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Apple Announces Updates for iOS 12

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Apple hosted their annual Worldwide Developers Conference Monday morning and announced a variety of new updates that will come with iOS 12. While many were hoping for hardware updates to the MacBook, iPad, and even a new iPhone SE, this year was solely focused on software. The new features introduced in iOS 12 aren’t as much of a major redesign like previous iterations of iOS, but there are still some significant additions and changes noticeable when the update is released this fall.

Screen Time

Apple is trying to help users develop a healthy balance when using their smartphone, and with the new Screen Time feature, you’ll be able to track how much time you’re spending on your device. It will break down each app usage by a category (social media, games, entertainment) and at the end of the week, you will receive a summary of your usage habits. You’ll also be able to set time limits for each app if you find yourself spending too much time on your phone.

Memoji

Building upon the popular Animoji feature on the iPhone X, with Memoji, you’ll be able to create characters that have your own appearance, down to skin color, hairstyle, and accessories. Somewhat reminiscent of a Bitmoji, you’ll be able to record clips of you talking and send them to friends.

Group FaceTime

One of the most popular video chat apps used will now be capable of hosting sessions of up to 32 people. When on a call with multiple people, each person’s video window will increase in size when they’re speaking, and shrink when they’re not. Plus, if you want to spice up your FaceTime sessions, you’ll be able to use your Animoji and Memoji characters during a call.

Measure App

The AR capabilities of the iPhone are getting an upgrade with a new app called Measure. You’ll be able to use this app to accurately measure objects or walls around you. Once you open the app, put the object you wish to measure in the frame of the camera, and it measures it.

Siri is smarter

While Siri has lagged behind virtual assistants like Google Assistant, with iOS 12, we will see it get an intelligence boost. You will now be able to use it to open third-party apps and carry out quick actions.

Shortcuts App

This new app will allow users to string together multiple actions which can be triggered by a custom Siri request. This has long been a desired feature for iOS users, as Android users have had something like this with Google Assistant for a while now. 

iBooks becomes Apple Books

Apple’s ebook app is now coming with a new name and a complete redesign that will focus on discoverability of new books for users. A new Book Store tab will now focus on ease of exploring new titles, checking top charts, and finding curated collections. 

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