Apple Reveals iOS 12 With Digital Health Features, Group FaceTime, Memoji, and More

As expected, Apple today revealed a multitude of features coming to iOS 12 that will improve the user's digital health and "help you limit distractions." These features will be built into iOS 12 and feed back into a new area of the Settings app called "Screen Time," found under Do Not Disturb.

Beginning with a new Do Not Disturb during Bedtime feature, you'll now be able to "get a better night's sleep" by dimming the iPhone display and hiding all notifications until prompted in the morning. When enacted, DnD during Bedtime enhances the time and date to act as more of a bedside alarm clock as well.

ios 12 screen time
In an effort to reduce interruptions, iOS 12 will give you more options for controlling how notifications are delivered as well. You can instantly manage notifications so they can be turned off completely or set them to be delivered directly to the Notification Center, bypassing the lock screen.

Over time, Siri will "intelligently make suggestions" to alter notifications based on your interactivity with these new granular controls and by judging how long it's been since you've opened or used an app. Notably, iOS 12 also introduces Grouped Notifications to iPhones and iPads, which Apple says will "make it easier to view and manage multiple notifications at once."

iOS 12 notifications
In the new Screen Time settings, you will find a detailed daily and weekly Activity Report that breaks down device usage across categories of apps, how many notifications you receive, how often you pick up your device, and more. With App Limits, you can set a specific amount of time to be in an app, and a notification will warn you when time's almost up.

Screen Time is built for both individual users and families, allowing parents to see their kid's Activity Reports right from their own iOS device. Other parental controls include features like Downtime, to set a block of time to limit a child's iOS device usage, and the ability to choose specific apps that can be used during Downtime, like Books or Phone.

"In iOS 12, we're offering our users detailed information and tools to help them better understand and control the time they spend with apps and websites, how often they pick up their iPhone or iPad during the day and how they receive notifications," said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. "We first introduced parental controls for iPhone in 2008, and our team has worked thoughtfully over the years to add features to help parents manage their children’s content. With Screen Time, these new tools are empowering users who want help managing their device time, and balancing the many things that are important to them."

Shifting from digital health features to a few augmented reality-focused updates, iOS 12 is updating Animoji with numerous overhauls this year. The big new addition is "Memoji" for iPhone X, where you can build your own personal Animoji character to look just like you and add in fun accessories like glasses and hats. Then, the Memoji can be used like normal Animoji in Messages, but also as a filter in FaceTime and video Messages.

Apple iOS 12 Memoji
The existing set of Animoji is also expanding with Ghost, Koala, Tiger, and T-Rex, and all Animoji and Memoji characters now feature winks and "tongue detection" so that they can capture even more of your facial expressions.

iOS 12 Memoji
iOS 12's augmented reality features will be powered by the new "ARKit 2," enabling shared experiences, persistent AR experiences tied to a specific location, object detection and image tracking, and more that will make AR apps "even more dynamic." Apple worked with Pixar to create a new open file format, USDZ, so that it's easy to experience AR "nearly anywhere in iOS," ranging from apps like Messages to Safari, Mail, Files, News, and more.

Then there's Group FaceTime, which will enable audio and video chats with multiple people (up to 32) at the same time. Apple explains that participants can be added at any time, join later if the chat is still active, and choose to join using video or just audio from an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch (for audio).

In other new app news, there's "Siri Shortcuts" which aims to help users build fully customizable workflows from third-party apps. In the app, you'll be able to customize Shortcuts by building a voice command that initiates the task, or use the UI of the app to simply tap your personal Shortcuts and begin the series of actions you have created.

ios 12 facetime siri photos
In Photos, Apple is making the app a bit more akin to Apple Music and Apple News with a "For You" tab that surfaces favorite moments in one place. A new sharing suggestions feature will make it easier to send photos and videos to friends, and iOS 12 will prompt friends who receive photos to share back any of their own that they took from the same trip or event. Otherwise, there's also improved search so you can combine multiple terms "to find just the right photos."

In general, Apple says that iOS 12 is "faster and more responsive" and has been designed to make everyday tasks much more streamlined. According to the company, the Camera launches up to 70 percent faster, the keyboard appears up to 50 percent faster and typing is more responsive, and apps launch up to twice as fast.

The company also promises that enhanced privacy and security "remain a top priority in iOS 12." For Safari, this means that Intelligent Tracking Prevention will block social media "Like" or "Share" buttons and comment widgets from tracking you without permission. The app will also automatically create, autofill, and store strong passwords when users create new online accounts and flags reused passwords to point out when you should be a bit more secure.

iOS 12 books news stocks
Below you'll find a list of a few other features coming to apps like Books, News, Wallet, and more in iOS 12:

- Apple Books is redesigned to make it easier to discover and enjoy books and audiobooks, and the Book Store tab makes it easy to explore new titles and browse the top charts, curated collections and special offers.
- Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics or jump straight to favorites, and on iPad, a new sidebar makes navigation even simpler.
- Stocks comes to iPad and illustrates how the market is moving with easy-to-understand quotes and high-quality news (pulled from Apple News).
- CarPlay adds support for third-party navigation apps displayed right on the car’s dash — joining music, messaging, calling and automaker apps.
- Voice Memos is now available on iPad and adds iCloud support to sync recordings and edits across devices. A new design makes it easier to capture, share and edit recordings.
- Siri translation expands to more than 40 language pairs and brings more knowledge of sports, celebrities, food and nutrition. Siri can also surface favorite photos by person, place, event, time and topic.
- Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch adds support for student ID cards, making it more convenient to access everything on campus.

Apple says that iOS 12 will be available this fall as a free software update for the iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and 6th generation, iPad mini 2 and later, and iPod touch 6th generation.

Top Rated Comments

lunarworks Avatar
37 months ago
Those parental controls are a killer feature for parents.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
edgonzalez32 Avatar
37 months ago
Omg. Grouped notifications finally. Jesus.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erinsarah Avatar
37 months ago
Those parental controls are a killer feature for parents.
I actually think he undersold this. It's absolutely HUGE, and once you get outside of the Silicon Valley hipster single person creative bubble, it's probably the #1 thing on today's keynote that will appeal to the rest of the world. It's something that I've been complaining about for years and years, especially given how you can turn off wifi in the house but that doesn't mean the kid won't figure out how to use the cell signal. Too bad it comes when my older kid turns 18, so we're pretty much aged out of the need for it.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacNut Avatar
37 months ago
Just give me the option to turn off notifications when I am on the phone watching YouTube or listening to Spotify. I don’t want alerts interrupting my music.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
that be me Avatar
37 months ago
FINALLY, grouped notifications!
It's kind of sad this is only now being introduced; and introduced as a feature to roaring applause, no less.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JimmyHook Avatar
37 months ago
So they basically copied Android.
No, they developed a feature superior to Android’s woefully pathetic attempts at the same thing
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...