Thursday, 16 August 2018
News Tech

13 hidden features of iOS 12 worth getting excited about

It looks like iOS 12 may shape up to be one of Apple’s best releases in years. It’s not a complete overhaul of the iOS ecosystem, but rather a welcome refinement on iOS 11. It takes the big steps from the iPhone X and iOS 11—like Animoji and ARKit—and extends them in ways that make them truly useful.

We’ve got a list of all the big iOS 12 features, and even a list of major features that Apple didn’t talk about during its WWDC keynote presentation. But there’s a lot more to unpack. We’ve uncovered a host of small changes, tweaks, and features that brought smiles to our faces while tinkering with the beta, and they’ve reminded us that these little bits of polish and refinement are what make iOS a delight to use. Here’s a list of all the hidden delights we’ve discovered in iOS 12 so far.

Automatic Updates

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Are the days of being nagged to install iOS updates almost behind us?

After upgrading to iOS 12, a trip to the Settings > General > Software Updates menu page does more than just show you the current software version. There’s a new menu item labeled Automatic Updates, which defaults to being enabled. Will iOS 12 be the first to allow your iPhone to just update itself silently in the background (probably when plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi)? Does this mean no more nagging users to install minor point releases and security patches? It sure looks like it!

More Siri accents

In iOS 11, you can change Siri’s voice to be male or female, and to have one of three different accents (in U.S. English): American, Australian, or British. Just head to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice

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Siri picks up an Irish brogue and a South African accent, too. 

In iOS 12, that same menu has five accents listed; the additional accents are Irish and South African. We tried them out, and they work! Nothing like getting the traffic report with an Irish brogue.

Closing apps on iPhone X made easy

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Closing apps on iPhone X with iOS 12 works just like it does on other devices.

One of the odd quirks of the iPhone X’s gesture interface is the way you close apps. In iOS 11, you have to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show all your app cards in the multitasking menu. Then, if you swipe up on one, it doesn’t close the app as the similar gesture does on any other iPhone or iPad.

Rather, you have to press and hold on the stack for a second until the little close icons appear in the upper left. Then you can tap on those or swipe up on app cards to close the app. If you just swipe up on a card, it closes the multitasking menu without closing the app.

That behavior is gone in iOS 12. Once you bring up the multitasking menu, swiping up on a card immediately closes the app, as you would expect it to. It’s faster, easier, and in line with the way other iPhones and iPads operate.

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