iOS 12 promises new life for older devices this fall

Good news for users of Apple's phones, tablets, notebooks and other devices: iOS 12 is coming, and it's bringing a number of welcome improvements. Notably, iOS 12 should bring a variety of performance improvements to a broad range of devices. Additionally, the OS is set to offer more control over notifications, more information about app and device usage, and improved Siri functionality. New augmented reality tools promise more robust AR experiences. Finally, an iOS update wouldn't be complete without updates to emoji, messaging, and FaceTime.

Apple is making bold claims about the performance improvements on the way with iOS 12 to hardware old and new. In a test comparing the performance of iOS 11.4 and iOS 12 on its iPhone 6 Plus (a device launched in 2014), Apple claims that the camera app launched up to 70% faster in the newer version. The company goes on to say that in the same test, the keyboard appeared up to 50% faster, and that testers reported more responsive typing. iOS 12's improvements could give a new breath of life to devices going back as far as the iPhone 5S.

iOS 12 should give users more information about how they use their devices along with tools to manage their usage responsibly. The new OS' improved notification management will let users have notifications delivered quietly, turned off, or grouped together for clarity. Alongside these changes, the Do Not Disturb system also got new features. New modes will let users set an automatic end to Do Not Disturb modes based on reaching a certain time, entering a particular location, or taking a certain action. The new Bedtime mode dims the display and keeps notifications from disrupting the user's sleep until the morning.

The Screen Time app enables a quick look at device usage. Daily and weekly reports will track notifications, indicate the time spent in individual apps, and even note how often users are picking up their devices. Parents might use this feature to track and set limits on how much their children are using certain devices or applications.

iOS 12 will have a new bag of tricks for both Siri and AR applications. Users and developers alike should be able to customize voice commands for Siri, letting the assistant accomplish more complex and valuable tasks. Meanwhile, Apple worked with Pixar to develop a new open file format, USDZ, that could make it easier for a broader range of applications to integrate AR functionality. The upcoming ARKit 2 should provide developers with tools for object detection, image tracking, and creating shared AR experiences.

Apple is also expanding its Animoji with new personalized “Memoji” characters that users can endlessly customize. Those who prefer to communicate with their own face instead of cartoon versions of it might appreciate the introduction of group calls to FaceTime. People can be added to calls at any time using either video or audio, and the software will automatically adjust the prominence of each person's face depending on the flow of conversation.

As usual with any new version of iOS, there are a large number of other additions and tweaks. The photo albums interface will offer new sharing suggestions and tools for searching back through a large album. New security tools in Safari will limit how much system information is shared when users browse the web, and help users construct better passwords when creating online accounts.

All things considered, users of Apple phones and tablets are likely to find something they like in the upcoming iOS 12, even if it's just snappier operation on an older device. Apple hasn't put an exact date on the operating system's release date, though it plans to release iOS 12 this fall.

Comments closed
    • Shouefref
    • 1 year ago

    Apple wants to block Facebook:
    [url<]https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44360273[/url<]

    • DancinJack
    • 1 year ago

    I was actually fairly impressed with the overall software stack that was presented. A focus on performance a bug fixing for macOS, along with a dark mode, and app store redesign is so welcome.

    I’m likely dumping Android this next go round and moving over to iOS. Android just doesn’t really offer me anything that isn’t on iOS anymore (me, personally, not me as in general). Notifications are still kind of a crap shoot, but at least they’re going to group them now.

    • Wilko
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]Apple is also expanding its Animoji with new personalized "Memoji" characters that users can endlessly customize.[/quote<] Oh. So like making a Mii and using emoticons in Miiverse on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U before Nintendo shut it down.

    • Puiucs
    • 1 year ago

    Apple dropping OpenCL support is just retarded.

      • adisor19
      • 1 year ago

      There hasn’t been any development on OpenCL in a long time and it looks like Apple gave up in the end and chose to go all in with Metal and the other new AI focused APIs.

      Adi

        • chuckula
        • 1 year ago

        A major feature update on pretty regular 2-year schedules (occasionally shorter than 2 years) [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL#OpenCL_2.2<]going all the way back to 2009[/url<] doesn't sound like "There hasn't been any development on OpenCL in a long time" to me. Sure, Apple's own mixture of incompetence and desire for vendor lockin means that Apple has [i<]failed to keep up with OpenCL's development[/i<] but Apple's failures are not OpenCL's fault. This sounds like a warmup to how we're supposed to hail the miraculous ARM Mac Pro in 2020 since there "hasn't been any development" of Intel processors since 2013.

      • tipoo
      • 1 year ago

      Fwiw, deprecated isn’t dead, see how many years they’ve been weaning us off of 32 bit apps. It’ll be a minute before OpenCL won’t run at all.

      I just wish they supported Vulkan natively alongside Metal, the bridge looks like it’s coming along but has some limitations.

    • tipoo
    • 1 year ago

    Snoozer of an event, but I’m not complaining, slowing down to really focus on performance on older devices and bug fixes was exactly what a lot of us were calling for for years.

    OpenGL is deprecated, they mentioned hard drive performance improvements, improvements to iDevices back to the 5S and Air 1, a lot of stuff the geekier among us Apple users were asking for.

    Boring, but we asked for boring. At least this year.

    Was hoping for the MBP spec bump, but I guess that’s Sept/October then.

    • chuckula
    • 1 year ago

    No miracle ARM chip but Apple did just [url=https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Apple-Deprecates-OpenGL-OpenCL<]dump support for OpenGL and OpenCL*.[/url<] You can add that to Apple's complete refusal to ever support Vulkan from the get-go. Drink Apple's proprietary koolaid or GTFO apparently. * Ironic since in a prior incarnation Jobs-Apple helped develop OpenCL in the first place.

      • tipoo
      • 1 year ago

      That is indeed interesting. Probably more than most of the event. On one hand it’s great that they’re pushing to not have people use their ancient, slow, 5 year old OpenGL implementation. But yeah, proprietary koolaid on the other, though Vulkan over a Metal bridge is still far faster than their OpenCL.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 year ago

      Apple’s OpenGL implementation was leftover from like 2010 as it was. The writing has been on the wall for a very long time. And you should be happy about them dumping OpenCL, since lots of people pointed to Nvidia’s refusal to support OpenCL well on the Mac as a reason Nvidia wasn’t in any Macs.

        • tipoo
        • 1 year ago

        Interesting point, but then they could still butt heads over the future of the universe between CUDA and Metal Compute Shaders.

      • adisor19
      • 1 year ago

      Yup, they launched in 10.6 if I recall correctly together with GCD (Grand central dispatch) if I recall correctly.

      Adi

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 1 year ago

      Yeah, but both jobs are over now.

    • Concupiscence
    • 1 year ago

    I care less about speeding it up, and more about hammering down glitches. If I play a piece of music – pretty much regardless of the app – on my iPhone SE and tap rewind to start the track over, the progress bar within the song doesn’t move, and won’t update until the song is over or I manually drag it to a new position. That’s a weird bug, and it’s not the only one.

    App loading time improvements are fine, too, but I also wonder how much of the responsiveness is simply down to reducing excessive visual effects and unnecessary animation. Time will tell, I guess.

      • chuckula
      • 1 year ago

      When glitches in iOS are [url=https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/16/17131148/apple-ios-11-bug-face-id-ad<]even making it into Apple's own advertisements[/url<] you know they need to do some housekeeping.

        • tipoo
        • 1 year ago

        Sad part was they fixed the ad but not the glitch later.

      • Stochastic
      • 1 year ago

      Yeah, animations can go a long ways towards making a UI feel more or less responsive.

    • DPete27
    • 1 year ago

    Clever. Slow everyone’s phones/tablets down with each subsequent iOS update, then undo all the performance knocks and the lemmings love you!!!

      • adampk17
      • 1 year ago

      *eyeroll*

      • morphine
      • 1 year ago

      Ackshually, that’s not what generally happened since the famous passage onto iOS 7. Yes, the OS has been very gradually getting heavier, but it’s also gotten a ton more features. In the grand scheme of things, I’d rate the bloat/slow graph line as “mostly ok.” Source: current iPhone 5S owner.

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