Luke Deitz , Oct 29, 2018

I may be one of the few who doesn’t always hurry to download Apple’s iOS updates. Still, iOS 12 interested me as Apple announced it was an update focused on improving speed and performance for phones as old as the 5S.

Even a few weeks after 12 came out, I didn’t upgrade; I heard about a few initial bugs, but one in particular regarding iMessage just scared me off entirely.

Based off that alone, I had absolutely no intention of stepping into the world of iOS 12 until it was cleaned up.

Luckily, that may be sooner than later: last week, Apple released 12.1 to developers and many are expecting a public release this week – potentially Tuesday.

Despite everything, I still think 12 has great potential to be an exciting way to get that “new phone feel” without actually buying a new phone. Let me fill you in on the details!

A need for speed

In terms of speed, iOS 12 can get your device moving faster; Apple claims you can open apps twice as fast running iOS 12. These improvements apply for the keyboard and camera, as well. 

Upgrading to 12 means also cleaner navigation for your apps and the process of opening and closing out of apps is now much simpler, requiring only the slide of your finger upwards.

Some new tools

Beyond quicker controls and smoother navigation, this new update has its fair share of cool new gadgets.

First off, there’s the second gen version of ARKit, Apple’s augmented reality tool. Browsing online, you’ll see there’s a lot of ways ARKit can be utilized. One simple feature that stood out to me: if you ever need the measurements of an object but don’t have a tape measure, ARKit can get you pretty close measurements.

Some existing tools have been touched up, as well. A feature currently in beta makes it possible to use Siri to run commands with your apps. Commands can be as complex as using multiple apps (even 3rd party) together to automate tasks in your day-to-day routine.

Another is the ability for users to Group Facetime up to 32 people at once, confirmed for all devices post-6S running 12.1 (a small consolation for everyone pre-6S: we can at least join the audio of these calls…) 

On the lighter side, iOS 12 brings 70 new emojis and a more customizable version of last year’s Animoji feature called Memoji, where users can send emoji caricatures of their faces through SMS. 

More usage controls and performance tips

Other improvements include better controls for maintenance and device longevity.

On the battery front, users can now check Battery performance and Battery Health in their settings and receive suggestions on ways to better manage their battery. With these performance tips, users get a bit more control to keep their iPhone lasting longer if they’re nowhere near ready to purchase a new one.

Other new controls available to users include grouping/blocking app notifications and setting time limits on how often they (or potentially their kids) can use an app daily. 

All in all…

Notwithstanding those early software scares, iOS 12 really stands out to me as a neatly organized update with an interesting combination of improvements compared to past iOS updates. 

For anyone currently using 12.0, here’s to 12.1 arriving sooner than later. For those like me who haven’t yet upgraded, just keep charged in the meantime and good things are around the corner!

Category: Apple
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