Over the last few years, we’ve learnt to expect one thing from Apple’s constant improvement “updates”:
They’re pretty to look at but work-wise, they aren’t actually that effective.
Indeed, they’re pretty much, at the risk of aggravating every single fangirl out there, the boy bands of today.
But it seems that Apple’s pretty boys have actually wised up, as the latest iOS update, the iOS 12, promises what every other failed to deliver:
An actual pretty boy with a healthy body system and improved work ethic. Or in layman terms…
An actual update with actual improvements.
1. Just released
That’s right; the latest iOS 12 update has been made available starting yesterday (18 September). In fact, some of you guys (if not all) might have already noticed system update notifications and tapped on them. But for the benefit of the Jon Snows out there, this article shall entail the brief gist of the updates, as well as the puzzle pieces that form it all together.
Before I move onto the content, the update comes after months of beta both for developers and the general public. It will cater to the usual huge range of iPhone and iPad devices, from this year’s latest editions to 2013’s iPhone 5S.
5S? I thought iPhones started from 6? 😉
2. This one’s different
As I mentioned beforehand, previous Apple updates acted like pretty boy bands: aesthetic, but generally nothing amazing, or at least work-wise. Add in last year’s throttling Apple battery issue and you get people asking:
“Should I install the latest update? Will it slow down my phone? Will I get pregnant?”
Well don’t worry about the first two, because this coming update is nothing like the rest before it, in the sense that instead of focussing on the aesthetics (per usual), it’s directing its attention at the one aspect we’ve been crying out for years:
The performance itself.
As a result, the interface doesn’t just look better.
It works better. But don’t just hear it from me.
Hear it from the cold hard facts.
Apple has promised something we never thought we’ll ever hear: actual performance changes. In fact, the tech company has been generous in its speech, promising things like 40 percent faster speeds for launching apps, and up to 70 percent faster speed improvements for launching the camera. And it’s not all talk either, as user experience has all but validated those claims.
Plus, it apparently breathes new life into older devices, particularly ones bogged down by previous updates (I’m looking at you iOS 11), and makes the entire experience way more stable than before.
4. Screentime Limit
If you’ve played Maplestory (desktop) before, you would know that after every few hours of grinding, there will be a pop-up message at the bottom.
Although of course, nobody really bothered with it because who listens to their mums right?
But it seems that Apple’s taking a leaf from Nexon’s (as well as a lot of other companies) book, by incorporating an all-new Screen Time feature that supposedly tracks how much time you spend on your phone and tablet…
And provide tools for your own time-management protocols.
Although it has to be mentioned that the tools aren’t exactly the most aggressive, seeing how Screen Time’s barrier will grey out an app upon reaching its time limit and present a noti screen… yet at the same time display a button that lets you extend that time over and over again.
And let’s face it; procrastination is like a synonym for human nature.
5. Notifications just got a whole lot tidier
One pet peeve I had with Apple’s iPhones was that messages didn’t exactly come stacking in.
They came flooding in.
So imagine my horror and perpetual panic when I left my phone alone for a couple of hours during a message-intensive period.
Thankfully, it seems that Apple’s intent on tackling the issue head-on, as it has now started grouping notifications by app. Granted, it doesn’t exactly sound like a really big change, and your WhatsApp and Telegram chats will probably still be all over the place (cos they haven’t started grouping by… groups), but this is a definite step-up from before.
Additionally, each notification will offer the option to edit settings for that app upon coming in. You can either opt to set an app’s notifications to be sent quietly (without pinging your phone) or turn them off altogether.
Move aside, Animojis. You’re so 2017.
OS 12 might’ve been full of performance perks so far, but rest assured; it’s not just your regular technical update. There’ve been a couple of entertaining new features included in the mix too, one of which happens to be Memoji.
Pretty much a humanoid version of Animoji, this feature lets you create the entire thing from scratch, with plenty of customisable options available for your perusal. So you can just imagine the number of funny faces you can make on your very own iPhone screen.
Unfortunately, this feature is only applicable to newer models like the iPhone X, XS, XS Max and XR models. Boohoo.
7. Refreshed designs
It seems that old features get their time to shine too; as the iBooks, Apple News, Stocks and Voice Memo apps have all been granted a makeover with Apple’s more modern design style coming into play.
And Carplay has been boosted in one single aspect too, with third party map applications now ready to vroom, instead of the old conventional Apple Maps. And if you’re a Google or Waze fan, you’ll be interested to know that they are planning to support Carplay, and have actually started beta testing.
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8. Password management
If you hate typing a random 2FA password every time you log into some shady website, you’ll be glad to know that SMS passwords texted to you by two-factor authentication services now come up (automatically) as AutoFill suggestions.
Additionally, third-party password managers can now sneak their way into your regular web browsers, rendering passwords all but hassle-free.
9. Augmented reality just got even better
Augmented reality is cool and all, but there’s just one minor drawback:
It’s too lonely.
I mean sure, you could be playing your AR game with a couple of virtual guys and girls, but they are just that. Virtual.
But it seems that Apple wants us to be more than just lifeless zombies bandying about at home, as it has pushed its all-new improved update ARKit 2 in the new update, which permits shared AR experiences between multiple users.
Now is that cool or what??
10. Siri Shortcuts
Last but not least, we have the ever-popular Siri’s all new digivolution.
Sixpack – I mean Siri Shortcuts.
And boy, I reckon Siri just mega digivolved, because there are so many improvs to it in this latest one.
Basically, users and developers can now incorporate their own interactions and macro sequences to Siri. Also, there will be intelligently generated suggestions based off factors like current location and time of day, alongside custom Siri interactions and automated sequences that encompass numerous apps.
Additionally, you can set up custom commands for Siri, like this example below:
“Hey Siri, wake me up in the morning you hear me?”
After hearing the command, Siri will thereafter set your alarm. Note, though, that the ‘you hear me’ part is entirely optional.
But it doesn’t end there. With a single “Hey Siri” request, you can activate an entire routine like turning on your lights, acquiring your commute time, listening to the forecast and discovering when your first meeting is.
Neat? Neat. Though it gets you wondering about the future.
Time to scout out the new Sarah Connor, you reckon?
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