One of the recurring sentiments I’ve heard over the years is “Well, if [insert thing here] changes, I might switch.” I remember a friend of mine telling me once that if Palm could make a Pre smartphone with a slightly larger display, he’d be “all over webOS.” The features, or specs, or platforms, have changed over the years. But I still see it pretty frequently.
Windows seems to be the go-to option these days. I see plenty of tweets from people who, I would assume, are using macOS and talk about switching to Microsoft’s competing desktop platform all the time. I can understand why, Windows 10 has a lot of features being added on a semi-regular basis — twice a year, at least, if not more frequently. I don’t know if macOS Mojave is what a lot of people were looking forward to (though, system-wide dark mode is a nice addition), or if it will keep those people on the fence from making the leap.
But it definitely got me thinking about iOS 12.
Earlier this month, Apple hosted its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, with the company using its keynote to talk about a ton of new features. As usual, the company had a lot to say. And while there were rumors before the event that Apple would unveil some new hardware (specifically, new iPad Pro models and refreshed MacBook units), it was an event all about software. The aforementioned desktop update got plenty of time on stage, but it was iOS 12 that got the lion’s share of attention.
Apple talked about performance enhancements baked into the OS, especially for older smartphones — a direct response to the battery throttling issue the company ran into before the end of last year, but which doggedly followed them into 2018. And while that’s a huge addition, it’s the new features that a lot of people were waiting to see.
There is the new Screen Time feature, which will let iOS keep tabs on how often they’re using their devices, which apps are hogging their time, and even set limits. You can FaceTime with up to 32 people (!). There is the new Memoji feature, where you can turn yourself into an Animoji. Multiplayer functionality in augmented reality (AR) games thanks to advancements in ARKit. Siri Shortcuts, letting you pair third-party apps to get things done a lot faster. And, perhaps the best new addition: grouped notifications.
There is quite a bit there, plus a lot more. Those are just the major bullet points. I’ve seen people on Twitter say they might consider switching to iOS if Apple could take advantage of their Workflow acquisition, and with Siri Shortcuts it looks like they definitely are. I don’t know if Memoji gets anyone to switch, though.
Grouped notifications might be able to get the job done. Notifications have been such a terrible firehose in iOS for so long, it’s good to see Apple finally addressing the issue. And, based on what I’ve seen because there’s no way I’m installing the beta on my daily driver (yet), the feature is pretty solid. It does exactly what it should: trim the fat and make notifications a bit easier to handle.
So, I’m curious: If you aren’t already using an iOS device, and whether or not you’d categorize yourself as being on the fence with a potential switch, do the changes and additions in iOS 12 make the possibility of switching an option? Or do you need to see even more in iOS before you’d think about it? And if that is the case, what would you like to see Apple add? Let me know!