Apple reveals iOS 12 - The big upgrades

Ruben Fields
June 5, 2018

Apple unveiled iOS 12 at its Worldwide Developers Conference today, and some of the most buzzworthy features have to do with bringing new AR experiences to the iPhone and iPad.

Screen Time: A new app that provides daily reports on how much time you are spending on your apps, what apps are sending you the most notifications, what type of apps you are using (productivity, social, and more). You can now send notifications from the lock screen to the notification center, with Siri now recommending you to disable notifications from apps that you don't use. When any one person begins speaking, their video window automatically expands to take up more room on your screen; you can also focus on any window by double-tapping it.

"For iOS 12, we're doubling down on performance", Federighi said. New additions could include a way to track and set limits for time spent on certain apps. Say you're going out to brunch with friends and snap a few photos. This version includes numerous improvements and features and will be available on all phones that are now able to run iOS 11.

The tools used for cutting down on smartphone addiction have been expected for months after two major shareholders asked Apple in January to add more parental controls and to study the impact of excessive iPhone usage on mental health. "It's an arms race and I believe Apple may be winning".

All of this, however, is a great thing - both for Apple and for its users. Apple boasted about significantly faster launch times for apps and the camera.

As much as Apple wants you to have an iPhone, it doesn't want to you to start hating how much time you spend on your phone.

Apple has also focused on making sure older smartphones will receive big performance improvements from the operating system update.

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Finally, you can use your Apple Watch like a walkie talkie.

Apple added some cool features to Siri, including a new Shortcuts feature and app based on Apple's Workflow acquisition. All this includes a new API to make it easier to leave reviews for the apps to try to spin up that feedback loop that helps surface the most popular or useful apps. It has also developed a new file format called USDZ, an open file format, which offers Universal Scene Description and compact file size for easier sharing. When Photos detects other people in your pictures, it can suggest you share them with those people.

Carplay will now let you pick which app you use for navigation. FaceTime will support animoji and filters, too.

Apple also rolled out group video chat sessions with up to 32 users, putting it in direct competition with companies such as Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Skype. You can get a quick overview of your unread notifications when you disable the mode though. Apple is introduction more advanced Do Not Disturb settings.

"This year we're shutting that down", he said, adding that people can interact with these features if they choose to, but they won't be tracked by default on an Apple computer if they use the native Safari browser on the next version of its desktop operating system, macOS Mojave.

Tongue detection will allow Animoji characters to mimic the tongue movement of the iPhone owner.

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