The latest version of iOS was revealed at WWDC last week. The update contains various new features and bug fixes. The previous version of iOS (11) received a lot of complaints, but iOS 12 promises to fix all those issues.
When a software update is announced a beta version of the software follows. The iOS 12 beta became available to developers within 24 hours of the announcement. The public beta usually gets released after a week of the announcement. The developer beta is only available to those part of the Apple developers program which is $99 a year.
Now we’ve got our hands on the beta, here are our first impressions…
iOS 12 has been promised to speed devices up. Apps launch up to 40% faster, keyboards appear up to 50% faster and launching the camera is said to be 70% faster. Like any beta, the update has its bugs and can lag but it is also faster than any other beta. Animations seem to be a lot faster. Launching apps and returning to the home screen is a lot faster and smoother than it was on iOS 11.
One of the main features was the update of Animoji’s. The update introduces Memoji’s. These are animated avatars to replicate yourself. Similar to those on the Samsung Galaxy S9. The avatars mimic the movements of your face, using the TrueDepth camera. iOS 12 also introduces tongue and wink detection for Animoji’s. Face ID now has the ability to add a second face. Many could use this to have a second person to have access to their phone. Others have also found it useful to add their own face again to speed up Face ID. Portrait mode has also been said to have some improvements. When testing it out the foreground/background detection seems to be faster. Other than that not much has changed.
New notification centre
Notifications were one of the biggest complaints in iOS 11. The notifications came through chronologically with multiple notifications from the same app in different places. This update groups together notifications by each application. Notifications are also a lot easier to control. Quiet notifications are an option. Once made quiet, only important notifications are shown, such as ones from favourite contacts. The pop ups or banners now have a settings option. You can choose to mute or make the notification quiet.
Screen time was spoken about at WWDC, and it gives users the ability to monitor the usage of their devices. A chart is shown that represents which app has been used the most and at what time. Pop up alerts can be set up to appear when an app is being used too much. Screen time is Apple’s way of encouraging users to use their phones responsibly. The same efforts are being made by Android with Dashboard.
Suggestions for the most used applications was introduced back in iOS 10. In iOS 12 it has become a lot smarter. Suggestions now appear to refer you to texts, music, photos and locations. Siri suggests who it thinks I should call or text. Siri has been slightly embarrassing over the past year, especially up against its main competitors, Google and Alexa. iOS 12 should introduce a significantly smarter Siri. Siri seems to be a lot more comprehensive on iOS 12, but more focus should be focused on making it smarter to improve HomePod capabilities.