This week was all about WWDC. With a lack of new hardware releases from Apple this year, we were prepared for the event to be centred around the new OS release. From Siri Suggestions to Animojis, we got what we expected from the annual Apple event. However, there are some noticeable features from iOS 12 BETA that Tim Cook didn’t to mention at the WWDC event this year. So, we’ve gathered the top 10 iOS 12 features, including some great hidden features, that are sure to change the game for Apple users.
Apple are rolling out iOS 12 across a lot of their older devices, as far back as the 5S, which breaks records for Apple’s update cycle. This is likey a move to win back the trust of their consumers after it was leaked that Apple was deliberately throttling some older iPhones where the battery could no longer keep up with the demands placed on it earlier in the year. With boosted support for older devices, they’re giving lots of Apple users the chance for speedier functionality, boasting up to 40% faster app launches.
2. Notification groups:
Notifications are becoming smarter with iOS 12. Your notifications will now be grouped based on various factors and you can also dismiss notifications swiftly as a group. Groups could be related to a certain event or a group based on the content of the messages.
What they didn’t tell you at WWDC:
Apple users have more control of the groupings of their notifications than we thought. The settings of iOS 12 BETA show that users can group notifications automatically (contextually) or by app. It will be interesting to see how much more control Apple will eventually give users when it comes to receiving push notifications, and how marketers will cater to this.
3. Screen Time:
Similar to the digital wellness feature to be expected with the release of Android P, Apple is releasing a new feature called Screen Time. This is a dashboard in Settings that offers insight into various behaviours, like how often you pick up your phone, what notifications you respond to, general app usage and even how many notifications you receive from certain apps. This insight will definitely make iPhone users warier of what apps they will give/retract push permissions to.
Both Apple and Google are taking an active step in discouraging addictive phone behaviour and also giving parents more control in restricting phone usage for their children. Only time will tell how these new insights will affect app churn, push control and general phone usage.
Another hidden iOS 12 feature…
Apple will also offer granular battery usage stats. In your battery settings, there is now a view of your battery usage (with a 24 hour overview up to a 10-day overview). You can click into each hour and see the percentage of battery usage by app in your chosen period.
4. Animojis and Face Time:
Apple had a dedicated announcement at WWDC regarding their new Animoji capabilities, including the ability to create a personal Animoji (similar to the S9, released 4 months prior) along with a suite of new emojis added to the Animoji family. Let’s not forget the all new tongue-detection. This can also be used during Face Time, which also got an update. Users can now Face Time multiple people in one call, with up to 32 participants.
5. ARKit 2.0:
Apple have also launched ARKit 2.0. Apple is using machine learning to make augmented reality objects more realistic in iOS 12, using smart environment texturing that can predict reflections, lighting, and more, blurring the lines between what’s computer-generated and what’s authentic. With a large focus on AR capabilities, we can except a new range of multiplayer AR games to be released this coming year.
6. Automatic updates:
There is a new slider in the Settings page that suggests Automatic Updates are going to be a feature for iOS 12. If silent updates are enabled, this means that the device will update without any action needed from the user, and encourage users to remain up-to-date with the latest OS releases.
Firstly, fancy an Irish or South African Siri? Well, with iOS 12, Siri will now be available in a few more accents. More importantly, Siri Shortcuts was announced at WWDC. Siri will now pool together information to build out your profile and make relevant suggestions. It will also learn from your repetitive behaviour, and will give you a reminder when it’s applicable. Actions relevant to your day, like confirming an appointment or sending a text message, will now appear on the search bar as a shortcut to complete the action. These are capabilities that Google Assistant has been able to perform for quite some time and Apple users will surely welcome this update.
8. Apple Stocks app:
Although not an app that we thought would make a come-back, Apple have integrated the Apple Stocks app with Apple News, which seems like a smart move. A feature that they did not mention at WWDC is that historical data will now be provided through the Stocks app, meaning you can look at the history of a company up to 10 years ago, rather than 2 years, which it was limited to prior.
Some other hidden updates include:
9. The weather app:
The weather app will now let you know if the air quality is unhealthy for ‘sensitive groups’ in certain areas. This will be noted clearly in the UI of the app.
10. Face ID:
You can now set up an ‘Alternative Appearance.’ If you drastically change how you look once in a while, this can be added to ensure that you don’t have any issues with Face ID.
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