If you’re like most people, then you likely already updated your phone to iOS 12. After all, Apple reports that a stunning 80% of its user base actually installs Cupertino’s latest and greatest mobile operating system on the first day that it’s publicly available. Still, ever since iOS 7 hit phones so many years ago, many people have noticed that Apple’s updates have become increasingly less ambitious, often focused on performance rather than on delivering new features. If that sounds like your thinking when it comes to iOS 12, then you just haven’t peaked under the hood enough. Luckily that’s what we’re here for. Keep reading below in order to discover the top features of iOS 12.
1. iOS 12 makes your old iPhone and iPad faster
According to Apple, iOS 12 is built for performance. That’s why everyone’s favorite fruit-named computer company claims that older phones will be able to enjoy between 40-70% increased performance when it comes to certain tasks. What exactly are those tasks, you ask? Well, Apple says they’ve tested the iPhone 6s in particular and that iOS 12 runs 40% faster at launching apps, 70% faster at launching the camera app, and 50% faster at displaying the keyboard on that device.
2. Grouped Notifications
One of the most asked for features in recent years has been grouped notifications. You see, Apple has often been criticized for lagging behind Android in terms of displaying notifications, with many users being specifically frustrated by how much space they take up when being displayed on their device’s lock screen.
Grouped notifications is a small, but very important tweak (perhaps one of the most important to come with iOS 12) changes the lock screen alerts by binding together notifications by message threads and topics, making it easier to see everything at a glance.
3. Memoji and changes to Animoji
Remember Animoji? If you’re an iPhone X owner or know someone who has one, then you’ve likely already seen Animoji first hand. Well, now Apple is extending the capabilities of this iOS-only feature by allowing people to create “Memoji” based on your real life appearance. If creating a talking cartoon avatar of yourself wasn’t enough for ya, Apple has also allowed for people to take on four new Animoji masks including ghost, koala, tiger, and t-rex. Other changes include aimoji and Memoji clips last 30 seconds (up to 10 seconds) and tongue and wink detection.
4. Siri Shortcuts
Apple’s latest update has also added a couple of IQ points to Siri. The magical smarts-boosting change is called ‘Siri Shortcuts’, a way to accomplish more with your personal assistant. Basically, Apple allows for all sorts of formulas to be added to Siri. For example, the app can suggests coffee orders from the place you always order from, and nudge you to message contacts to tell them you're running late.
Another example of what Siri can now do is find you flight-information with a simple voice command. By pressing the add to Siri button, you can then say “Travel plans” and Siri will read back information such as your hotel address. Pretty neat, right?
If you’re familiar with IFTTT then you already know how Siri Shortcuts work. Just launch the Shortcuts app and you’ll be able to set custom Siri ‘recipes’ to suit your needs.
Looking to cut back on your iPhone usage? It mind seem counterintuitive for Apple to feed into this impulse, but that’s exactly what the company has done. With the new “Screentime” feature, iOS 12 will give you a weekly report on how you use your device. Your iPhone will now give you the breakdown on what apps you use, highest phone pick up times, what app draws you in first after picking up your phone, and the apps that send you the most notifications. Additionally, you will now be able to set self-imposed time limits via reminders and block certain apps during certain times. If you hav children, you’ll even be able to limit kid’s time in apps by categories or individual apps via Family Sharing.
6. Do Not Disturb
While Do Not Disturb has been an iOS staple for a while now, Apple is giving it a much needed update with iOS 12. Now, you’ll be able to enjoy peace and quiet from all those nighttime notifications and calls thanks to a cleaner and streamlined visual look that’ll
silence not just the notification delivery sounds, but also the visual notifications clutter that can distract you when you're trying to sleep.
While we’ve chosen to highlight our six favorite features, there are dozens more that make iOS 12 a real knockout update. Which feature is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!