It has already been over 2 months since the initial launch of Apple’s iOS 12 with all the newly enhanced and upgraded features. These performance improvements are compatible on all iOS devices going back to even the iPhone 5S and the iPad Air. The new iOS 12 brings a 70% faster swipe time to camera, a 50% faster keyboard display and app launches are also twice as fast. Since the launch, which of these features have been the most useful and impactful? This post goes into some of the most prominent and advanced iOS features and how these visionary enhancements are shaping the world of app development.

9 iOS 12 Impactful Features and Enhancements

1. Siri Shortcuts

Voice technology and voice assistants have become more popular, especially with devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The iOS Shortcut feature involves making Siri more productive and effective in completing everyday tasks and reducing the steps to get there. It monitors your phone activity and usage to make predictions and suggestions based on your behaviour. These suggestions can often be shown on your lock screen or in the Spotlight search engine.

The shortcuts can automate tasks, for instance, you can program Siri to automatically turn on your radio and send a “hello” text to your friends whenever you say “good morning”. It is all about improving the personalization of the device. Siri can also monitor which in-app actions are the most popular and garner the most engagements and then add shortcuts to the most used features.

A few other Siri enhancements include:

  • Siri suggestions based on behaviour learning
  • Translations with over 50 language pairs
  • Celebrity facts such as asking where Ellen Degeneres was born
  • Food knowledge such as calorie and nutritional value. You can ask questions like: How healthy is dark chocolate?
  • Photo memories where you can ask Siri to pull up a picture from your library of a specific place, time or event
  • Password search
  • Find my iPhone
  • Flashlight control

2. Push Notifications

With enhancements to push notifications, users have control over which ones they receive and how they receive them. Users can even completely ignore the notifications by skipping or swiping them away and they can quit messages on their lock screens if need be. Based on collecting information and data on previous in-app user behaviour, Siri can even send personalized notifications.

Users can also group together notifications by theme, topic or by mobile app and adjust each app’s notification settings right from the lock screen. This helps to see what is important at a glance instead of seeing an endless amount of notifications on the lock screen. Instant Tuning is a feature where users can have their notifications sent silently to the Notification Center so that they are not bothered or interrupted by the alerts.

For app marketers wanting to deliver push campaigns, this feature poses a bit of a challenge when users can easily opt-out of notifications and ignore them. This gives app marketers the difficult test of creating important, valuable, useful and relevant push notifications and content that deserve and justify the user’s attention.

3. Password Autofill

This feature simplifies account creation and login information. Passwords are saved and stored in the iCloud keychain so users can access their accounts in any mobile app or browser even if they forget their login information. Password Autofill saves all your account information and then thanks to the iCloud Keychain, it can be shared across different devices. This security enhancement gives users quicker access to their content and can even suggest stronger passwords to ensure and guarantee their online privacy and security.

4. Augmented Reality Experiences

There are different ways iOS users can now experience augmented reality on their devices. The measure app can measure length and distance using augmented reality and it can automatically detect the dimensions of any rectangular object like photos. All users have to do is point their camera at what they want to measure, like a table or dresser, and then follow the commands from their device to create a measurement.

Another way to experience AR is with the introduction of the ARKit 2 for developers. This allows for improved face tracking, such as with monitoring facial movements and where the user is looking, as well as 3D object detection.

5. Apple CarPlay

iOS devices are no longer limited to only using Apple Maps. With the release of iOS 12, it allows for third-party navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze, for people who may prefer other navigational methods.

6. Screentime

The Screentime feature gathers data insights on how time is spent on your phone and provides weekly activity reports. This includes monitoring how often you pick up your device, the time spent browsing the internet, which apps have the most usage, how long you spend on certain tasks and how many notifications you receive. It is easy to lose track of time while using your device and so the goal of this feature is to help with being mindful about usage habits and decreasing phone and screen addiction. To aid with lowering phone usage, there is a Downtime feature in Screentime where times of the day can be set to block notifications and apps.

7. App Limits

As we just mentioned, it can be easy to lose track of time and get sucked into using your device for hours on end. The App Limits feature helps to manage and limit the amount of time you spend in each app. For instance, you can set a time limit to only spend 30 minutes on Facebook. This also works for parental control with app usage where they can monitor and cut down the amount of time their kids spend on devices.

8. Group FaceTime

This most recent feature has been added to iOS 12 where up to 32 participants can join in on a video or audio FaceTime call as well as including stickers, filters and Animoji in real-time. During calls, the speaker is shown in the centre and you can tap on different people to make them bigger so you can see them close-up. Group FaceTimes can also be started in a group text.

9. Photo Improvements

The Photos app now has a “For You” tab where it makes effects and sharing suggestions, shows memories and shared album activity, does event and place searches and offers RAW editing support.

The sharing suggestion feature will propose to share the images with the people that are in them. If, for instance, someone shares pictures with you, then your iOS device will look for related pictures of the same event in your library and make suggestions to share them back with that person.

There is also intelligent search suggestions for when you’re using keywords to look for pictures of a certain event, location or date and will help you find the photos you’re looking for.

From augmented reality to using productive voice assistants, as you can see, these mobile app developments and features are changing the way people can use their iOS devices. As technology and the needs of consumers evolve together, it will continue to drastically shape the world of mobile app development, making it bigger and better than ever.

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