The first beta of iOS 12 is out in the wild and we’ve just spent some quality time with the update. While a lot of the flashy features like GroupFace Time and Shortcuts app aren’t in the first beta, there’s still a lot of interesting stuff here. We finally get to see Apple’s implementation of grouped notifications, enhanced Do Not Disturb mode and the new digital wellness features.
Instead of just talking about it, let us show you how some of the coolest new features in iOS 12 actually work. GIFs incoming!
1. Grouped Notifications
iOS now stacks related notifications by default. If you get 5 notifications from the same app or thread, they’ll now show up as one group (stacked one on top of other). You can tap on a group to expand it. You’ll see all notifications from the group. Tap on an individual notification to take action.
2. Managing Notifications From Lock Screen
You change notification settings for an app right from the lock screen. Swipe right on a notification and tap on Manage.
Here, you’ll see two options. You can either choose the Delivery Quietly option or Turn off the feature altogether.
If you choose the Delivery Quietly option, the notification will not appear on the Lock screen and will directly go to the Notification Center without making any sound or showing any banner notifications. It will still show up in the badge though.
3. Do Not Disturb During Bedtime
There’s a new setting in the Schedule section in Do Not Disturb mode called Bedtime. When it’s enabled, the Lock screen will turn black during DND mode at night. The phone won’t light up when you see notifications. In fact, they won’t even show up on the Lock screen until you disable Do Not Disturb mode.
4. Screen Time
Screen Time is Apple’s new digital wellness tool. This new section in settings will tell you how much you’re using your phone. The two main things you’ll learn is the screen time and how often you pick up your phone.
The new App Limits section in Screen Time lets you set limits for particular apps. So you can say that you only want to use Instagram for 30 minutes a day. As you get closer to that time, you’ll get a notification about it. And once the time is up, you’ll see a splash screen when you open the app, instead of the app itself.
You can tap on Ignore Limit to keep using the app. You can disable the limit for the day or for 15 minutes.
5. New Animojis
iOS 12 has 4 new Animoji characters: Ghost, Koala, Tiger and Trex. There’s also tongue detection and wink detection in Animoji now.
Apple is bringing personalized Animoji to the Messages app. You can create your own Animoji character and customize dozens of aspects of your Memoji character, including skin tone, hairstyle, eye color and so on.
You can take photo of your Memoji character, record video or even superimpose it on your face using the live Camera view.
Once you’ve created a Memoji character, you can use it at a lot of places in iOS. Other than the live camera view, it also works during FaceTime calls!
7. New iPad Gestures
The iPad now gets iPhone X style gestures. Swipe down from the right edge to open Control Center and swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get to the Home screen.
To get to the Dock you now have to swipe up a bit and then pause. To get to the App Switcher, swipe up to the middle of the screen and wait a second. Even the awesome quick app switching gestures makes it to the iPad! It’s a big awkward but you can quickly switch to the most recent app by bringing up Dock and the swiping left or right (just like you do on the Home bar on the iPhone X).
8. Siri Shortcuts
Apple is opening up Siri to third party developers and improving its task capabilities. Siri has a new Shortcuts functionality where you can define a task for Siri to do when you say a particular phrase.
You can say “Hey Siri, iPhone News” to open iPhoneHacks.com. In future, Siri Shortcuts will integrate with the Shortcuts app and third party apps. In the first beta it only works with a handful of default tasks in the Settings app. You can find the feature in Siri & Search section in Settings.
9. New Measure App
Apple has crated a new AR Measure app that lets you measure objects in real time. Just point your camera to an object and click the Plus button to add a pointer. Then just move your phone to drag a line.
Tap the Plus button again to add another point. You can keep making rectangles like this and map out objects in 3D. Tap on the number in between the lines to view details about the distance.
10. Autofill Passwords For Third Party Apps
Using an upcoming API, third party password managers will be able to use iOS’s native autofill functionality. This means no need to use an extension or jump to a different app every time you need to login to a new website!
11. One Time Password SMS Autofill
If you’re using 2 Factor Authentication via SMS, your life is about to get a lot easier. If you get a one time password for any service over SMS, it will instantly show up in QuickType suggestion. Tap on it and it will be entered in the text field. No need to copy paste or quickly remember a random six digit string!
12. Better Way to Quit Apps on iPhone X
iOS 12 finally fixed the app quitting gesture on iPhone X. On iOS 12, you had to tap and hold on an app till the little red close icon showed up. Now, you can quit apps just like you do on any other iPhone. Enter multitasking view and just swipe up to force quit an app.
Your Favorite Features
As this is just the first beta, a lot of new and interesting features are missing. There’s no Shortcuts app, functioning Group FaceTime or smart sharing feature in Photos app. As Apple starts rolling them out, we’ll keep you updated.
What are your favorite new features in iOS 12 so far? Are you running the beta? Share your experience in the comments below.