While the next version of Apple's mobile operating system isn't even slated to be announced until June's WWDC event, there is already quite a bit of information about what iOS 12 will come equipped with for iPhone users. Thanks to some people close to the project, we now know that Apple will focus on performance and quality, but that doesn't mean there won't be any new features.
A lot of the cooler features that Apple was originally planning for iOS 12 will likely be pushed back to iOS 13 in 2019 if sources familiar with the matter are correct. Apple is now focusing on a two-year iOS development strategy instead of working on pushing out tons of new features within one year since iOS 11 fell victim to numerous bugs, sloppy updates, and missing promised features.
Back in June 2017, Apple promised exciting things like Apple Pay Cash, Business Chat, Messages in iCloud, AirPlay 2, and 3D Touch tab-switching in Safari for a Sept. 2017 release, but couldn't deliver right away (or at all yet).
Rumored iOS 12 features now slated for iOS 13 include a redesigned home screen, side-by-side apps, new Apple Pencil features, a mute option for email threads, a better CarPlay app, and a revamped Photos app, among some iPad-specific features.
So where does that leave us with iOS 12's feature set? Check out the list below to see everything that will likely be announced at the next WWDC event to be included in a Sept. 2018 public release. But now that Apple's on a two-year iOS design cycle, any of the iOS 12 features listed below could be pushed back to iOS 13 if they're not ready for prime time when iOS 12 comes out in the fall.
While not every app will jump on board right away, Apple might finally release their "Marzipan" project, which is a way to develop universal apps that work on both iOS and macOS. We heard about this late last year, and it actually sounds pretty exciting, since developers can make one app that's both touch-friendly and mouse-friendly.
And since iOS apps are usually updated more frequently by third-party developers than their Mac counterparts (if they even exist) because there are more iPhones out there than Macs, this will make it more likely that you'll get the same updated experience across both platforms.
While the "Restrictions" menu in iOS is pretty exhaustive, it's rumored that Apple will give parents even more options for controlling what their young ones can access on iOS devices. We don't know what these will be yet, but anything that gives us more control over anything is much-welcomed. What we do know is that there will likely be a new "digital health tool" for parents to see how much time their children have been using their iOS devices.
The new iOS 11.3 update, which still hasn't come out of beta, features a way to import your health records in the Health app from specific healthcare providers. Supposedly, iOS 12 will add even more improvements to the Health app, though, it's not entirely certain if this is because of the rumored digital health tool mentioned above that may or may not appear in the Health app.
If you haven't noticed yet, the Stocks app on your iPhone has barely changed since it got a facelift in iOS 7. Well, the word is that Stocks will get another redesign in iOS 12, but what that will include is anyone's guess. Hopefully, it's not just a straight-up visual change and that Apple actually adds some useful tools to it. Wouldn't it be great if we could monitor cryptocurrency markets, too?
Right now, the iOS 11.3 beta has four new Animoji characters that iPhone X users can use in addition to the 12 already available. But word on the street says that iOS 12 will bring even more Animoji to the table. The new ones right now are geared toward international users, so maybe we'll see more globally interesting Animoji later this year.
Speaking of more Animoji, the interface that we use to select Animoji characters on the iPhone X is also supposed to be redesigned for easier use and navigation. I haven't had any issues using them on my iPhone X, so who knows what this will entail.
While we're on an Animoji roll here, Apple is said to be working on a way to incorporate Animoji into FaceTime video calls. While this will likely only work on the iPhone X as far as recording Animoji are concerned, it's assumed that anyone with an iOS device or Mac will be able to view Animoji in action during a FaceTime call, just like they can receive and view Animoji in Messages.
We wanted group video chats in FaceTime for iOS 11, but it just never happened. Apple is currently working on the technology for bringing multi-person FaceTime calls to iOS and macOS devices, and we're hoping it might appear in iOS 12. If they can't work out all of the kinks, and iOS 12.x update would be fine with us — just as long as it's not late-2019.
While we got "Do Not Disturb While Driving" in iOS 11, there hasn't really been any updates to the regular Do Not Disturb feature since we got access to it back in iOS 6. Well, iOS 12 is said to fix this by including more options for automatically rejecting phone calls or silencing notifications. It's not known yet if these features will be a part of the "Do Not Disturb" menu in Settings or incorporated into other apps like Messages and Mail, but we assume the former.
It's rumored that Apple will "more deeply integrate Siri into the iPhone's search view," so things might get a little easier in Spotlight. Maybe Siri will even be incorporated into the Settings search function. But overall, Siri is supposed to be better and more precedent across iOS.
If you're into the whole augmented reality scene, this one might be your favorite feature to look out for. Multiplayer mode for AR games could be baked into ARKit so developers can let others play games like Pokémon GO with each other directly.
This makes total sense since games tend to rule the iOS App Store, and multiplayer gameplay is usually a must for them to succeed. While there isn't a large number of AR games in the iOS App Store right now, with this feature ready to go, there likely will be very soon. And this could cause augmented reality games to finally reach mainstream status among their non-AR peers.
This is the reason why we're only here about 10 or so new features in iOS 12 — because Apple wants to fix all of the bad user experience that happened across iOS 11's existence. From performance throttling to weird texting bugs to glitchy calculators, there has been no shortage of bad publicity for iOS 11. Since performance and quality will be Apple's main directive for iOS 12, expect everything to work like it's supposed to.
We're not sure. All of the above are things we know from sources close to Apple's design process for their mobile operating system and are said to come straight from Craig Federighi, Apple's software bigwig, but that doesn't mean this list is a sure thing. Anything above can be nixed or pushed back to iOS 13, and there might even be some more features coming in iOS 12 that Apple has been keeping top secret. Who knows, but when we find out, we'll be sure to update this list for you.