Apple's WWDC 2018 keynote has just ended, leaving us with plenty of amazing announcements. As expected, all of the numerous new announcements were related to Apple's software products. With iOS devices being the most significant revenue channel for the company, it is no wonder that iOS 12 is poised to bring both refinements and new features. Let's take a look at the most prominent announcements regarding iOS from this year's WWDC.
iOS 12: Newly Announced Features (WWDC 2018)
We'll go over the newly announced features one-by-one, as they were announced during Apple's WWDC keynote. Let's check out what in store for iOS 12.
Greatly Improved Performance
Apple's Craig Federighi started to introduce iOS 12 by talking about performance. Even though this isn't the first thing you want to hear, you'll be happy to know that iOS 12 is poised to run much better than the current iOS version.
Federighi noted that we should feel numerous performance improvements the first time iOS 12 is loaded onto our devices. This especially goes for those using older models of iPhones and iPads. All of your apps will launch 40% faster, you'll open the Camera app 70% more quickly, and the virtual keyboard will come up on the screen 50% faster. There are also smart optimizations running in the background, which become especially useful when your iOS device in under load.
Apple's Take on Digital Wellbeing
A few weeks ago, Google introduced a bunch of new features for its Android P operating system. An essential group of those features is related to digital wellbeing. Their leading role is to let you learn your own habits and perhaps put some limitations to your favorite apps. Well, Apple has come up its own take on this problem.
Called 'Screen Time,' iOS 12 will come with a new feature that keeps track of your iOS usage. You will get to see a very detailed report on every app you've ever used, and you can break down app usage by category. Screen Time will work by providing a weekly summary.
Once you have the report in your hands, you'll be able to set certain limitations. For example, you can set up time limits for individual apps. Once you go over that limits, iOS will let you know. Unlike Android P, iOS 12 will allow you to easily continue using the app by requesting more time. This might be annoying, but that's exactly how this feature is supposed to be.
Greatly Improved Notifications
During the last couple of months, we have been reading numerous reports on the lousy state of notifications on Android and iOS. It seems like both Google and Apple are ready to tackle this problem in their own ways.
You will be happy to know that grouped notifications are coming to iOS 12. This will allow you to dismiss a bunch of notifications at once. Then, there are refined controls that let you fine-tune how notifications behave. For example, you can decide which apps are allowed to play a sound or vibrate your phone when sending out push messages or notifications. There's also a whole new category called 'Quiet Notifications.' These will appear in your Notification Center, but they won't be present on the Lock Screen.
A New Bunch of Animoji
We wonder how successful Animoji are. However, we are sure that younger generations have been using this option frequently. In case you're one of these users, you'll be happy to hear that there are new Animoji characters. You could be a ghost, koala, tiger, or tyrannosaurus rex.
This isn't where new features end. Once iOS 12 arrives, Animoji will be able to track your tongue, and they'll mimic even this kind of behavior.
A New Kind of Animoji: Memoji!
Yes, you read that right. A whole new type of Animoji is poised to arrive soon, called Memoji.
These are personalized avatars that can be used instead of default Animoji characters. It's interesting to note that Apple went a long way in offering all kinds of customizations. You get to pick your own appearance, skin color, hairstyle, and putting on an outfit. As a result, you will end up with a cartoonish version of yourself.
Group FaceTime Calling
You probably know that FaceTime can be used to do one-on-one video calls at the moment. This will change soon since iOS 12 comes with a feature called Group FaceTime.
Let's say that you want to text a bunch of people at once. You open the Messages app, and then you start composing a group message. However, this is where you'll see the option to start a Group FaceTime instead of texting everyone. Once the call begins, you will get to see everyone on the screen - up to 32 persons to be more exact. The person that is speaking will be featured in the most prominent image, while others will sit in the background. Naturally, Animoji and Memoji can be used instead of your actual face.
Improved Augmented Reality Experiences
With iOS 12, Apple will give a firm push for the entire Augmented Reality segment. The company worked with Pixar on creating a whole new file format called USDZ.
A number of high-profile companies have already decided to use the new file format, including Adobe and Autodesk which means that we'll soon see some inspiring AR experiences.
A New App - Measure
As you can see, Apple has put a lot of effort into improving iOS' Augmented Reality. As a result, the company has come up with a new app called Measure.
You'll be able to use the Measure app to accurately measure objects around you. Just open the app, and you'll see what your device's camera sees. Then, you can tap and drag a line, and the app will measure that distance or length. We don't have to tell you that you can already use a number of different AR apps that are doing this same thing. However, it looks like Apple will make all those apps obsolete soon.
The final push when it comes to Augmented Reality is the second major version of the company's ARKit. In case you don't know, ARKit is used by third-party developers to create immersive experiences.
The most significant new feature of ARKit 2 is the ability to use two or more iOS devices to create a single AR mixed world experience. For example, two or more iOS devices will be used to make sure their owners are seeing the same thing running the same app.
Improved Photos App
Those of you who are hardcore fans of different photos app know that Apple's Photos and Google's Photos are battling head to head. Well, Apple has decided to step up and offer a feature that's already available in Google's Photos - and push that feature a bit further.
The Photos app will come with the same appearance as you know it. However, there's a new 'For You' tab what will suggest actions like applying filters or organizing images based on your previous actions. It will also be easier to share photos and ask friends to share back their picks or videos from the same event. And finally, there's a much more powerful search feature that will help you find that one photo out of thousands that you probably have on your phone.
Siri & Third-Party Apps
During the last couple of years, Apple's digital assistant has been continually improving. If we remember Siri's early days, it's clear that this assistant has come a very long way.
The latest developers regarding Siri is being more open to third-party apps. App developers will be able to integrate Siri with their products in a more profound way. This is done via shortcuts that come predefined. For example, you can say: 'Her Siri, I lost my keys,' and the assistant will open the Tile tracking app.
Apple didn't want app developers to have all the power over Siri. Thanks to a brand new app called Shortcuts, you'll be able to create your own Siri integrations. In practice, it seems like more advanced iOS 12 users will like this feature the most.
If your favorite app doesn't offer the kind of Siri integration that you want, you can make your own shortcut. This is all based on your needs and habits. Even though this process requires a bit of work, it has the potential to pay off in the long term really.
Refined Apple News
Apple has been trying to bring a news-oriented app ever since the original iPhone. None of the previous attempts led to any real results. However, the latest Apple News app seems to be hitting the right spot.
This app allows you to stay on top of the latest information using a nicely designed UI. However, it also connects publishers to their readers. This is why you can expect a number of subtle improvements to come with iOS 12. For example, there's a new 'Browse' tab and publishers will be able to include animated 3D graphics.
Rebuilt Stocks App
Yes, that's true - Apple has decided to rebuild the Stocks app. We are really not sure why the company is sticking with this app, that hasn't really been useful at all. We are confident that a small percentage of iOS users love this app, but it's not like it's the best thing about iOS.
Well, Apple is poised to bring an all-new Stocks app that will find its way to MacOS as well. You'll also get to read the latest news via a new integration with Apple News.
Voice Memos is Coming to iPads
When it comes to rebuilt apps, Voice Memos is one of them. Featuring a new and improved UI, this app will also be available on iPads once iOS 12 arrives. Since we now have more than one iOS device in this equation, Apple will make sure to integrate iCloud syncing with the app, offering a seamless experience.
iBooks = Apple Books
The last app to receive a slight makeover is iBooks. In fact, this app will from now be called Apple Books.
There are two new things to expect. First, there is a new tab that will let you review your entire library quickly. Then, there's a new Book Store tab that leads to a newly redesigned store. Apple has decided to take a more in-depth approach to this digital store by offers new titles, top charts, curated collections, and special offers.
CarPlay Meets Google Maps & Waze
In case you use CarPlay when driving, you'll be happy to know that you're no longer forced to use Apple Maps.
Even though this service has improved during the last few years, it's not even close to being perfect. Don't worry, CarPlay will now let you use Google Maps and Waze to deliver step-by-step directions.
Dear Apple fans, there you have it - all of the significant new iOS 12 features announced at WWDC 2018. Feel free to tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.
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