Apple unveiled iOS 12 during today’s keynote address that officially kicked off the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference for 2018. The WWDC 18 keynote was led off by remarks from Apple CEO Tim Cook, then the presenters took over.
iOS 12 is designed to be faster and more responsive than its predecessor, making everyday tasks across on the iPhone and iPad perform better. It was announced that the new mobile OS will work with the iPhone 5s and later devices, the same devices that were compatible with iOS 11.
The Camera app is said to launch up to 70% faster, the virtual keyboard makes an appearance up to 50% faster, and typing is said to be more responsive. Apps can launch up to twice as fast.
ARKit 2 was announced. with new tools to offer integrated shared experiences, persistent Augmented Reality experiences tied to a specific location, object detection and image tracking. A new open file format, developed in cooperation with Pixar and called usdz, will make it easy to experience AR in a large number of iOS apps, including Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News.
Memoji and Camera Effects
iOS 12 brings new Animoji to the iPhone X, as well as personalized Memoji characters that can be designed right inside the Messages app. New Animoji include a ghost, koala, tiger and T. Rex. The fun to use features can make use of new wink and tongue detection to add more expressions to characters.
New camera effects include Animoji, Filters, Text and Sticker, usable in Messages and FaceTime. New filters include watercolors and comic book effects, and new labels and shapes allow users to add captions and titles to images. Stickers can be placed from iMessage sticker packs.
The new Group FaceTime feature allows chatting with up to 32 people at the same time. (Looks like this guy has to go make 30 new friends!) Participants can be added or join at any time, participating via video or audio from an iPhone, iPad or Mac, or FaceTime audio from the Apple Watch.
Siri Shortcuts debuted at the Keynote, allowing users to create custom shortcut voice commands to kick off a series of tasks. The new Shortcuts app will allow creating a series of actions from different apps, that can be carried out with a single tap or custom voice command. Developers will be able to take advantage of the new capability via Shortcut APIs.
An all-new For You tab will make an appearance in the Photos app, bringing a user’s favorite moments into one spot, combining Memories and iCloud Shared Albums. A new sharing suggestions feature allows easy sharing with friends, who are then prompted to share back any photos or videos they may have from the same event.
Search suggestions surface the most relevant Events, People, Places, Groups, Categories and recent searches, and new search functionality lets users combine multiple search terms to find just the right photos.
Do Not Disturb, Notifications and Screen Time
new tools built into iOS 12 will help users take command of their device usage, allowing them to set Do Not Disturb to automatically end at a specified time, location or action. Do Not Disturb during Bedtime is designed to helps users get a better night’s sleep by dimming the display and hiding all notifications on the lock screen until prompted to resume notifications in the morning.
Notifications can be set to be delivered quietly or not at all, and a Grouped Notifications feature makes it easier to view and manage multiple notifications at once.
Screen Time offers users detailed information about the time they spend on their devices, helping them to better understand and control how they use their devices. Daily and weekly Activity Reports show the total time spent in individual apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received and how often iPhone or iPad are picked up.
Parents will have access to their child’s device activity report from their own iOS device, using Family Sharing in the Cloud. Parents will also be able to schedule time limits on device usage.
Privacy and Security
Safari adds Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which aids in blocking social media “Like” or “Share” buttons, as well as comment widgets from tracking users without their permission.
Safari also now blocks users form being tracked based on their system configuration by presenting simplified system information while browsing the web. Safari will also automatically create, autofill, and store strong passwords when a user creates a new online account, and will flag password reuse.
Other New Features
- Apple Books is redesigned to make it easier to discover and enjoy books and audiobooks, and the Book Store tab makes it easy to explore new titles and browse the top charts, curated collections and special offers.
- Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics or jump straight to favorites, and on iPad, a new sidebar makes navigation even simpler.
- Stocks comes to iPad and illustrates how the market is moving with easy-to-understand quotes and high-quality news.
- CarPlay adds support for third-party navigation apps displayed right on the car’s dash — joining music, messaging, calling and automaker apps.
- Voice Memos is now available on iPad and adds iCloud support to sync recordings and edits across devices. A new design makes it easier to capture, share and edit recordings.
- Siri translation expands to more than 40 language pairs and brings more knowledge of sports, celebrities, food and nutrition. Siri can also surface favorite photos by person, place, event, time and topic.
- Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch adds support for student ID cards, making it more convenient to access everything on campus.
The developer preview of iOS 12 is available to Apple Developer Program members starting today, and a public beta program will be available to iOS users later this month. iOS 12 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad 6th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and iPod touch 6th generation.