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Latest iOS 12 beta release now available

The sixth beta release for the latest iOS has now been launched.

It is available for both developers and the public and you can sign up here to receive it if you haven’t already joined the beta program.

First announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook at the WWDC 2018 in London in June, the update has many great new improvements and tweaks to make the operating system the most stable and functional yet.

Big improvements coming

Among the most notable headline announcements are:

  • Improved Apple Maps

Apple has been working on a huge project to update and replace its third-party map data with its own new super high-resolution date along with tools to make map changes a lot quicker and incorporate anonymous data from millions of iPhone users across the world.

  • Measure app and Augmented Reality

Working alongside Pixar, Apple has created a brand-new file format called USDZ that allows easier sharing of 3D graphics and animations used in augmented reality apps. Users will be able to share, store and send USDZ files like any other and when they open it, they can place a 3D object in the real world.

The new Measure app allows users to manipulate augmented reality to measure physical objects in real life using AR. Users trace the sides of an object with their devices to find out how long they are. The app can also detect rectangles and automatically calculate the dimensions and area.

  • Photos App improvements

Search in Photos is improved and there is a new For You tab, which shows featured photos including images you took on this day in previous years. It also suggested effects for Live Photos or Portrait Mode photos.

Photos also suggests more sharing options with friends including ones where they are recognized within them.

  • Siri Improvements and Shortcuts

Siri has been improved and a new app called Siri Shortcuts is being announced that will increase the efficiency and usefulness of the Digital Assistant. The Siri Shortcuts app works with all other iOS apps and gives you the chance to create routines and next action suggestions based on your previous interactions.  For instance if you say to Siri “I’m going Golfing”, Siri could check the weather on an app, read it to you, get an ETA for your drive to your nearest golf course, open your golf GPS app on arrival then make a note in reminders to tell you to put sunscreen on when you arrive!

  • Enhancements to News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Apple Books

As well as cosmetic improvements and tweaks to these apps, iBooks has now been renamed Apple Books and with a new design to closer match the App Store and Apple Music.

  • Carplay additions

Carplay will now support third-party navigation apps such as Waze or Google Maps.

  • Digital Health Features

Apple has beefed up the Do Not Disturb feature to help ensure a better nights sleep and the new Screen Time app will send weekly reports about how much activity and time is spent on devices.

  • New Animoji, Memoji and Message Filters

Animoji introduces animal emojis including a tiger, a koala and a T-Rex! The Memoji is a hugely customizable emjoi that can better resemble the user and become a true minature replica of the the devices owner.

  • Group Facetime Chats

One of the most anticipated improvements is the ability to groupchat with up to 32 different participants through audio or video. You can also choose which participant to focus on your screen at any time and can also introduce the Animojis and Memojis if you want to.

Any device running iOS 11 will be able to install iOS 12. There is no official launch date for iOS 12 yet but it usually takes place in September before the new range of iPhones are released to the public.

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