iOS 12 prerelease thoughts

Discussion in 'Tablets and Smart Phones' started by vbetts, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. vbetts

    vbetts Don Vincenzo Staff Member

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    For anyone with a supported device, you can install the iOS 12 GM now.

    Here is also a list of features in iOS 12.

    For my testing, I will be using an iPhone 7, so features that are for an iPad or the new Animoji features I cannot test.

    So it's coming soon, woohoo. We get a new number for our OS! But is this something that actually matters?

    First thing I will say, all my testing so far is still considered prerelease even though this is the GM version of iOS 12, meaning while it will be the final version that is released considered by Apple, it is not an official release supported by them. They treat it the same way they treat beta software, submit your bugs, ask for help, but we cannot give real support, and roll back to iOS 11 if you still have problems.

    As of right now. IWSP's of the latest iOS 11 release are still signed. This means that you can still roll back to iOS 11, now how long this will last I cannot say, usually this is the case for up until the official release but just have to wait and see. That said consider everything I post as nothing final or official, just a quick test. Onto the nitty gritty.

    Apple's first claim with iOS 12 is performance. 70% faster swipe to camera, to up 50% keyboard display, and 2x faster app launch under heavy workload. To note and directly from Apple, the claims on these are done off of an iPhone 6 Plus. Using an iPhone 7, realistically I did not notice any difference. If there is, it's within margin of error so nothing to write home about. Everything basically looks the same as it did with iOS 11, with the exception of a couple icons and new additions to the apps. Which brings me to my first one that I actually find useful and fun to mess around with, ARKit2!

    Let's talk ARkit2, which is basically Apple's updated AR kit solution to enable AR on idevices. Let's get the bad out about ARkit though in general, ARkit requires a device minimum equipped with an A9 SoC. Meaning iPhone 6, 5S, and any ipad older than 2017 that feature an a8 or a7 SoC will not get this feature, this is nothing new though with ARkit. ARkit2 gives more integration in some apps such as Messages and Mail, where you can send someone an AR object through these mediums. It also gives us the Measure App!

    The Measure App uses ARkit2! You basically open the app, and then the device will start tracking flat surfaces and finding them. After it finds one, it snaps the the edge of what it thinks is the edge of the surface. Pretty much, point your camera to where you want to end the measurement, it will either snap to the end or you can just tap where you want the measurement to end. In my experience measuring items that were no longer than 24", It was pretty accurate unless I didn't measure to the right point. There are more ways to test this that have been suggested, by taking a piece of paper, measuring 12 inches from one line to another first with a ruler and straight edge, then use your iPhone to try to measure that same line. That is something that will be tested.

    Group FaceTime is here now! Up to 32 people at once, which I can see this more useful in a big family or a workplace, but sadly this is not enabled yet to test and the service will not be until launch on 9/17/2018, so more to come on that.

    Stickers for your pictures you send in messenger, and also the ability to create animated pictures(aka GIFs basically) to send to others! This feature has been kind of played with before, but now it's more refined, and easy. Just open up your Message app, click the on the camera, and when you open up the camera there will be a little star icon on the left. Opening this up gives you filters, texts, stickers and more. It's a fun feature I will say, more for entertainment than it is for productivity but fun none the less.

    Screen Time is basically a monitor of usage on an iOS device, and also a tracker and limiter. If you're a busy college student and need to get work done, you can actually for instance track how much time you spend on your device, what type of content you're viewing or engaging on your device, and can actually limit how much time you spend on it if you wanted to. Or see how much time you spend on your device, and what you're doing. As I said, great for college kids, but also can be used by parents, businesses, and if you just want to mess with someone by getting in their iPhone and limiting everything they do. That last one was a joke, don't actually do that. To me, this seems like a small limited version of MDM. Now MDM(Mobile Device Management), depending on what you use can give your company a number of things they can do. They can lock down certain content, apps, force logins and other policies. Screen Time is the start of MDM, basically limiting and viewing what a person can do on their device in a easy broken down graph view.

    My favorite change in iOS though is hands now the new notification system! In the old notification system, your notifications would just list from up to down on your screen unless you disabled certain ones. In iOS 12, your notifications stack! Giving it a much cleaner less cluttered look.

    Speaking of clutter, the Photos app got a redesign and is more stream lined and is taking the Google approach with Machine learning. It will be able to organize your photos and videos by learning who is in them, where they are, what is in the photos, and is all very simple to search. This reminds me a lot of Google Photo just done by Apple, which is not a bad thing. I like that they've adopted this.

    We still do not have real widgets, as this is something that has been asked for from Apple for years, but the closest we have is Siri Shortcuts. Siri will learn your daily routine, and will start making suggestions on your routine and notifications for them. So say you go to work everyday and stop at Starbucks to get a coffee, it will learn this and will give you a timeframe on how long it takes to do this and will even include it on a route to work. If you wanted to, you can dive further into it and make Siri order the coffee for you. This is all dependent on where you go, and not all companies support this, but basically the routine is learned and used. You can also set your own custom routine or shortcut up by telling Siri what to do and when to do it. For example, if you have a garage opener that works with homekit, you can tell siri to make a shortcut using homekit to open the garage when I'm in a certain range of it. This feels more like Google Assistant, which is not bad in the slightest.

    Now it's not all that good. CarPlay is still limited, and applications have to support CarPlay to be able to be used in it. Waze is going to be conducting testing soon on CarPlay, horray! Sadly though, you still have to deal with the same boring layout that feels blocky, unrefined, and yelling at Siri to play a song in Music or message someone with the correct message. One thing that bothers me about CarPlay though, if you're listening to music from your device and someone calls you, it does not stop the counter on the song. It just runs the song through while you're on the phone. Obviously it's not played, but this is kind of annoying and I wish Apple would fix this. At least Apple Maps was fixed.

    Other than that, there are small updates in some apps, but nothing really ground breaking. To me, iOS 12 does not feel new, just feels like refined version of iOS 11. This isn't so bad though, as it actually works.
    Official release of iOS 12 is September 17 2018! So far I haven't had any issues with the GM version released currently though, but your mileage may vary.
    Lilith and Havel like this.

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