Apple

The Most Amazing Features of iOS 12

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Here are some of the most interesting things we found in iOS 12.

Group FaceTime

In iOS 12, you will no longer be limited to one-on-one FaceTime chats. With Group FaceTime, you can talk to up to 32 people at once, which might seem excessive, unless Apple wants enterprise users to pick it up.

During a chat, your image will appear in small boxes on the screen; as people speak, their images will bubble up and appear more prominently. But you can also tap on the video of certain person if you only want to see them.

If you’re having a group chat on Messages, you can turn the discussion into a Group FaceTime chat at any time, and drop in and out of the conversation as needed.

And with Memoji, you can turn your mug into a cartoon version of yourself.

Memoji

What is Memoji, you ask? It’s an update to Apple’s Animoji that lets you create a lifelike avatar of yourself on your iPhone X$999.00 at Verizon Wireless . If you prefer to look like an animal, though, Apple is adding a ghost, koala, tiger, and T. rex as Animoji options in iOS 12.

Screen Time

Tech addiction is a hot topic lately. At I/O, Google showed off “well being” features coming to Android P, and Apple’s version is Screen Time, which will debut in iOS 12. You’ll get an overview of how much time you spend on your iOS devices, and which apps suck up most of your time. You can set limits, and iOS 12 will warn you when it’s time to sign off.

If you tend to get inundated with notifications during the night, meanwhile, you can stop them from showing up on your screen until a certain time, and you can group discussions so the alerts don’t get out of control.

Parents can do the same for their kids, limiting access to iOS at certain times of the day (like bedtime) or to certain apps, like Snapchat.

If you think you’re clever by swapping iPhone for iPad for a few more minutes of screen time, don’t bother. Activity is synced across devices.

Siri Shortcuts

Siri has fallen behind Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant when it comes to the smart home, but Cupertino is not giving up. With Shortcuts, you can create a phrase that will be Siri’s cue to perform a series of tasks, much like routines for Alexa or Google.

“Heading home,” for example, could alert Siri to map your commute, turn on the A/C at home, and start playing a podcast.

“Users can customize Shortcuts by creating a simple voice command to kick off the task or download the new Shortcuts app to create a series of actions from different apps that can be carried out with a simple tap or customized voice command,” Apple says.

ARKit 2

With iOS 12, you get support for ARKit 2 and a new open file format, usdz, which will bring augmented reality to apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News. Onstage at WWDC, Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering, navigated to the Fender website, where he selected a guitar and then “placed” it on the table in front of him to see what it would look like in his house. On Apple News, meanwhile, images in news stories come alive with an AR boost.

Photos

In iOS 12, Apple will play catch-up somewhat to Google Photos, offering things like sharing suggestions, which will recommend that you send certain shots to friends and vice-versa. You’ll also be able to search by Events, People, Places, Groups, Categories and recent searches, and include multiple terms in a search.


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