Apple's iOS 12 will finally arrive on Monday, September 17. Here are all the major changes, updates, and new features coming to iPhones and iPads.
On Monday, iOS 12 will arrive for iPhones and iPads.
Apple announced the upgrade to its mobile operating system in June, at its annual developer conference, WWDC. iOS 12 includes some major new features, along with several changes designed to make using your iPhone or iPad a lot easier.
Among the notable additions: a standalone Measure app that's like a virtual tape measure, tools to combat smartphone addiction, grouped notifications, and customizable animated avatars called "Memoji."
Here some of the most exciting new features included in iOS 12:
iOS 12 gives older devices a performance boost.
With iOS 12, older iPhones and iPads could feel like new again.
Apple is giving older devices a performance boost when the new software rolls out on Monday. It says apps will launch 40% faster, the camera will open 70% faster, and the keyboard will display 50% faster.
iOS 12 will be available for devices as old as the iPhone 5S.
Apple has a brand-new app called Measure.
Measure helps you take measurements of real-world objects. The app uses your iPhone's camera to virtually take accurate readings, letting you see the width, length, and height of things just by tapping your screen.
Plus, if you point Measure at a photo, it'll automatically detect it and tell you the dimensions.
Apple's Photos app is smarter and more interactive than before.
Apple made a bunch of subtle updates to the Photos app, putting it on par with apps like the popular Google Photos:
- Search suggestions. The Photos app can recommend searching for people, places, categories, business names, sporting events, or concerts. When you select a term, the app will pull up all photos related to that term.
- Search refinements. You can search with multiple search terms too.
- "For You." The Photos app will automatically generate personalized items like memory movies, features photos, and "on this day" images.
- Sharing suggestions. The Photos app will suggest photos and videos to share with the people who are in them. When someone accepts the images from you, they'll get a recommendation to share their photos back with you. Apple says that sharing is end-to-end encrypted and works via iMessage.
Apple's new "Siri Shortcuts" can help you speed up your day.
Siri Shortcuts is a way to get things done more quickly. Siri will automatically suggest actions based on how and when you use certain apps. If, for instance, you order a coffee every morning around the same time, Siri will start asking you if you're ready to order it.
Apple included several preloaded Siri Shortcuts with iOS 12, but you can also create your own verbal shortcuts. A phrase like "Help me relax" could trigger a meditation app, for instance, or the phrase "Find my keys" could open up your Tile app and start the geolocation process.
Apple's Stocks and News apps have been redesigned.
Apple gave its Stocks and News apps a refresh in iOS 12.
The Stocks app now has relevant business news and sparklines showing a stock's moves throughout the day. Clicking on a stock opens a more in-depth analysis of its performance, including after-hours pricing, which is missing from the existing version.
Apple also added the Stocks app to the iPad for the first time.
The News app redesign lets you jump straight to your favorite news sources. On the iPad, there's a new sidebar for easier navigation.
The Voice Memos app has been redesigned — and available on iPad for the first time.
With iOS 12, Apple added the Voice Memos app to the iPad for the first time. The app also got a redesign across the board and is designed to be easier to use on any platform, including Mac.
Voice Memos also got iCloud support, meaning you can access your voice memos on any device.
Apple's iBooks is now called Apple Books, and it has a new look.
So long, iBooks — Apple has renamed its reading app Apple Books.
The app is more than a new name though. Apple Books has been redesigned in iOS 12 to include a new "Book Store" tab with top charts and curated collections.
Apple CarPlay now supports third-party apps.
With iOS 12, you can use third-party navigation apps with CarPlay, Apple's tool for connecting an iPhone to a car's infotainment system. That means you're no longer limited to using only Apple Maps when you connect your iPhone to your car — you can now use Google Maps or Waze instead.
iOS 12 can help you combat smartphone addiction.
Apple unveiled new tools to help you cut back on your screen time, along with new controls for parents.
Here's what you can do:
- "Do not disturb" during bedtime. Enabling this feature means you won't see your iPhone notifications until the next morning — you'll see only just the time on a dark screen.
- Set an end time for "do not disturb." You can do this by force-touching on the button in your control center.
- "Screen Time." This feature provides an activity summary that details how you used your iPhone or iPad over a week.
- App limits. You can set time limits for individual apps.
- New parental controls. Parents can get notifications about their kids' smartphone use.
Your notifications will now be grouped by app.
Apple has historically sorted notifications chronologically, but with iOS 12, they're now grouped by app.
It's a change that users have been begging Apple to adopt for years. And making it easier to deal with piles and piles of notifications is one area where Android has had a major leg up.
You can add your student ID card to your Apple Wallet to unlock dorm doors or do anything else you'd use it for.
It works on Apple Watch too. It's coming to only a handful of universities at first, but expect to see this in more places later.
FaceTime will support group chats with up to 32 participants.
You'll soon be able to video chat with multiple people at once on FaceTime — up to 32 participants, to be exact.
You can add participants at any point, or people can choose to join an active conversation from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, or use FaceTime Audio from the Apple Watch.
Unfortunately, this feature won't be available when iOS 12 launches on Monday. Expect it to be included in a software update "later this year," Apple said.
Apple added Memoji, new Animoji, and different camera effects in iOS 12.
Apple is expanding its special-effects offerings in iOS 12. The new features include:
- Memoji. These animated avatars mimic your facial expressions and head movements. Memoji are customizable to look like you or anyone you want — much like Snap's personalized Bitmoji characters.
- More Animoji. Apple added four new animated emoji to its lineup. The new characters include a tiger, a koala, a T-rex, and a ghost.
- iMessage and FaceTime now support your Memoji and Animoji too. You can add new filters, Animoji, and Memoji to your photos and FaceTime videos, as well as include stickers and text in your iMessage conversations.