Apple has just released the final version of iOS 12. This update is all about making your phone work better — and there are also a bunch of new features. The update is currently rolling out and is available both over-the-air in the Settings app, and by plugging.
But iOS 12 is a very different software update for Apple. Unlike in years past, where the focus has been on bright, flashy changes — whether that be a wholly new look for the operating system, redesigned notifications and widgets, or redesigned apps — this year’s update puts the emphasis first on working better, instead of just looking better.
Features include a new option called Screen Time that shows how long you’ve been using apps on your phone. If you’re worried about using one too much, like Facebook, you can set a timer so that it won’t open after a predetermined amount of usage in a single day.
Apple also improved notifications, allowing you to group them and dismiss them much quicker, instead of flooding your lock screen with loads of messages.
Siri gets smarter, but you’ll work harder — at first. Siri Shortcuts are tasks you can create and trigger with a custom command to do things like send a text, play a podcast and get directions to your favorite ice cream shop.
If you own an iPhone X you’ll be treated to some new Animojis – ghost, koala, tiger, and T. rex – and another animated emoji is joining the party. Memojis are interactive characters that can be created to look like anyone you want.These animations can then be sent to friends using the Messages app.
Downtime is yet another new tool in iOS meant to help you shift focus away from tech before bedtime. It cuts off access to all apps except for a few whitelisted exceptions that you want available at all times — like the phone or Messages. Apple also includes FaceTime and Maps by default, but you can remove those and add third-party apps that friends and family might contact you through.
Group FaceTime, which will let you hold a video call at the same time with multiple people, was delayed from the initial iOS 12 release. It will come later in a separate update.
Apple overhauled the entire Stocks app and brought it to the iPad in iOS 12. Stocks has a fresh new look with spark lines and after hours performance, along with Apple News integration that features business news curated by Apple News editors.
The updates are available on all iPhone devices starting from the 5s series.