By Don Reisinger
June 4, 2018

In a Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) discussion that started with some jabs at Google’s Android, Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi on Monday discussed a variety of new features coming to the company’s next mobile operating system, iOS 12.

The iOS 12 talk at Apple’s WWDC kicked off with performance. Federighi said that the new iOS 12 will enhance performance for a variety of iPhones and iPads, including those that were released several years ago. On an iPhone 6 Plus that was released in 2014, for instance, Federighi promised up to 40% improved performance.

Augmented Reality

Next up, Federighi and speakers from a few other companies, including Lego, announced a variety of enhancements to the operating system’s augmented reality (AR) support. The features allow users to employ their iPhones or iPad’s rear cameras to have virtual characters or functions on their devices interact with real-world experiences. A new Measure feature, for instance, lets you measure the distance from one point to another of physical objects. The Lego folks discussed the integration of virtual characters with real-world Lego buildings.

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Photos

Apple’s Photos has earned a refresh this year. The app can now index up to 4 million photo events and has an improved search to more easily find content you want to see. A new sharing feature also makes it easier for you to share photos between friends.

Siri

Apple’s virtual personal assistant has a new feature called Shortcuts that allows any app to add a shortcut to Siri. The app will assign a statement like, “I lost my keys,” and Siri will respond with an answer or by opening an app, depending on the function the shortcut activates.

A new suggestions feature will give you ideas of apps to open and other tips based on how you use your iPhone. It can also suggest you text someone if you’re late to a meeting with them.

Shortcuts

Shortcuts is a new app built into iOS 12 that lets you create a string of functions. It comes with a variety of pre-made shortcuts, but also lets you create custom shortcuts. For instance, if you want to create a shortcut for going home from work, you can set up a variety of steps, like turning on the heat at home, calling an Uber car, and more. Once it’s set up, you can simply ask Siri to activate the Shortcut and it’ll perform all of your desired functions.

A Fight Against Phones

Apple has updated several apps that all aim at removing some of the disturbances that make you less productive.

A new feature called Do Not Disturb Bedtime will hide notifications at night. And when you activate the Do Not Disturb function, you can decide when you actually want to be disturbed by friends and family.

An “instant tuning” feature will let you decide on each notification when you should be bothered by it.

Group notifications will group all app notifications in one place, so your screen isn’t filled with text messages, Twitter messages, or other notifications. You can also dismiss them all at once.

Apple’s new Screen Time feature will give you a weekly report to tell you how you used your iPhone or iPad over the past several days. It’s designed to give you insight into the apps you’re using, how you’re using the device, and how many times you pick up your handset. The company also announced plans to provide parents the ability to limit how their kids interact with devices.

Apple’s iOS 12 will be released later this year.

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