So two days ago, September 17th, we were given the option to download and update to iOS 12. I have noticed some differences in functionality on my iPhone and iPad, but I can’t say I am in love with these updates just yet.
Best new features
Siri gets smarter, but you'll work harder -- at first. Siri Shortcuts are tasks you can create and trigger with a custom command to do things like send a text, play a podcast and get directions to your favorite ice cream shop.
Cut down on screen time: New tools in iOS 12 show you how often you pick up your phone, how many notifications you receive, and how much time you spend using various apps. Trust us: It's scary to see hard numbers for how long you spend on your phone.
Minor tweaks to Messages, but a big change to FaceTime: After a couple years of adding a lot to the Messages app, the biggest change this year is a new camera tool. FaceTime was supposed to add group calls for up to 32 people, but Apple decided to remove the feature from iOS 12 for the time being. We should still see group FaceTime later this year, though.
Create an Animoji of your own: Memoji is a word you're going to hear a lot this fall. A Memoji is an animated emoji iPhone X ($880 at Amazon Marketplace) users can create and use just like last year's Animoji characters.
Closing apps goes old school: Apple changed the process of force-closing apps on the iPhone X, adding in extra steps. With iOS 12, things are getting back to normal.
You have a built-in tape measure: Need to measure a table or some other object? Apple is adding a new app, Measure, in iOS 12. The app uses augmented reality to measure real-world objects. It's pretty cool.
The biggest issue I’m having with iOS 12 is with my iPad Pro. I have the 12.9 inch screen and love using it for multi-tasking. Mostly using the Squarespace blog app and the Google Chrome app simultaneously so I can write these daily posts. I can’t get it to work as easily anymore. I’ll do more googling and figure it out, I’m sure, but I’m not sure why that had to change. Multi-tasking with two apps on the iPad was perfect before and just so stupidly simple. Not anymore. Edit: I did figure it out. It, too, is stupidly simple. But it’s just different. No complaints, just a learning curve on my part.
They also moved the Control Center on iPad. You now have to pull down on the battery icon, and then you will have all your controls. It’s simple, and sleek. I like it, it will just take some getting used to.
The status bar added the date, too. I like that a lot. It’s simplistic and functional. It just does what it’s supposed to—tell you the time and date at a glance.
The tape measure integration is really cool too. I could see this having been helpful in college for projects and things like that.
I’ve also noticed that my text messages (iMessages) aren’t coming in out of order anymore, which is nice. It was super annoying to deal with before, but it seems to be a non-issue right now.
Improves performance on older iOS devices
Introduces an impressive array of tools that helps you gain transparency and manage your privacy settings, security options, and more
Adds and expands upon generally well-thought-out tools that help developers develop new kinds of apps and access new functionality to improve existing apps
Supports all the same devices that iOS 11 did
Strong user privacy and personal data management tools and policies
Modernizes (to some degree) a few parts of the OS that were outdated, like messaging and the book store
Shortcuts can be very powerful if you invest the time to learn to use them
Siri is still so-so at best compared to competitors—and third-party app support with Shortcuts isn't going to single-handedly fix that
We're already seeing features that were promised getting postponed to later updates, like Group FaceTime
Most of the bigger features of iOS 12 depend on developers jumping on board and using them to deliver better app experiences, which could take a while
Looking forward to playing around with iOS 12 more and learning the new and improved shortcuts.