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Apple’s iOS 12 Packed With iPhone Addiction-Curbing Features, ‘Memoji’ & More
By Mikelle Leow, 04 Jun 2018
Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday, unveiling iOS 12 to the 6,000 guests in attendance. While Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, emphasized that the update focuses on performance, it’s also packed with new tools that keep you connected—and yet help you cut down on screen time.
Key features comprise built-in tools that limit distractions, amped up ‘Siri’ integration, and improved communications via Message. Apple also introduced group notifications and FaceTime conference calls, two functions fans have been requesting for years.
Check out a handful of exciting additions to iOS after the scroll.
Federighi described that during a stress test, iOS 12 proved to launch apps and Share Sheets—the popups that appear at the bottom of your screen when you’re about to share content on social networks and more—twice as quickly.
Notably, iOS 12 supports all iPhones and iPads compatible with iOS 11.
New ‘Measure’ app
Of all the neat features Apple introduced to its augmented reality framework, ‘ARKit 2’, its ruler tool might be the one you’ll be using most often. The app allows you to measure real-life objects from your iPhone or iPad simply by tapping and dragging silhouettes of items via your device’s camera. ‘Measure’ can also recognize shapes like rectangles at a single tap.
Access photos more easily
iOS 12 predicts the categories to which your photos might belong in, such as ‘Cars’, ‘Dogs’, and ‘Flowers’. Entering these keywords into the ‘Photos’ app will let you access them more quickly.
That’s not all—Federighi added that the app works for you even before you start typing. ‘Photos’ recommends photos for you based on people you might be close with, the places you have visited, and more.
The gallery also has a new ‘Featured Photos’ tab that shows you images and videos shot years back, much like Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ feature.
‘Siri’ has been made an even better virtual assistant, now that it supports integration with third-party apps. In iOS 12, you can capture tasks like ordering coffee and previewing travel plans into shortcuts that ‘Siri’ can help you with.
For instance, if you’re often on a Bluetooth tracker app because you have a habit of losing your keys, you can create a custom command to locate them without unlocking your iPhone. Simply announce, “Hey ‘Siri’, I lost my keys,” and the voice assistant will help you find them.
Options for less screen time
Echoing Steve Jobs’ sentiments about limiting screen time at home, Apple has introduced new features that might help you connect better with the outside world.
The brand has tweaked its ‘Do Not Disturb’ tool for bedtime, switching off all notifications until the time you’re supposed to wake up.
The new iOS will bring in weekly activity summaries showing you how long you’re on your device, how often you’re picking up your phone, as well as suggests which apps you might be addicted to. It will also recommend time restrictions for these apps and will notify you when the limits are up.
To help save time, iOS 12 now groups notifications—a feature fans have been asking for in the past years. With a single swipe, you can also remove an entire category of alerts.
Aside from four new Animoji and a tongue detection feature to create a version of Snapchat’s ‘dog’ filter, Apple introduced 3D emoji that you can design to look like you—a feature not unlike Samsung Galaxy S9’s ‘ARemoji’.
FaceTime group messages
If you haven’t realized, you’ve been using FaceTime one-on-one. Now, you can make conversation through this app with multiple users—32, to be exact. You can also quickly switch from the app to Messages to carry on chatting via text. Of course, FaceTime supports ‘Memoji’.
iOS 12 is expected to be ready for the masses by September 2018.
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