First things first. iOS 12 brings support to devices dated back to 2013 (iPhone 5s and up). The new release of iOS will be focusing on speed and performance improvements. It is incredible that Apple keeps supported 5-year-old phones and tablets with free system updates. It has been announced that iOS 12 will bring twice the performance to older devices getting them up to speed.
- Apple has partnered with Pixar to create a new file format called USDZ. It’s optimized for sharing augmented reality experiences (basically sharing 3D graphics and animations). It’s used as a way to deliver AR experiences across iOS (now even in Safari, bringing eCommerce products into the real world with AR). A great example of this during the conference was taking an electric guitar in real size from Fender website right onto a table with AR. Flat objects can now be taken into 3D. Can you imagine how great that would be for eCommerce stores? Adobe is one of the first partners to adopt USDZ natively into its Creative Cloud suite of apps.
- ARKit 2 announced with improved face tracking, realistic rendering, 3D object detection, persistent experience. One of the most exciting new features is shared experiences, which delivers true multi-user AR environment. People will be able to share the same augmented reality space on multiple devices.
- iOS 12 will get a new Measure app to measure sizes/dimensions of physical objects using in augmented reality (turn your phone into a virtual measuring tape).
- An updated Photos app with sharing suggestions.
- Developers can now expose quick actions inside the apps that are intended to be triggered by Siri in iOS 12.
- Introducing Siri Shortcuts, which users can trigger these quick actions with voice-activated Siri. There is a Siri Shortcuts editor inside iOS 12 where you can build your own shortcuts to be activated via Siri. For example, you can build a custom Siri Shortcut that will set your thermostat at home, send a message to your spouse to tell them you’re heading home, then start a music playlist, and launch the map app.
- Siri Suggestions: Siri will notify and suggest app quick actions for you to take based on your usage patterns.
- The News app - is getting enhancements.
- The Stocks app now gets news for stocks and it’s also available on iPad now.
- The Voice Memos apps - it’s now also on iPad and is redesigned to be easier to use. There’s also iCloud support for sync across devices.
- iBooks - Supports audiobooks. Renamed to “Apple Books”. The app is redesigned and there’s a browsable store.
- CarPlay - Will support third-party navigation apps such as Google maps and Waze.
iOS 12 will come with a bunch of features to help you become aware of and to control your own phone usage, allowing you to limit distractions, focus and understand how you are using your time better.
- Do not disturb mode - Hides your phone notifications until morning. You can set an end time.
- Notifications - allows you to manage notifications straight from the lock screen. We now have grouped notifications (grouped by app, topic or thread). Siri will also suggest which notifications to hide based on how often you use that app.
- Screen Time App - tracks how much time you’re spending on your phone or on certain apps, how often you’re picking up your phone, which apps are pinging you the most and more. You will now be able to get weekly activity summary about how you use your devices.
- App Limits - you can set limits to how often you use certain apps and it reminds you to stop using an app once that time is up.
- Child limits with Allowances & Downtime - you can limit your child’s exposure to the device or to particular apps. For example, setting a time limit. You can see reports on their usage and you can manage all of this from the parent device.
- Animoji improvements - tongue detection, new avatars (ghost, koala, tiger, Tyrannosaurus)
- Memoji - create your own Animoji avatar based after your own likeness. Choose different hairstyles, eye colour etc.
- FaceTime - group FaceTime simultaneously with up to 32 attendees.
Watch the full WWDC 2018 keynote at apple.com