get things done in third-party, non-Apple apps. That means ordering coffees or starting workouts just by asking Siri.
This one is simple but really great — and has been a feature on Android for some time. Apple has made notifications smarter and easier to manage.
No longer will you have an endless stream of WhatsApp notifications and news alerts as notifications will be grouped. Notifications will be arranged by app or conversation instead of piling up one after the other on the screen.
DO NOT DISTURB
Apple’s revamped Do Not Disturb function gives you more control over the notifications and alerts your phone prompts you with. You can block out the outside world except certain information that you can set up beforehand as “critical alerts”.
You can also choose to block calls except from your favourite contacts.
Apple has made some significant performance improvements with iOS 12 and you will seriously notice the difference, especially if you have an older version iPhone.
On certain older iPhone devices, the camera will launch up to 70 per cent faster, the keyboard will appear 50 per cent faster and typing will be more responsive. Some apps will also launch twice as fast and initial reports from users suggest the difference is certainly noticeable.
I know you may have been burned by updates before. I know you may be tempted to wait or even skip this one entirely. But iOS 12 is the real deal.
It’ll make even your old gear run faster and last longer.
And Shortcuts really is the next big thing.
You should get it.— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie)
BETTER AUGMENTED REALITY
A new update to Apple’s augmented reality tech means developers will be able to make cooler AR apps and games for us to enjoy. The tech allows your phone camera to place virtual objects in the real-world view — just like Snapchat filters or the popular Pokémon Go game.
“AR in iOS 12 is an even more realistic mix of the virtual and real world with support for image detection and tracking, making it possible to detect 3D objects and automatically apply reflections,” Apple says.
And AR files can now be viewed in more places, including apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News.
AR is great for gaming but is also giving rise to a bunch of practical new apps that, for example, allow medical students to study the workings of internal organs and Ikea customers to see how a piece of furniture will look in their home.
• There are new Animoji and personalised Memoji characters that are customisable.
• iBooks is now called Apple Books, and has a redesigned interface.
• Apple News also has a simpler redesigned interface that makes it easier to discover new channels and topics, or get straight to your favourites.
• The Stocks app is now on iPad, and includes a split-screen News section.
• CarPlay now supports third-party navigation apps, so you don’t have to use Apple Maps to get around any more.
• Voice Memos now works on the iPad and supports iCloud syncing for your recordings.
• Siri Translation has expanded to more than 40 language pairs, and now has better knowledge of sports, celebrities, food and nutrition.