Apple’s new iPhones may have been the focus of its big hardware event, but that didn’t stop the firm from slipping in one or two more software announcements at the end.
iOS 12, the next major version of iOS, is set to arrive on iPhones on September 17th, Apple announced.
In addition to iOS 12, Apple’s latest Mac operating system, Mojave, will be available the same day, along with watchOS 5, the latest software for the Apple Watch.
The new iOS 12, which has been available to beta users and developers since June, promises to pack a slew of improvements for iPhones and iPads from iOS 11.
With iOS 12, the big improvements are expected to be seen the most in older devices.
On older devices like the iPhone 6, it’s expected to help them perform up to 70 percent faster.
This should translate to apps launching and running faster, as well as speedier camera features and fewer glitches when entering text.
Apple’s new digital wellness tools have been hyped up just as much.
There’s a new Screen Time feature that tells users exactly how much they are using their device and allows them to block or limit specific apps.
Users now have greater control over notifications, so that they’re grouped on the screen based on apps and topics.
What’s more, certain notifications can also be silenced from appearing on the lock screen.
An expanded Do Not Disturb feature allows users to wipe their notification screen clean before bedtime and when they wake up in the morning.
Users will also be able to create their own shortcuts for Siri, teaching it the phrases they want to use.
They can use a new ‘shortcuts’ app to create the shortcuts they use.
Siri has also got a major upgrade, and app developers will be able to use Siri for the first time.
Third-party apps will now be able to let users invoke Siri for commonly used tasks, much the way competing assistants from Google and Amazon long have.
It also comes with AR Kit 2, an upgraded version of Apple’s augmented reality platform for developers, that includes the ability to measure the size of real-world objects.
AR Kit 2 also features multiplayer game play.
There’s also new animojis like the T Rex, ghost, koala and tiger, in addition to the ability to create your own personalized Memoji, or a personalized emoji that looks just like you.
Before installing iOS 12, users must make sure they have at least iOS 11 in order to gain access to iOS 12.
It’ll be available as a free download on your device, or you can sign up for Apple’s beta testing program today to get your hands on what’s likely to be identical to the official version being released next week.
However, as per usual, beta testers should make sure to back up their data in case the unofficial iOS 12 version has any bugs.
Of course, in addition to older devices, iOS 12 will be available for Apple’s newest trio of iPhones, which include the budget $749 iPhone XR, the $999 iPhone XS and the $1,099 iPhone XS Max.