iOS 12 is finally here and Apple has finally delivered on features we’ve had on our wishlist for almost a decade now. Grouped notifications? Yes, sir. Granular Do Not Disturb controls? Don’t mind if I do. Group FaceTime? Finally. iOS 12 is a performance upgrade. It’s made up of many little features that add up to a really delightful experience.
Find out about all the new and hidden features coming to iOS 12 this fall.
Apple is working hard to bring the new iOS 12 features to every phone that supported iOS 11. This goes back to the iPhone 5s! And this time Apple is actually tweaking CPU performance bursts so older devices get the right CPU power at the right time. On an iPhone 6, apps launch 40% faster, the keyboard comes up 50% faster and camera opens 70% faster.
Apple is finally giving us an overhauled notification system and it starts with something we’ve wanted for a long time: grouped notifications! Apple will group notifications not just by apps but by threads, conversations, and context as well! You can tap on a group to view all the notifications in it.
When you’re using Do Not Disturb at night, it will no longer light up the screen when you get a notification. All you’ll see is a dark lock screen when you tap on the screen. In the morning, notifications will still be hidden. You can tap on the screen to view them when you’re ready.
You can now 3D Touch the Control Center shortcut for Do Not Disturb to set customized DND session at any given time. You can turn it on for just an hour if you wish. If you’ve got a calendar appointment, you can do put your phone in DND mode just for this meeting.
Now, you can manage notification settings for an app right from the notification view. You can turn off notifications for an app, hide it from Lock Screen and more without going to Settings. If you’re not using an app or interacting with a notification, Siri will even suggest that you turn off notifications for the app.
There’s a new type of opt-in notification created for critical information, like reports for healthcare providers, that you will receive even when you have Do Not Disturb turned on.
The Screen Time feature will give you a detailed report of how you’re spending your time on your device. This includes which app you’re using, for how much, how many times you’re picking up your phone, in what context and so on. The detailed are synced with your iPhone and iPad. You’ll also get a weekly summary of your habits.
This feature will give you an insight into how you’re using your device.
Once you know how much time an app is taking up, you can set limits for using particular apps. You’ll get a notification when your time is almost up. And when it’s up, you’ll see a splash screen instead of the app. You can ignore the limit and iOS will give you a bit more time before bugging you again.
The App Limits feature is integrated with Family Sharing. So a parental device can set app usage limits for a kid’s device. Parents can set an allowance for time to be used in general or specifically on a category of apps. Parents can set limits for age-appropriate content as well.
There are four new Animojis: Ghost, Koala, Tiger, and Trex.
You can now stick your tongue out no matter which emoji you’re using. There’s also wink detection.
You can now create your own Animoji character. If you’ve ever used Bitmoji, this is similar to that feature, but in 3D space. You can choose from a diverse set of options of skin color, hair, eye color and more to create an Animoji character that closely resembles the real you.
When you open the camera from the Messages app, you’ll see a little Effects icon in the bottom-left. Here, you’ll be able to add a filter, any sticker, Animoji or Memoji. This is a really cool way to send fun photos and videos in iMessages, especially when you’re getting Memoji in the camera view, live.
FaceTime is finally getting a huge upgrade. FaceTime has a new design and you can now do group calls for upto 32 people! People show up in floating tiles and when they speak, their tiles become bigger and more prominent.
You can start a FaceTime call from a group thread in Messages. People can join in from the link in Messages and leave when they want.
Siri Suggestions are now spread across the OS. As Siri learns your routine, Siri will suggest you shortcuts for things you need to do at the right time. This can be on the Lock Screen or in the search.
Apple has integrated the Workflow app right inside iOS now. It’s called Shortcuts and it’s tied with Siri. The UI for creating a shortcut is very similar to Workflow. You can create a shortcut with multiple steps. Actions that happen one after the other. The cool thing is that you can give it a name, call on it from Siri and Siri will perform all of those actions for you!
Siri is opening up to third-party apps via a new SiriKit API! Using an Add to Siri button, third-party apps will be able to expose certain functionality to Siri. You can then run it from Siri on any of your devices, including the HomePod.
Translation with Siri now works with over 40 language pairs. Previously it was limited to only a handful of languages.
Siri is now much smarter about a lot of things. Siri will answer questions about Motorsports, celebrity facts, and food knowledge. You can also search for Photos Memories and passwords using Siri.
iBooks has been renamed and has a whole new design now. It starts off with a Reading Now section which gives you a preview of what you’re reading. The app also has a redesigned ebook and audiobooks store with a design similar to the App Store.
The redesigned Stocks app gives you more information about the market at a glance. Along with the prices, you’ll be able to see sparklines as well. There are interactive charts plus Apple News integration. You’ll get the latest stories about the market which you can read right inside Stocks app.
Stocks App is now on the iPad as well. It has a sidebar where you can see all the stock prices.
Voice Memos also gets a redesign and it’s also available on the iPad now.
The New Measure app lets you measure flat rectangle surfaces simply by drawing a line on the live camera view. The awesome feature about this app is that if you simply point your camera at an object, it will detect the edges automatically and will count the distance on its own as well!
It’s easier to navigate the news feed now. Just swipe down to jump to your favorite topic or channels. On the iPad you can do all that from the new sidebar.
Apple is building on the feature from iOS 12. Now, iOS blocks share buttons and comment widgets from tracking you without your permission. Safari also prevents advertisers from collecting your device’s unique settings, so they can’t retarget ads to you across the web.
iOS will now help you suggest stronger passwords and you’ll be reminded when you reuse the same password again.
You can now easily share passwords with nearby iOS devices. This works from iOS to Mac and iOS to Apple TV as well (which will be a huge help when setting up a new Apple TV).
If third-party developers choose to integrate it, they’ll be able to access the iOS autofill functionality natively! No need to use an extension or switch between apps to use something like 1Password to fill in your passwords.
This new feature is going to be a game changer for people who use Two Factor Authentication. iOS will now automatically fill in one-time passcodes received over SMS. No need to copy and paste or remember 6 digit codes.
This new tab is the new single place for your Memories, Shared albums, and for intelligent suggestions from Siri. This is where you’ll find effect suggestions, featured photos and more.
Similar to Google Photos, you’ll be able to share a group of photos with your friends easily. Photos app will identify events and places and will suggest you share an album with other people. It will recognize people using face recognition. Once shared, your friends will get a popup to share photos back.
Intelligent search suggestions will give you quick suggestions for events, people, places, and dates when you start searching.
You’ll be able to quickly search photos based on where you took them. Specific and generic terms will both work. Similarly, you’ll be able to search for events as well. Search now supports multiple keywords.
You can now import and manage RAW photos right on your iPhone and iPad! If you’ve got an iPad Pro, you can edit them as well.
A much-needed change, the Portrait Lighting is getting an upgrade in iOS 12. The camera app now generates a mask when it detects a person and intelligently and elegantly separates the person from the scene. The biggest problem with Portrait Lighting was the bad edge detection with faces. This should help with that.
QR Codes are now highlighted once they’re recognized in the Camera app, making them easier to scan.
A new API for third-party developers allows for the separation of layers in a photo, such as separating the background from the foreground.
The new version of ARKit comes with better 3D object recognition, better face tracking, scene reflection and more.
Multiple devices can now share a single AR experience. You can now play a single AR game with your friends!
Apple is making it really easy to create and share 3D objects in AR. To make it easier to share objects, Apple has created a new file format called USDZ. This will make it easy to preview objects in AR and to share it using Mail, Messages or even in a browser.
On iOS 11, quitting an app on iPhone X required a tap and hold action. Now you don’t need to do that anymore! Enter multitasking and just swipe up to force quit an app on iOS 12!
Apple is taking a page from the Microsoft playbook here. There’s a new option in Software Update section called Automatic Updates. Thankfully this feature is turned off by default but if you want to install all updates automatically, you can choose to turn this on.
Now in Landscape view Safari will show tabs on top of the screen. A nice addition that should have been there from day one.
Swiping down from the top-right corner on the iPad will bring down Control Center. And by swiping anywhere on the Dock you can quickly go back to the Home screen. While this is not exactly like the iPhone X, it’s close enough that it won’t lead to frustrations when switching between the two devices.
There’s a new default control added in Control Center. It’s a shortcut to quickly open the camera and scan for a QR code.
If you enable this feature from Safari settings, you’ll now see icons for web pages in the tab view and in landscape mode.
There’s a new Shortcuts section in Siri & Search which will prompt you to create a shortcut for an action. It can be messaging someone on a specific platform, opening a page in Safari or anything else. The great part is that you can record a specific phrase that will make Siri do the action.
You can turn on Bedtime Mode from Do Not Disturb. This will stop messages and calls from lighting up the screen at night. All notifications will be hidden until you get started in the morning.
There’s a new battery statistics chart in Battery settings. You’ll see battery level and usage time in one graph!
From the Voice Memos section in the Settings app, you can choose the audio compression quality, change the default recording name and even delete old notes automatically after 30 days (or never).
The new Siri voice now works when you’re using Speak Selection feature.
Podcasts app now lets you customize skip seconds between 10 and 60 seconds interval. It also supports forward and backward seek when using Bluetooth (headphones and in the car).
In iOS 12, you can swipe up again to retry a Face ID authentication when it fails. In dark, this is a really helpful feature.
The Now Playing widget on Lock Screen and in Notification Center is now dark.
Siri now works with phrases like “where is my phone”, “where is my watch” and “turn on my flashlight”.
The achievements section in Activity app gets a whole new interface.
Now, Artists page gets a new Play button in the banner section. Tapping it will start a random song from the artist.
The Markup feature for screenshots and image editing has a color picker for the pen tool. Instead of 6 colors previously, you now have access to an array of colors.
We’re constantly updating this list as we discover new delightful features. What have we missed? Comment below and we’ll add it here (and give you a shoutout).Like this post? Share it!