CommArc’s chief architect, Simon Langford, has spent the last couple of months peppering his conversation with temptations from the next Apple upgrade for iPhone, iOS12.
Every year in the northern hemisphere’s autumn, Apple releases its latest mobile Operating System. This year’s features include some interesting new tools that will no doubt make your phone feel new again – if that’s a good thing.
Notables so far include the Measure app, which gives you distance estimates using your phone’s camera; improvements to photo search and sharing; and Memoji, a digital animated version of yourself you can use on iMessage.
Simon signed up to be a ‘beta tester’, so gets to test the updates and boast about how cool they’re going to be before any of us mere mortals get to play.
(There is a public beta site you can sign up to if you also want Apple super-powers, but you do need to have a secondary device to play on and a full and robust backup).
Simon’s top picks for the new upgrade are, surprisingly, very sensible.
Apple’s contribution to your digital health, Screen Time allows you to keep track of your usage and set time limits for yourself – and your children.
“It’s presented as a way of you keeping track of how long you’re spending each day on your phone and what you’re doing with it,” Langford said.
“It gives you the ability to set limits for yourself. You may, for example, say ‘I only want to spend one hour on Instagram a day’, and set the time limit.”
Your phone will alert you after an hour and say ‘times up’.
“You can click to carry on anyway, but it’s like a wee reminder. And it gives you a weekly report of how you’ve used your phone.”
“The other use for it is for parental controls.
“You can put a parental control on your kid’s device and then lock the settings and usage to whatever you want.”
A code is required to override the controls.
“If you’re using Family Sharing (and your accounts are linked) you can control your kids’ devices from you own phone. When kids have reached their time limit, they can request extra time from you, and that will buzz your device and you can allow or deny that from your phone.
“My son, who was home sick today, has used up his time on his iPad and I got buzzed on the way to work to allow him extra time. And I could choose whether to give him access for the rest of the day or half an hour or whatever.”
“They’ve improved the notification screen. They’ve grouped notifications from the same app together. So rather than having a massive list of notifications to scroll through, they’ve put them all together so you can click on one and it’ll expand that out.
The feature can be customised it as to which applications are group and which aren’t.
Security code autofill
“This ties in with two-factor authentication. If you get a text with a one-time use code, it will automatically populate the app with the it after the code comes in.”
“After the battery controversy they’ve had, they’ve now got all these little graphs that tells you more information about your battery usage and what apps are using your battery.”
In addition to the new features, Apple has learned that some of the things it deliberately introduced for the iPhone X weren’t as popular as hoped, so it has taken steps backwards on a couple of the more annoying features.
“They’re reinstating the ability to close apps by swiping up, and adding extra faces for facial recognition to unlock the phone.”
Overall, Langford said along with some new fun things and bug fixes, the new iOS promises to provide incremental enhancements with a few nice to have extra features along with the obligatory security updates, and in this day and age, that can only be a good thing.
Public beta 9 / developer beta 11 has been released, and the full update is expected either next month or October.
- For a full list of the new features expected in iOS12, you can find Apple’s rundown on their website.
- If you’re keen to get involved and become a beta tester, get all the details on the sign up site.