Apple just announced iOS 12 - Here are all the major changes coming to iPhones and iPads later this year


Apple just announced the next major update to the iPhone and iPad: iOS 12, the annual upgrade to Apple's mobile operating system. The update, which is likely not to arrive until this fall, includes some major new features, along with several incremental changes that will make using your device a lot easier. Among the notable additions: a standalone Measure app that's like a virtual tape measure, third-party app support for CarPlay, grouped notifications, and customizable animated avatars called Memoji. Here are all the new features included in iOS 12.

Apple is adding 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, which let 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 is making the Photos app smarter and more interactive. Apple made a bunch of subtle updates to the Photos app, putting it on par with apps like the popular Google Photos. Here's what the app can do now: Search suggestions. The app will 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 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 own photos back with you. Apple says that sharing is end-to-end encrypted, and works via iMessage.

Apple added Siri Shortcuts to help you speed up your day. Siri Shortcuts is a way to get things done more quickly. Now, Siri will automatically suggest actions based on how and when you're using 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 will have several preloaded Siri Shortcuts available, or you'll be able to create your own verbal shortcuts. A phrase like "Help me relax" will trigger a meditation app, or the phrase "Find my keys" will open up the Tile app and start the geolocation process.

Apple's Stocks and News apps are getting redesigned. Apple is giving its Stocks and News apps a refresh in iOS 12. The Stocks app will now have sparklines showing the ups and downs of a stock throughout the day, and relevant business news integrated throughout the app. Clicking on a certain stock will open a more in-depth analysis of the stocks performance, including after-hours pricing, which is missing from the current version. Apple is also adding the Stocks app to the iPad for the first time. The Apple News app redesign will now allow you to jump straight to your favorite news sources. On iPad, there will be a new sidebar for easier navigation.

The Voice Memos app is getting a redesign - and it's coming to the iPad for the first time. Apple is adding the Voice Memos app to the iPad for the first time. The app is also getting a redesign across the board, and will now be easier to use on any platform. Indeed, it's coming to Mac, too. Voice Memos are also getting iCloud support, which means you'll be able to access your memos on any device.

Apple changed the name of iBooks to Apple Books and gave it a new look. So long, iBooks — Apple has renamed its reading app to Apple Books. The app is getting more than a new name, however. Apple Books has been redesigned in iOS 12, and now includes a new Book Store tab, which includes top charts and curated collections.

Apple CarPlay will now support third-party apps. With iOS 12, you'll now be able to use third-party navigation apps with CarPlay, Apple's tool for connecting an iPhone to a car infotainment system. This means that you'll no longer be limited to using only Apple Maps when you connect your iPhone to your car — you'll now have the option to use Google Maps or Waze instead.

Apple will help you combat your smartphone addiction in iOS 12. At Apple's annual developer conference on Monday, Apple unveiled new tools to help you cut back on your screen time, along with new controls for parents. Here's what you'll be able to do now: Do Not Disturb during bedtime. Enabling this feature means you won't see your iPhone notifications until the next morning, 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 will provide an activity summary that details how you used your iPhone or iPad over the course of a week. App limits. You'll be able to set time limits for individual apps. New parental controls. Parents will now be able to 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, notifications will be grouped according to which app they were sent from. It's a change that users have been begging Apple to adopt for years, and is incidentally one area where Android has had a major leg-up. It makes it a lot easier to deal with piles and piles of notifications.

You can add your student ID card to your Apple Wallet, to unlock dorm doors or anything else you'd use it for. This works on Apple Watch, too. It's only coming to a handful of univerisites at first, but expect to see this in more places.

FaceTime will support group chats with up to 32 participants. You'll now be able to video chat with multiple people at once on FaceTime — up to 32 participants, to be exact. You'll be able to add participants at any point in the conversation, or participants can choose to join an active conversation from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, or use FaceTime Audio from the Apple Watch.

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 avatar 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 Animoji to its lineup of animated emoji. The new characters include a tiger, koala, T-rex, and ghost. iMessage and FaceTime will get Memoji and Animoji, too. You'll be able to add new filters, Animoji, and Memoji to your photos and FaceTime video, and you'll now be able to include stickers and text in your iMessage conversations.

With ARKit 2, you'll be able to have shared AR experiences. Apple introduced ARKit 2 at WWDC, its first major update to the augmented reality software it introduced last year. ARKit 2 will offer improved face-tracking, more realistic rendering, support for 3D object detection, and the ability to start an AR experience based on a real-world physical object or space. ARKit 2 will support shared experiences, where two or more people can play AR games together. Apple also announced that it's partnering with computer animation studio Pixar to boost its AR initiative. Together, Apple and Pixar developed a new file format for AR called "USDZ," which lets people share content "while retaining great 3D graphics and even animations."

 

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