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iOS 12 for iPhones: everything we know so far

Pencil in Animoji in FaceTime and apps that work across all Apple devices.

Apple is still hard at work trying to fix issues with iOS 11.

But already there are inklings about what the tech giant has planned for the next major overhaul of its iPhone and iPad operating system.

Not due for release until September, the platform promises much, albeit more behind the scenes than on the homescreen.

With rumours flying, here are five things we know so far about iOS 12.

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Animoji in FaceTime

iPhone X animoji hero image

Although the main focus of iOS 12 will be tightening up existing features, that’s not to say Apple doesn’t have new cosmetic tweaks planned.

Sources cited by business site Bloomberg claim that it will bring its personalised Animoji feature to FaceTime, allowing users to turn their faces into different emojis while chatting.

This may seem gimmicky, but Animoji are undoubtedly one of the iPhone X’s cooler features.

What did we make of the iPhone X? Read the uSwitch verdict.

A rival for AR Emoji

Samsung Galaxy S9 AR Emoji female

Samsung’s AR Emoji takes Apple’s Animoji and runs with it.

Its new Galaxy S9 allows users to create 18 different personalised emoji of their own face, sending them via any messaging service.

It’s unlikely Apple will ignore such developments, especially as its TrueDepth camera and Face ID have the ability to do something equally interesting, and possibly more powerful.

Group FaceTime calls


FaceTime’s huge popularity has been somewhat stymied by its inability to handle group calls.

This is especially frustrating for companies looking to hold conference calls, leaving them reliant on rival services such as Skype.

Apple-watchers believe this is a feature that will be front and centre within iOS 12, giving it a much needed boost against the competition.

Shazam integration improved

shazam iphone

Apple’s $400 million deal for song identifying app Shazam means that iOS 12 is likely to come much better equipped at telling you what song is playing.

It’s likely this could either form part of a new Apple Music app, as well as giving a boost to song recognition within Siri.

Users may also be able to easily share Apple Music links to songs they’ve discovered, as well as access curated playlists of tunes by the same artist.

Apps that work on all Apple devices


Seamless integration between Macs, iPhones and iPads is still not perfect.

But iOS 12 is thought to come with new code which will allow developers to create apps that work across MacOS and iOS, with screens scaling to fit displays and input possible via multitouch or mouse, depending on the device being used.

For Apple fans, this will probably be iOS 12’s biggest draw.

It'll focus on stability and security

iOS 11 hero image

iOS has grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent years.

2016’s iOS 10 was at the centre of a social media storm after the first release appeared to render some iPhones unusable.

iOS 11 came in for heavy criticism after Apple was revealed to be slowing down older iPhones with its new software. Bugs and security flaws have also been a big concern.

Federighi is said to have instructed his team to focus on making iOS 12 as stable as it can be, ditching flashy features for something more solid and dependable.

Consolidated messages

The proliferation of messaging apps and services hasn’t meant users favouring one over the other.

Rather, it’s meant the need to have multiple accounts and a solid memory to remember what you sent to who and when.

Apple is looking to fix this, according to Bloomberg, with a new, consolidated messaging tool that shows all missives between two people in one place.

That potentially means messages from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage and Twitter in a single app.

Contact details to the fore

using phone

Knowing whether someone is contactable before you call them isn’t currently possible within iOS.

But an Apple patent points towards details of what a fellow iPhone user is up to appearing within the Contacts app, with info on their iPhone is silent, in airplane mode or able to take calls.

This could be a neat addition, albeit one that is very much a juicy rumour at this stage.

More stringent parental controls

iPhone parental controls

With iOS 12 focused on offering a more secure experience, it’s perhaps no surprise that Apple is looking to give parental controls within its operating a system an overhaul.

Rumours suggest a new feature will allow certain apps to be locked behind either a passcode, Face ID or Touch ID.

Think: games that have an adult rating or sensitive work material that you don’t want kids being able to get hold of, and you get the picture.

This shouldn’t be overly complicated for Apple, as it already allows users to lock sensitive documents.

Don't expect big design changes

Reports earlier this month suggested that Apple’s software chief, Craig Federighi, had told staffers working on iOS 12 to scale back their plans for major visual changes.

It had previously been suggested that Apple was plotting a new–look homescreen for the iPhone and iPad, which has been broadly similar ever since the first Apple smartphone was introduced 11 years ago.

Any such plans, along with those to change the look and feel of CarPlay, are now said to have been pushed back until 2019 at the earliest

We'll get our first look at it in June

apple wwdc

As always, Apple is set to tease its newest iOS features at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

It will then likely release a developer version, plus a work-in-progress, trial version for public users.

The final edition should be ready for release alongside new iPhones in September 2018.

What else is coming from Apple in 2018? We pull out our crystal ball to take a look.

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