iPhone and iPad users, you’re getting a major software update this fall, and today Apple detailed the new features that’ll be included.
iOS 12 will bring with it a focus on performance. The update will be offered to all devices running iOS 11, which means it’ll go all the way back to the iPhone 5s, and Apple is working to improve performance on all of those phones and tablets. Apple says that with iOS 12, it’s improving app launch speed by up to 40 percent and keyboard display by up to 50 percent.
Apple is also making an effort to improve digital wellness with iOS 12. This includes a new Screen Time app that’ll show you info like how long you’ve used your phone on a day, which apps you used, and how many times you picked up your phone. You can also set App Limits that’ll alert you when you’ve used an app for a certain amount of time each day.
Parents can also use Screen Time and App Limits to set times when a child can’t use their iOS device, block certain apps or content from being used, and more. A Downtime feature will let you set certain periods during which apps cannot be used.
Do Not Disturb is getting better in iOS 12 to help you avoid getting bothered by notifications. You can set DND to be active in a certain location or for a certain period of time. Meanwhile, a new Do Not Disturb during Bedtime feature will dim your screen and block notifications from appearing while you’re trying to sleep.
Notifications are getting improved in iOS 12, gaining a new Grouped Notifications feature that’ll group together alerts by app or group. You can also choose to have notifications come in quietly, which means that they’ll still appear in your notification center and display an app badge, but they won’t pop up on your lock screen.
Another major focus of iOS 12 is Animoji. Apple is bringing new tiger, ghost, koala, and T-Rex Animoji characters to iOS 12, and it’s also adding Memoji. With Memoji, you can create your own Animoji character by choosing your skin tone, hairstyle, head shape, and more.
Siri is gaining a new Shortcuts feature in iOS 12 that’ll let you quickly perform actions from third-party apps using your voice. For example, you can say “Travel plans” to have Siri show your upcoming trip info from Kayak. Apple is even launching a dedicated Shortcuts app to help you create shortcuts, which can include multiple steps.
Apple is improving several of its other apps with iOS 12, too. Photos is getting intelligent search suggestions and a For You tab; Apple Books is getting a redesign; Stocks is gaining Apple News integration and an iPad version, and Voice Memos is getting a new design and iCloud support. Also of note is that FaceTime is gaining support for group chats for up to 32 simultaneous participants and CarPlay will work with third-party navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps.
iOS 12 is now available to registered developers. It’ll launch to the public this fall.
Alongside iOS 12, Apple today revealed watchOS 5. One of the major new features of the watchOS 5 update is Walkie-Talkie, which will let you quickly send voice messages to your friends and family. Just tap the “Talk” button on your Apple Watch and your friend will hear your voice on their Apple Watch, no matter whether you’re on Wi-Fi or cellular.
watchOS 5 is also adding support for Apple Podcasts, letting you automatically download new episodes to your Apple Watch. Improved notifications are coming, too, letting you interact with apps directly from your watch. For example, you can tweak a Yelp reservation to add more guests.
Other notable features coming with the watchOS 5 update is auto-workout detection, new yoga and hiking workouts, Activity Ring competitions, and an improved Siri watch face that’ll offer more proactive shortcuts throughout your day.
Like iOS 12, watchOS 5 is now available to registered developers and will launch to the public this fall. It’ll be available for Apple Watch Series 1 devices and above, which means that the original Apple Watch is being left behind.