At WWDC 2018, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced iOS 12, which is expected to roll out later this year. The update, which includes a host of new features, will track your screen time, with an eye on improving user health and wellbeing.
Elsewhere, iOS 12 focuses primarily on efficiency and customizable features. The Health Records API will now bridge the gap between users and medical app developers. Other iOS favorites, such as FaceTime and Animoji, will also undergo transformations alongside key updates to the Do Not Disturb function. Additionally, iOS 12 will introduce ARKit 2, a new and improved version of the augmented reality (AR) platform Apple released last year.
For a full breakdown of what iOS 12 has to offer, check out the list below.
Apple is set to introduce four new Animoji in the iOS 12 update. Joining the current roster will be a ghost, tiger, koala, and T-rex. All Animoji will also be able to detect if you're sticking out your tongue and mimic the action.
Apple is introducing new personal avatars called Memoji. Like with Samsung's AR Emoji, users will soon be able to customize characters to look like them. Options include hair type, skin color, outfit choices, and accessories.
Video chat app FaceTime is getting an overhaul. The update will allow users to host group FaceTime video calls for up to 32 people across Apple platforms. Active users in the call will receive a larger window, while those who are inactive will see their window shrink. FaceTime will now also be able to host Animoji and Memoji.
New Do Not Disturb mode
As part of Apple's move towards boosting user wellbeing, iOS 12 will provide an improved Do Not Disturb bedtime mode. Upon activation, it will hide notifications until morning. Users are able to set parameters for when the bedtime mode starts and ends in the control center.
Also with wellness in mind, iOS 12’s Screen Time feature will group your apps by category to determine which apps are sending you the most notifications. At the end of each week, users will receive a summary of their usage and habits, in theory warning them about overuse.
As well as allowing users to share their medical records with participating hospitals and clinics, the Health Records API will now allow developers and researchers to create apps to better manage users health. If user permission is given, medical data can be shared with third-party apps for health-related purposes (for example, reminding you if you've missed your meds). And for those concerned about sharing such valuable information, no data passing from a user to a third party will touch Apple’s servers.
iOS 12 will now allow users to interact with or dismiss a number of notifications at once. Going forward, any new notifications will be grouped by app and appear in a numbered stack on the lock screen. The update will also let users customize which notifications vibrate their phone. Any "quiet" notifications won't appear on the lock screen but will show up in the notifications center.
Apple has also developed a follow-up to its augmented reality platform, improving facial recognition, 3D object detection, and allowing reflections from IRL to be projected onto AR objects. ARKit 2 will also support shared experiences, allowing multiple users to play AR games or work on projects together.
Another AR addition is new app Measure. The app allows the user to accurately measure the size of objects and items around them via AR. The app uses a device's camera to virtually read the width, height, and length of an object. Even more impressive, it can detect a photo, poster, or sign’s dimensions remotely, so you can snap a picture and share the image with accurate dimensions.
What are your thoughts on the iOS 12 updates? Drop us a line in the comments below.
In related news, Apple has debuted macOS, featuring a new dark mode. Check it out here.