iOS 12 is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The new version of Apple’s system introduces some new features around digital health, augmented reality, notification management or Siri. We go around the main improvements!
Before adding new features, iOS 12 is primarily a corrective update, providing performance optimizations, including the old iPhone and iPad. We also welcome the fact that the update is always available to devices over five years as the iPhone 5S or iPad Air.
Digital wellness and notifications
The new “Screen Time” module allows you to view and manage the time spent on each application and limit the use of specific categories – social networks, randomly – to a daily duration. For a specified period, all applications can be locked, for example during the night. These limitations may apply to oneself or other family members, especially children.
On this subject the Do Not Disturb mode also helps you sleep better by dimming the screen during your sleep period. In case you wake up during the night, you will only see the time on a dark background if you turn on your smartphone. When you wake up, your notifications are not directly visible: just the weather welcomes you.
iOS 12 also reviews how notifications work. Grouped by applications in small piles, they are more discreet, while new options to disable them or pass them in silent mode, without going through the advanced settings.
iOS 12: Siri and Shortcuts
Siri is enriched with shortcuts to some features of a system or third-party applications that can be associated with a custom phrase. App developers can offer these predefined actions to the user, who have to choose them and define the expression that calls them.
For the most seasoned, the Shortcuts app, the successor of Work-flow bought by Apple, is available on the App Store. It allows you to create your own routines from the features offered by the applications, and to chain them to trigger automated scripts from a voice command or a button accessible from the notification center.
Quite complex in its possibilities, the application manages various data sources and variables that can significantly enrich the shortcuts at the cost of a learning period. Shortcuts, however, offers a turnkey scripting gallery to alert colleagues of a delay, assemble photos, automatically add a series of tasks, or record water usage.
Animojis and Memojis
With the iPhone X, Apple introduced Animojis, animated avatars repeating the design of its emojis, and using the facial recognition of the phone for the movements of the head, eyes and mouth. New Animojis are appearing, accompanied by a novelty: the detection of language and individual eyes.
If you do not feel the soul of a fox, a unicorn or a tyrannosaurus rex, memojis offer you the opportunity to create an animoji to your image, choosing from a wide variety of faces, hair, nose, eyes, eyebrows, ears or skin colors. Animojis, like memojis, can now be used in Facetime calls or video messages, replacing your real face.
Facetime: Call 32 people simultaneously
Facetime calls were among the big news of iOS 12 until the update was removed from the beta versions. It will be possible, however, by the end of the fall, to converse up to 32 people simultaneously, with an interface that intelligently distributes, on the fly, the leaders of the conversation and the guests. Let’s hope that the functionality will not suffer the same fate as the AirPower induction charging mat, which we have nothing new.
ARKit 2: an augmented reality to many
Augmented reality technologies have been a part of Apple’s work since iOS 11. The second version of the ARKit APIs comes in iOS 12 and brings two missing features. It is now possible to create persistent augmented reality experiences, which can be quit to resume later.
And most importantly, one can engage in multiplayer activities, such as a game of ping-pong or virtual Molkky, with several participants and spectators. These additions complete a list that had already been enriched in recent months with the support of vertical surfaces.
A new application makes its arrival in passing. Measures use augmented reality to measure objects in a room. Several third-party applications, such as MeasureKit, already offered this type of functionality. Measures are much more minimalist but provide the essential functionality by default.
Several more minor innovations are also to be mentioned. Safari further improves its privacy management by making user tracing more difficult. The Photos application finally has a search engine to perform recognition on multiple terms. For drivers exasperated by Apple Plans, it is now possible to use Google Maps in the CarPlay interface. Finally, iBooks gives way to Apple Books, a redesigned reading app that also opens to audio-books.