AR LEGO games and fully animated 32-person group Facetime all coming soon in iOS 12

Apple recently held their 2018 keynote a few days ago and as usual they unveiled their new iOS platform, iOS 12. The developer beta has been live since the 4th of June and the public beta is set to go live around the end of June, like it is most year, with the full release most probably coming in September with any new phones. The standard lengthy keynote covered many points, but I have decided to break the points down into the most exciting changes and the changes that you will use the most.


Stability and Reliability

As predicted by many tech gurus, the focus of iOS 12 was stability and reliability. iOS 11 has been rife with unstable apps and slow performance speeds since launch and so Apple announced they have been working hard to refine the underlying iPhone OS. They have reported that the new iOS will see an improvement of somewhere between 40% – 70% in terms of speed.

This is going to vary from app to app and from device to device, but even still it is nice to hear of a 40% increase in speed. This improvement will be seen from all devices from the 5S up to the iPhone X, or basically the last 5 year’s worth of devices.


AR for Apple

AR Kit 2 will launch with the new iOS 12, and more importantly it is multiplayer AR. This means that you can share the same AR experience across multiple devices, meaning everyone can see the same AR experience but from their own angles.

This kit has backing from LEGO, Pixar, Adobe and Fender so we can expect some fantastically well-polished experiences featuring all the LEGO and Pixar characters we have come to know over the years. This kit is going to firmly mark Apple on the map as a real contender in the AR market.

AR Measuring

With the new update comes a new fantastic app, AR Measure. This app will allow you to use the camera on your phone to measure anything. You can measure picture frames, coffee tables, fridges, doors, cars, anything you can think of, all without using a pesky measuring tape.

The app uses the iPhones already impressive camera systems to work out the size of objects relative to your distance from them and by panning the camera along the item. I shudder at the thought of the coding that went into this, but it is going to most likely be one of apples most used apps after launch.


Siri becoming Better and Better

iOS 12 is adding some much-needed improvements to Siri. Siri will now be directly linked to your Tiles app (an app and product that allows you to find any of your lost goods that have Tiles attached to them) meaning that you can literally ask Siri ‘where are my keys’ and it will tell you.

The new platform will also allow developers to connect their apps to Siri just like Tiles have done. This means, hypothetically, that all apps will be able to be operated from Siri alone. You will be able to place orders with just your voice, call taxis, upload pictures, post to Facebook the possibilities are endless.

The Tiles app at the moment is slightly convoluted so integrating it with Siri will make the process so much faster and help you get out the door quicker. Siri will also now be able to send ETA’s to any of your contacts when using maps, meaning you can keep all your friends up to date with how long you will be.

I also think that this is quite a good safety element, and could possibly be integrated with emergency services, as if someone is vastly over their ETA and not answering their phone then something could have gone wrong and they may need help.

Fewer Distractions

The Do Not Disturb mode has also been tweaked and developed to allow the user to be less distracted by their own phone. You will now be able to link the DND mode to your calendar meaning your phone can automatically mute notifications for any events you have in your calendar. You will also now be able to prioritise notifications so that you can, for example, mute social media notifications between 9 and 5 so you can focus on your work. You will also be able to make it so that notifications don’t appear at all on your home screen which is perfect for late at night.

You will also now be able to set time limits for each app, and more importantly set time limits for your children’s usage. While this looks like its coming across as an attempt to save ourselves from our phones by apple, it interestingly is an attempt to save Apple from us. Apple and silicon valley have come under attack recently for people being addicted to their phones, more specifically peoples children. This now hands the control over to the users so that Apple can’t be blamed for not trying to control peoples addictions. So essentially they are trying to cut back on usage, while increasing desirability to make sure people will still buy the new edition each year.

Grouped Notifications

This is a big one. Once iOS 12 lands you will be able to group notifications together based on, app, topic, time frame or thread. This is especially helpful if you have an overly active group chat and you want to get rid of all the notifications at once from the home screen. It will also make managing your notifications far easier and your phone won’t be clogged up with countless notifications. This is a time saver and ‘de-cluttering’ update that will be positively received.



FaceTime Party

Many user’s prayers will be answered with this new change, FaceTime will now support up to 32 people. Yes, you read that right, 32 people. Any group chat will be able to be transformed into a multi-user video call and with a slick new interface that will highlight who is talking with the rest of the members in a ‘roster’ at the bottom of the screen.

Anyone in the FaceTime with an iPhone X will be able live stream their Animojis in the chat for everyone to see. This means you could have 32 of your friends all on FaceTime as cats all at once, which would be, interesting….


Small Tweaks

There are some relatively big changes in the IOS 12 update that many will be excited to see but there are also some little tweaks here and there –

  • Little tweaks in cameras performance
  • Portrait mode lighting will be enhanced
  • Photo apps searching to become smarter and more refined
  • Siri to become more ‘casual’ learning sports scores and celebrity and pop culture facts
  • Stocks, News, Voice Memos and Car Play to be revamped and refreshed
  • iBooks will now be called Apple Books


While we have seen bigger changes in the past and more announcements around the same time of year, this is still an exciting update, and I’m sure the new phone will be built to fully realise all these updates.

What part of the update are you most looking forward to?