At WWDC 18, Apple detailed some of the new features that it would be part of iOS 12. With the upcoming version of iOS, Apple is focusing on make everyday tasks on iPhone and iPad faster and more responsive by adding performance improvements across the system. The Cupertino giant says there is a significant boost in performance for older phones like iPhone 5s to the most advanced iPhone X, with apps launching 40% faster, the keyboard opening 50% faster and the camera launching 70% faster.
With iOS 12 Apple is also working to reduce the time you spend on your phone. For this, the company introduced a new Screen Time feature that will show the amount of time you are spending on your device, your most frequently used apps, the amount of time you spend on them, number of times you have unlocked your device, and more in daily and weekly Activity Reports.
In addition, Parents will also have an option to access to their child’s Activity Report right from their own iOS devices using Family Sharing in iCloud and allows them to schedule times to limit when a child’s iOS device can be used during bedtime.
The Do Not Disturb automatically ends based on a specified time, location or action on your device for a better experience. Lastly, there’s a new Do Not Disturb during Bedtime that will help people get a better night sleep by dimming the display and hiding all notifications on the lock screen until prompted in the morning.
To help reduce interruptions, iOS 12 also gives customers more options for controlling how notifications are delivered. Instantly manage notifications to be turned off entirely or delivered directly to Notification Center. Siri can also intelligently make suggestions for notifications settings, such as to quietly deliver or turn alerts off, based on which alerts are acted upon. iPhone notifications are finally catching up to Android, and they’re finally introduced grouped notifications, making it easier to view and manage multiple notifications at once.
The Photos app got a smart update with an all-new For You tab that shows favourite moments in one place, combining Memories and iCloud Shared Albums. A new sharing suggestions feature makes it easier to share photos with friends include anything from making a looped Live Photo, or using machine learning to suggest who’s in your photos so you can share them. There is also included new enhanced search option that lets users combine multiple search terms to find just the right photos. The search suggestions surface the most relevant Events, People, Places, Groups, Categories and recent searches.
Siri also got a new update, with a feature called ‘Shortcuts’ to deliver a much speedier way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri. The Siri intelligence can suggest an activity at just the right time — whether it’s to order a coffee in the morning or start an evening workout. Users can customise Shortcuts by creating a simple voice command to activate the task or download the new Shortcuts app to perform a series of actions from several apps that can be carried out with a single tap or customised voice command.
FaceTime is getting a big update as well, and it’s now possible to have a FaceTime group of up to 32 people. The new FaceTime user interface automatically puts whoever is speaking at the centre of the screen. It is also seamlessly integrated into iMessage, so it’s easier than ever to start FaceTime Calls.
Following Google’s footsteps, Apple is also unveiled ARKit 2 in iOS 12. The new platform that allows developers to integrate shared experiences and persistent AR experiences tied to a specific location, object detection and image tracking to make AR apps even more dynamic. There’s also introduced Measure app for iOS, which uses AR to quickly gauge the size of real-world objects similar to a tape measure. It can automatically provide the dimensions of objects like picture frames, posters and signs, and can also show diagonal measurements, computer area and allow users to take a photo and share it with accurate dimensions right from their iPhone or iPad.
ARKit 2 also extends support for image detection and tracking, making it possible to identify 3D objects like toys or sculptures, and adds the ability to apply reflections of the real world onto AR objects automatically. The cute Memojis are the another biggest new AR feature in iOS 12, and they’re deeply customisable Animojis that look like you.
What’s impressive is the fact that Apple will allow developers to take advantage of this argument reality using AR Kit which will enable them to create AR experiences that change the way iOS 12 users see the world in both fun and productive ways. In collaboration with Pixar, Apple is introducing a new open file format, usdz, which is optimised for sharing in apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News, while retaining powerful graphics and animation features.
Other new features in iOS 12 include a Stocks and Voice Memos for iPad, Apple News and Books improvements, third-party navigation apps support for CarPlay, enhanced privacy and security, Siri translation expands to more than 40 language pairs, Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch adds support for student ID cards and more.
ARKit 2 and usdz are part of the iOS 12 developer preview that is available to Apple Developer Program members starting today. ARKit 2 and usdz support will be available this fall as part of a free software update for iPhone 6s and above, all iPad Pro models, iPad 5th gen and iPad 6th gen models.