iOS 12 review: The update that really will improve your iPhone
- iOS 12 packs major performance and speed improvements for older devices
- iPhone 6, which first launched in September 2014, will launch apps twice as fast
- iOS 12 also includes a new digital wellness tool, Screen Time
Apple has finally released iOS 12, the latest and greatest version of its operating system for iPhones an iPads.
Rather than cram in a plethora of new features, Apple has said the update is about boosting stability, with improvements in everything from FaceID and battery life.
And the approach has really paid off - this is the most stable, impressive version of iOS I've ever used, and an update I would recommend to everyone with a device capable of running it.
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Apple has rolled out the latest version of its operating system to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models worldwide. Pictured is Apple's preview of the new software, dubbed iOS 12, on its website prior to launch
HOW TO INSTALL iOS 12
To install iOS 12, you must have a device running its predecessor, iOS 11.
Once the update is available, head to your settings.
Tap tap General, and then Software Update on your Apple device.
You will need a WiFi connection and have to be connected to a charger if your battery is lower than 50 per cent.
In addition to iOS 12, Apple's latest Mac operating system, Mojave, is also now available, along with watchOS 5, the latest software for the Apple Watch, and tvOS for the Apple TV.
One of the first things you realise about iOS 12 is that, well, nothing has really changed.
There are some new apps such as Screen Time, a boost to Animoji and lots of smaller tweaks, but nothing major - and this is a really, really good thing.
What iOS 12 lacks in jaw dropping new features, it has in general stability and boosts to everything from battery life to app launching speeds.
It really is noticeable to the average users, and your phone feels rather like you've hit to turbo button at first.
On four-year-old smartphone models, like the iPhone 6, the software is expected to increase the speed of some operations by 70 per cent - but I found even on my iPhone X there was a very noticeable difference.
The new iOS 12, which has been available to beta users and developers since Apple's WWDC event in June, promises to pack a slew of improvements for iPhones and iPads from iOS 11
One of the new features that has garnered a lot of attention is Screen Time, which records how many hours you spend using your device.
As a self confessed iPhone (and iPad) addict, it's both incredibly useful and pretty terrifying - although the setting can be a little confusing at first.
But for those concerned about their own usage or that of their kids, its a great weapon in the fight against addiction.
iOS 12 has a new Screen Time feature that tells users exactly how much time they're using their device. It also comes with AR Kit 2, an updated version of Apple's AR platform for developers
HOW TO USE APPLE'S SCREEN TIME FEATURE
Screen Time is a setting, and does not have its own dedicated to app.
To use the feature in iOS 12, head to the Settings menu on your device.
Scroll down to the new 'Screen Time' section.
The tool is buried among your settings for Notifications and Sounds.
Tap on Screen Time to see your device statistics.
You can see how often you pick up your iOS device, which apps you're using, which apps are sending the most notifications, and other details.
You can toggle the statistics between the last 24 hours and the last seven days.
Screen Time reveals the total number of hours spent on all your Apple devices, as well as a breakdown of the number of times you've picked up your handset.
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 - although sadly Apple doesn't offer any recommendations.
Parents can access their child’s Activity Report right from their own iOS devices to understand where their child spends their time and can manage and set App Limits for them.
Another major annoyance for many users has been the sheer number of notifications you recieve, and iOS 12 helps dramatically by grouping them together, and letting you easily tweak the settings for each app.
Siri has also got a big boost, and there's a new Shortcuts app letting users customise their commands, which could be a huge boost boost once apps are updated to use it, as you'll be able to use Siri to ask questions like 'how is my commute looking' using CityMapper, for instance.
It also comes with AR Kit 2, an upgraded version of Apple's augmented reality platform for developers, that includes the ability to measure the size of real-world objects.
Having recently moved apartment, I found using the new Measure tool very useful, along with Ikea's great AR app.
Also included is a revamped Photos app which uses AI to find photos you'll like in new 'moments', new Animoji characters, and doznes of other small tweaks.
Apple's bookreading app, now called Apple Books, has also received an overhaul, adding a really useful recommendations section, and a dedicated Audiobooks tab for the first time.
Overall, there's no real killer feature in iOS 12, but that's not a bad thing - as pretty much everything is better.
This is one of the very few updates that really does improve things across the board - and make it an essential upgrade.
To download the latest operating system update, head to Settings, then tap on General and Software Update.
WHAT IS NEW IN APPLE'S iOS 12?
Once Apple users upgrade to iOS 12 they will see a host of changes to how their device works.
It will power the iPhone and iPad and packs a slew of new features aimed at improving your device's performance, as well as fun augmented reality tools.
Here's what's new in iOS 12:
Apple has released the next version of its augmented reality platform for developers, called ARKit 2.
ARKit, which was first launched in 2017, now has improved face tracking, 3D, object detection and a more persistent experience.
Multi-user virtual environments are also featured in the ARKit 2, so that more than one person can see the same perspective in real time.
Apple also announced a new AR app called 'Measure' that lets you see the dimensions of objects, like photos or chairs, and get automatic measurements
Apple's Photos app has seen a significant upgrade in order to allow the feature to become smarter.
In iOS 12, the Photos app will now display search suggestions when a user is looking for a specific picture, based on things that appear in the photo, including cars, dogs and flowers.
There's also a new 'For You' tab, that shows memories, as well as sharing suggestions.
It suggests that you share photos with a friend if they appear in a photo and then prompts the friend to share photos with you if you appear in their photos.
Apple has added a 'For You' tab to the Photos app that will show memories, as well as produce sharing suggestions. It will suggest you share photos with other users
Apple has rolled out a new feature in iOS12 called Shortcuts, which adds 'quick actions' for any app.
For example, a user can change their settings so that if they say 'I lost my keys', it will prompt Siri to pull up the Tile app and show you where your keys are.
Another new tool is called Suggestions, where Siri prompts the user to take certain actions in iOS, such as order their favorite coffee that they drink every morning.
Another new tool is called Suggestions, where Siri prompts the user to take certain actions in iOS, such as order their favourite coffee that they drink every morning
The Stock app has received a major upgrade and now lets users tap on certain stocks to get detailed information.
It'll also show relevant news headlines under the stock, which users can click on to see the full article.
The Stock app has received a major upgrade and now lets users tap on certain stocks to get detailed information. It'll also show relevant news headlines under the stock
Apple has also revealed a new and improved Books app, renaming it Apple Books from iBooks.
There's a new preview screen that shows users where they last left off in an eBook, as well as a new store that 'makes browsing through eBooks and audiobooks better than ever'.
Apple ha snow formally launched a suite of tools aimed at helping people curb their smartphone addiction.
Users can view and control how they spend their time on apps, set time limits and more.
Apple has also launched a suite of tools aimed at helping people curb their smartphone addiction. Users can view and control how they spend their time on apps and more
It also comes with new parental controls that let parents view how their child is spending their time in apps and set time limits.
New Do Not Disturb features limit what notifications users see on their lock screen at night and in the morning.
Users can now 'fine tune' their notifications and change the settings so that specific notifications only show up in the notifications centre and turn other notifications off altogether.
Siri will also suggest that users turn off some notifications if the user hasn't opened the app in a while.
Users can now 'fine tune' their notifications and change the settings so that specific notifications only show up in the notifications centre and turn other notifications off
A new grouped notifications tool categorises app notifications by apps and topics.
Users can swipe on a group of notifications and choose to view them later, removing them from the lock screen.
Apple said iOS 12 will significantly improve how apps load and other performance features on iOS devices.
In iOS 12, apps will load up to 40 per cent faster, the keyboard will come up 50 per cent faster and sliding open to the camera will be 70 per cent faster, even on older devices like the iPhone 5S.
iOS 12 is compatible with exactly the same hardware as its predecessor, iOS 11. The software update is available for free for all the above devices
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