Apple announced iOS 12 at WWDC on Monday and we just finished installing the developer beta on our iPhone X. Let's take a look at some of the changes and what Apple has included in the first beta release.
Apple said they are doubling down on performance with iOS 12 and mentioned a few statistics comparing iOS 11 to iOS 12 using the iPhone 6 Plus. Testing two iPhone X's, iOS 12 is definitely launching apps faster than iOS 11 and it seems to run more smoothly as well.
One thing we are really excited about is group notifications. Multiple notifications are grouped together by type, we can clear them all at the same time and even change what kind of notification we get directly from the lock screen.
Do Not Disturb gains the ability to keep the feature enabled during specific time periods, when you leave your current location or when an event ends. At night notifications won't show up at all, so if you wake up and check the time you won't get distracted by bothersome messages.
Screen Time is a new feature that lets users manage the amount of time they spend on their iOS device. The information is extremely detailed, showing exactly how much time is spent on each app category, or even specific apps. The goal is to provide users data to make informed decisions on how they spend their time. You can set time limits or even block apps from Screen Time, and there are powerful parental controls that work through Family Sharing.
Animoji gains tongue detection and a few new faces, but the star of the show is "Memoji," a feature very similar to what we covered on the Samsung galaxy S9. You can create your own Animoji using a wide variety of template options, including accessories like glasses.
You can now add filters anywhere your camera is used, with content including shapes, AR Stickers and Animoji/Memoji to make photos a bit more fun. It's a bit buggy at this time, but we are looking forward to using Memoji heads when shooting outside in cool locations or to cover up a bad hair day.
Photos gains much better search capabilities with auto search terms, as well as multiple search capabilities that incorporate keywords, places and events. This will surely come in handy for those that have thousands of photos.
FaceTime now allows up to 32 people to chat at the same time, and has great tools for keeping the conversation sane. Unfortunately the first release is quite buggy but we'll cover it in detail a bit later.
Measure is a simple app that lets users capture the measurements of an object in three dimensions. It works shockingly well and picks up on shapes automatically. In our brief testing, measurements were extremely accurate. It also includes a level.
Apple books, previously iBooks, has a much cleaner re-designed look and shows you the page you left off on. Apple News receives a facelift that comes with a Browse feature that includes the Following tab and Search feature. For You is now on the "Today" page.
The Stocks app gets a new design and includes articles pulled from Apple News. Even better is compatibility with iPad and macOS. Voice memos is also redesigned with a cleaner look, doesn't prompt you to name your files and syncs to the cloud.
Unfortunately Siri Shortcuts, which lets users create powerful multi-action, voice-activated macros, is not included in the first release but we are really excited about its capabilities and hope to get our hands on it soon.