To run on top of the bumped-up hardware of the new iPhone trio, you will Apple’s latest OS offering, the iOS 12. Although the iOS 12 was unveiled earlier at Apple’s WWDC conference, the latest iPhones will be the first devices to run it after they go on sale. If you’re wondering about the newest features of iOS 12, here’s what you need to know.

Performance:

Apple insists that iOS 12 will focus on performance, and will be available on all the devices that run iOS 11. That means comparability will be fairly widespread, for iPhones and iPads.

For starters, the processor architecture of the A12 chips that power iPhones will ramp up performance sooner than what most other chips allow. All iOS devices will support this, irrespective of the generation of chip they may be running. The under-the-hood changes will allow apps and share menus load twice as fast in iOS 12 as they would on the same device running iOS 11.

Augmented reality:

Augmented reality (AR) continues to be a big focus for Apple. As things stand, iOS 12 will introduce a new AR content file format called USDC, and this will be optimised for sharing in terms of size and compatibility.

As demonstrated at the launch event, AR apps like Bethesda’s Elders Scrolls: Blades will provide a more immersive experience.

AR will also be the foundation for a new app called Measure, which will calculate size of objects in the real world. At present, apps such as MeasureKit do the same tasks, but Apple’s preloaded app in iOS 12 could perhaps become the default for most users.

ARKit, the framework that drives AR apps and experiences on iOS, has been updated to ARKit 2. It can now do smarter shared experiences, face tracking and handle virtual objects in the real world.

Adobe’s new AR content format is also being worked upon and will be compatible with Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps such as Photoshop and Dimension.

Apps, deeper AI integration and user experience:

Apple is revamping the Photos app. Search gets a refresh, with new Search Suggestions highlighting key moments, people and places, for instance.

The Photos app will also map events globally, and tag photos you take at those locations accordingly, for better search results. There are new sharing suggestions as well, to share photos with friends who may be detected in photos in your library.

Virtual assistant Siri will also get a new avatar in iOS 12. This was expected, considering Google has been improving Assistant and Amazon has been fairly aggressive with Alexa.

It will now use artificial intelligence (AI) derived suggestions, such as for your regular food orders at a certain time of the day, tracking routine at the gym, send a text to a meeting organiser informing them you are running late and enabling Do Not Disturb when you arrive at a cinema to watch a movie.

Siri also gets a Shortcuts app. Apps will get an “Add to Siri" button and that will allow to pull in details from third-party apps for meetings, travel details etc. These are fully customisable, and you can add even more Shortcuts for different times of the day.

Apple’s iteration of Google’s Digital Wellbeing:

Just like Google, Apple wants you to use your mobile devices a bit less. There is the Do Not Disturb feature for bedtime. When enabled, the notification screen that you see when you wish to peek at the time in the middle of the night, will only include essentials such as the time and the weather. What will be hidden away are distracting app notifications from the lock screen.

Notifications get an “instant tuning" feature, which allows you to bypass lock screen for certain app notifications. There will also be grouped notifications, which means no more WhatsApp notifications overloading your phone’s lock screen.

Finally, there is a feature called Screen Time. You get a weekly activity of how you have used your iOS device—usage pattern, apps used, busy apps etc. The app will also help you with a feature called App Limit—this will notify you if you are using an app too much.

Facetime, Animojis and Memojis:

Apple will be giving iMessages app a slight refresh as well in iOS 12. The Animoji feature was first introduced with the iPhone X, and now there are new Animojis such as koala, t-rex and a friendly ghost. There is now a new feature called Memoji, which lets you create your own Animoji.

FaceTime gets the group calling feature in iOS 12. This means groups can include 32 simultaneous participants. FaceTime will also be integrated into Messages app, making switching between messaging and group calling easier. When someone speaks, the tile for that person becomes larger on the screen.

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