After months of testing and record 12 betas, Apple has finally released iOS 12 golden master (GM) to developers and public beta testers. The golden master represents the final version of iOS 12 that will be released and available for download from the Apple Developer Center.
iOS 12 is one of the most anticipated iOS updates as it includes performance and quality improvements, along with new features like Memoji, Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts, and more. Developers can use the iOS 12 GM to submits their apps for review.
Here’s a quick look at the major new features and improvements in iOS 12:
- Better Performance: Apple has improved the overall performance of iOS 12 on all iPhones and iPads it can be installed on, including the older models. That includes boosted performance for opening the Share Sheet, for instance, or seeing up to 70 percent better performance in certain scenarios on devices like the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple says these performance boosts will be present on all devices that iOS 12 can be installed on, and the company is “doubling down” on performance with this latest iOS release.
- Animoji and Memoji: Apple is introducing four new Animoji characters, including a T-Rex, ghost, and tiger for iPhone X. The biggest new addition is what the company calls Memoji, allowing users to quickly turn themselves into an Animoji with a variety of customization options as well.
- Photos: Apple is improving the Photos experience in iOS 12, making search better and faster, with the ability to search for places and much more. The new app is also getting a faster way to share content, with the app recommending people to share the photos or videos with based on facial recognition. And, after those images are shared, Photos will work with the receiver to find if they have photos of the same event to share back.
- Siri: Apple’s digital personal assistant is getting some improvements, including a new Shortcuts feature. This will give automation workflow to users, allowing for simple statements like “Heading home” to serve up a variety of different commands, including starting a podcast or Apple Music playlist, offering up directions, notifying a contact, and much more. Shortcuts can be created through the Shortcuts app, available as a beta from Apple’s Developer Center.
- Grouped Notifications: iOS 12 is finally adding support for grouped notifications, so multiple notifications from a single app would be merged into one for better usability. Notifications are also getting other improvements. You can now send notifications from the lock screen to the notification center, with Siri now recommending you to disable notifications from apps that you don’t use.
- Screen Time: iOS 12 also includes a comprehensive time management and monitoring tools called Screen Time, which allows you to track how much time you’re spending in apps on your iPhone and iPad. The App Limits and Downtime features help you to reduce your iPhone addiction.
- ARKit 2.0: Apple is also introducing an update to ARKit, which will bring new features for the augmented reality framework. It brings with it more dynamic range for tracking items in the camera, as well as being able to play multiplayer games with up to four people. Support for 3D object detection and persistent. Starting a game built around a physical toy, or a physical classroom serving as a starting and continuation point for lessons. Shared experiences in ARKit 2.0, allowing for real-time multiplayer games. iOS 12 also includes a new app called Measure for measuring objects using AR capabilities. It will be pre-installed when you install or upgrade to iOS 12.
- New Maps app: iOS 12 also includes a revamped and rebuilt Maps app which is powered by Apple’s new Maps engine, which will display foliage, pools, buildings, pedestrian pathways, and other map elements more accurately. The new Maps also includes significant improvements to traffic, real-time road conditions, construction, and more. The updated Maps app is available only for Northern California area. Apple plans to roll out the new maps for other U.S. locations after iOS 12 is released.
- Group FaceTime Calls: Apple had initially announced plans to introduce group FaceTime calling feature in iOS 12 for up to 32 people, and had included it in the first few iOS 12 betas. But the feature was removed in iOS 12 beta 7. Apple plans to release the feature later this fall as an update to iOS 12.
- Apple Books: Apple is changing iBooks to Apple Books, and tweaking the overall experience as well.
Here’s the official iOS 12 release notes which provides the complete list of all the new iOS 12 features and improvements.
Registered developers can download the iOS 12 GM from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air after installing the iOS 12 configuration profile.
Let us know if you discover any new changes in iOS 12 GM.