Apple’s latest developers conference took place in San Jose yesterday with iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watch OS 5 and tvOS 12 on the agenda. Last year we were introduced to new tech like the iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 10.5 but it was a software-focused event this time around. With iOS 12 the star of the show, we look at some of our favourite features including improvements to FaceTime and Grouped Notifications.
Speed and responsiveness were clearly issues Apple were keen to address with this latest update. With iOS 12 compatibility the same as iOS 11, devices as far back iPhone 5s and iPad Air will see improvements such as up to 40% faster app launch, up to 50% faster keyboard display and up to 70% faster to camera.
You can now video call up to 32 people at one time with FaceTime. A new moving tile display controls the call, with the heads of those in the call floating and the person speaking taking centre stage (very cool). You can start Group FaceTime from a group thread in Messages or join an active one.
Finally, Apple have made moves to sort the messy notifications format and move closer to Android’s grouped notifications layout. Notifications from the same app will now show up in a stack rather than a long list, with the option to show more/less.
A really interesting feature this one. The aim; to make people aware of how long they’ve been using specific apps (and they’re phones in general). Screen Time creates detailed daily and weekly Activity Reports that show the total time a person spends in each app they use. Worried you’re spending too much time on a specific app like Facebook, the App Limits feature allows you to set a specific amount of time to be in an app, and a notification will display when a time limit is about to expire.
Do Not Disturb
One issue with Do Not Disturb we often see is people switching it on and forgetting about it, thus missing importants calls, message and notifications or switching it on accidentally. Improvements will now allow you to set Do Not Disturb just for a meeting, while you’re at a specific location or at bedtime. It will automatically turn off as soon as your event ends or you leave that place.
Another feature we like is Photo Search, described by Apple as, quite simply, a smarter way to search your photos. Search suggestions are a new way to help you find the exact photo you’re looking for, or rediscover a great one you forgot about. Even before you start typing, you’ll see suggestions for recent events, people, and places. And as you type, the results are smarter and more powerful, and you can refine them by adding multiple keywords.