The­new­face of Ap­ple’s OS

The tech gi­ant is rolling out ma­jor up­grades to its soft­ware for iPhones, iPads and iWatches... and there’s lots to like

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - TECH NOW -

THIS week Ap­ple re­leased huge up­dates for two of its big­gest soft­ware plat­forms – iOS, the soft­ware that runs on iPhones and iPads, and watchOS, the power be­hind the suc­cess of the Ap­ple Watch.

New de­vices might be on the hori­zon – and check back here next week for full, hands-on re­views of the new iPhone Xs and the Ap­ple Watch Series 4 – but the heart of all Ap­ple de­vices lies in its soft­ware. And these up­grades are good news for old and new de­vices alike.

So, what’s in store for early adopters? We’ve picked out cool new fea­tures on both plat­forms…

AP­PLE UN­VEILS IOS 12 SPEED DEMON

IOS 12 re­verses the trend of pre­vi­ous up­dates, which al­ways seemed to slow down older de­vices. Not only is iOS 12 faster on new de­vices, Ap­ple has also fo­cussed on bring­ing per­for­mance boosts to older iPhones and iPads… right back to the iPhones 5s.

I don’t have a 5s to test on, but go­ing back as far as an iPhone 7, I can see a no­tice­able dif­fer­ence. Ev­ery­thing feels snap­pier, and things like launch­ing the cam­era app are quicker.

REDESIGN AND RE­FINE

THERE are lots of re­fine­ments in lots of stock Ap­ple apps, and these are most no­tice­able in News, Pho­tos, and Books.

The re­fine­ments are all about mak­ing the things you want to use most eas­ier to get to. There’s a new tab in Pho­tos – For You, which is where you’ll find all the great col­lec­tions of photo Mem­o­ries in your li­brary, plus smart sug­ges­tions of who to share them with.

It knows who is in the pho­tos, and of­fers up their con­tacts for you to send pho­tos to them. Your con­tacts can share back im­ages from the same events, so you never miss a thing. The News redesign brings your cho­sen news sources closer to hand, so you can dive into a sin­gle source if you think the cu­rated feed is miss­ing some­thing.

MEMOJI MAGIC

A HEADLINE magic trick sees a new take on an­i­mated emo­jis – you can now turn your own face (or a car­toon­ish ver­sion of it at least) into an ‘an­i­moji’ that you can an­i­mate us­ing your own fa­cial move­ments (you’ll need an iPhone X).

These an­i­mated heads can be used all over the OS, in Mes­sages in par­tic­u­lar, to bring some levity to pro­ceed­ings when your own face just isn’t up to the job.

TIME TO TAKE STOCK

A NEW fea­ture in iOS 12 is Screen Time, which tracks your us­age, and of­fers a re­port into how you use your phone. It tells you how long you spend in cer­tain cat­e­gories of app (like so­cial), how long you spend in each in­di­vid­ual app, and how many times you pick up your phone each hour.

It’s a real eye-opener and can help you de­velop a health­ier re­la­tion­ship with your de­vice.

AR MAKES THE GRADE

IOS 12 brings a ma­jor up­grade to the iPhone’s aug­mented re­al­ity ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It’ll now al­low two de­vices into one aug­mented re­al­ity. So you and a friend could take part in a one-on-one game to­gether, and each see the ac­tion from your own per­spec­tives.

The whole things is faster and much more re­al­is­tic, with bet­ter face-track­ing and 3D ob­ject de­tec­tion. All this is show­cased in a new app, Mea­sure, which al­lows you to mea­sure ob­jects ac­cu­rately us­ing aug­mented re­al­ity.

These might be the head­lines, but there are many more im­prove­ments in iOS 12 – there’s no­ti­fi­ca­tion group­ing, so you can see mes­sages from the same apps all to­gether. The Do Not Dis­turb func­tion­al­ity – which si­lences no­ti­fi­ca­tions ac­cord­ing to your rules – now of­fers more con­trol.

In short, even if iSO 12 just brought the speed im­prove­ments, it would be a no-brainer up­grade. With ev­ery­thing else that’s in­cluded, you’d ac­tu­ally be fool­ish not to down­load it right now.

Aug­mented re­al­ity tweaks al­low you to play bat­tle games with a friend Ready player 2:

Me­mo­jis add a per­sonal touch to tasks, above, while WatchOS 5’s Work­out De­tec­tive tracks fit­ness ef­forts

Screen Time, above, and News add func­tion­al­ity

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