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iOS 12: Everything you need to know

We break down Apple's latest iPhone software.

iOS 12 is here. Apple’s new software has been revealed at WWDC, its annual developer event held in California.

So, was it worth the wait? And should you rush to become a beta tester to try it out before anyone else?

Well, you can judge for yourself. Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need too know about iOS 12.

In the market for an iPhone? Here's our pick of the best deals for Apple phones.

Support for the same devices as iOS 11

iOS 12 devices

Apple pulled off a surprise this year, revealing that iOS 12 would work on all of the same devices as iOS 11.

That breaks with its tradition of ditching older products in order to ensure everything keeps ticking along nicely.

The main thing is that if you have an iPhone 5s or newer, an iPad mini 2 or newer or any iPad Pro, you’ll be able to access iOS 12.

The question is, will this hamper iPhones that have had their battery life throttled? If so, it may be worth getting a new battery for £25 first.

Got an older iPhone? Here's how iOS 12 could breathe new life into your ageing Apple phone.

Snappier performance

iOS 12 iPhone 6s Plus

Apple says iOS 12 will offer faster performance on older iPhones, a bold claim that will require plenty of testing.

However, its promise of 40% faster loading times for apps, 50% speedier access to the keyboard in Messages and 70% snappier camera loading are all extremely welcome.

It could also be a money-saver for those unsure about upgrading to a newer, more expensive iPhone.

Photos overhauled

iOS 12 photo sharing

Apple has put AI smarts at the heart of a new Photos app. That means a new ‘For You’ tab and a special sharing suggestion tool to push you to send snaps to people who feature in your handiwork.

The latter is done via iMessage and is fully encrypted, meaning no chance of people snooping on the pics you send.

The search tool has also been improved, with every pic indexed using the time and place it was taken. In all, it means Photos is finally ready to rival the far superior Google Photos.

Siri boosted

iOS 12 Siri suggestions commute home

Apple’s Siri virtual assistant feels like a distant third to the Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant.

Apple is hoping to change that with iOS 12. It's revealed a new Shortcuts feature that can work, theoretically, with any app.

It allows users to create their own quick actions, such as getting a surfing report, setting the thermostat to a particular temperature or firing up Tile when you say ‘Siri, I lost my keys’.

It can even learn your coffee order which you can make ahead of time at your preferred coffee shop.

Letting users create their own shortcuts essentially means people programming Siri to their own needs, which may end up making it far more usable than it’s ever been.

All-new AR smarts

iOS 12 Lego

Apple has gone all in on AR in the past year and iOS 12 promises to take things to the next level. It showcased a stunning new Lego game that took an image of a built Lego set and then brought it to life on screen.

There’s now multiplayer AR gaming, so users can take on different Lego characters and see their set broken, rebuilt and played with in a virtual world.

It’s all a pointer towards AR becoming even more vibrant on iPhone and iPad games.

What is AR? We walk you through it in our guide.

Grouped notifications

After years of users complaining about endless streams of notifications from various apps and messaging tools, Apple will finally start grouping them with iOS 12.

That means Facebook, Twitter and any other notifications will be shown under one banner rather than separately. It should make using notifications a whole lot more appealing to those who decided to give up on them altogether while Apple get its house in order.

App limits

iOS 12 do not disturb limiting apps

Apple is going after Android P with a new app limiting tool. You can set how long you want to use an app for, be it Instagram, Chrome or Twitter and Apple will nudge you when your time is up and take over the screen with a large notification.

However, you can simply hit ‘Ignore’, meaning this is more of a nudge than a major push to get you to use your phone less.

By contrast, Android P simply blocks an app that’s hit it’s time limit until the following day.

You can also use a new ‘allowances’ feature to limit a child’s use of an iPhone or iPad, while a graph gives weekly reports on exactly how long you use different services on your device.

Memoji are here

iOS 12 new emoji ghost, koala, tiger and t rex

Apple has taken a leaf out of Samsung’s book and allowed users to create their own moving emojis.

Known as memojis, you can create a custom version of yourself with everything from freckles, skin colour and hairstyle covered.

It can be used on your own face for real world/VR selfies and saved within Animoji for sending to friends.

Apple has also added a series of new Animoji, including a ghost, koala and a tiger.

In the market for an iPhone? Take a look at our pick of the best deals.

Prefer an Android phone? You'll find our selection of the best deals on our comparison page.

Category: Features
Tagged: apple, ios, iphone
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