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iOS 12 Revealed Discover the amazing new apps and features Apple is bringing to your iPad Issue 47
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e’re near that magical time of year, when Apple releases new software and powers up your iPad (and all its other devices) with great new features. iOS 12 isn’t going to be as radical a change as some updates have been in the past, but I’m really looking forward to the powerful new options it’s bringing. There’s a big focus on having a more healthy relationship with our devices – adding tools for reminding us how long we’ve been staring at Facebook, or for hiding our notifications completely when we’re trying to sleep, so we’re not tempted back onto the slippery slope. Some people see a kind of hypocrisy in Apple providing us the means to have addictive apps, then seemingly encouraging us not to use them, but for me it’s only a positive thing. Humans have never been very good at moderation, and it isn’t weakness to acknowledge that, and to empower someone to make different decisions. Elsewhere in the issue, we’ve got a great range of other tutorials, from the creative to the productive – I definitely recommend our round-up of apps for getting stuff done!
iOS 12 revealed! Meet the changes coming to your iPad
Discover Today view widgets Get useful info at a glance
Do more with Photos Browse, manage and edit your snaps and Live Photos like a pro
Give Mail the VIP treatment Say goodbye to email interruptions with the power of Mail’s VIP list
Curate your news with RSS Get all the latest headlines from the sources you know and trust
Advanced video editing in LumaFusion Discover how to use a range of next-level video-editing tools
Productivity app toolbox Make your iPad work harder with these first-rate apps to get stuff done
Apple Gear Reviews of the latest iPad accessories
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Meet the new features of iOS 12 Discover the ways your iPad and iPhone will get a lot smarter this autumn
Meet iOS 12 iOS
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Siri: your shortcut to everything iOS 12 helps you do more of what you do, without constantly opening apps
ast year, Apple bought Workflow, a brilliant automation app from a small team led by Ari Weinstein (twitter.com/ariX), the former iPhone jailbreaker who also co-created VotePlz, a tech platform that helped first-time voters get to the polls in the 2016 US election. We now know that Workflow will evolve into an official app called Shortcuts, but that’s still in the future. For now, iOS 12 gets automation in the form of suggestions that appear on your Lock screen and in Spotlight searches, generated by your own actions.
The ultimate time-saver Siri Shortcuts, for the moment, consist of single tasks that you could carry out in a particular app. A shortcut might do something as simple as opening a Music playlist, or – where developers choose to build in advanced support – it might be as clever as noticing you order the same food delivery every Friday and popping up to ask if you want to repeat it. This could obviously involve some personal data processing, but that’ll be done within the app, which you’re already
trusting, and any data passed to iOS is kept securely on your device, inaccessible to other apps. It’s branded as part of Siri not only because of the machine learning element, but because you can set up voice commands for Shortcuts. For now, that means accepting a suggested task and assigning a phrase to it, but later you’ll be able to create your own custom shortcuts. The Workflow app makes it
This kind of feature is often loved by a few keen users and ignored by everyone else, but it’s clever of Apple to kick it off as something that actively pops up suggestions that you can simply tap to adopt, and anyone who regularly uses Siri will find extra voice commands for tasks appealing. It also works on HomePod and CarPlay. macOS already has the very powerful Automator, but there’s surely a place for the simplicity of Shortcuts on the Mac, too.
For now you assign a phrase to a task, but you’ll be able to create custom shortcuts easy to string together a sequence of steps, which might involve several apps, and could even bring up iOS-style alerts, dialogs and text input boxes to let you interact during the process. There are no details yet on what the Shortcuts app will bring, but the first demo of Siri Shortcuts at WWDC, by Apple’s Kimberly Beverett, looked very promising.
iOS Meet iOS 12
otifications are part of the distracting elements that prompted Apple to implement Screen Time (see right), so iOS 12 helps you limit them. Press an incoming notification and you can tweak settings for its source without leaving the Lock screen. Siri will also spot when an app you rarely use sends you notifications, and offer to shut it up. You can group notifications by app, topic or thread; these appear as stacks, and you can adjust their settings en masse.
Do Not Disturb
hen you wake up at night and check the time on your device, pointed out Apple, you’re likely to find “a barrage of notifications”, whether from news apps, mailing lists or inconsiderate insomniacs. The answer is the new Do Not Disturb During Bedtime, which hides them all until the morning, when you only get a ‘Good Morning’ message until you tap to return to the melee. You can also press on Do Not Disturb for additional options, including ‘Until I leave this location’.
Screen Time Apple offers new ways to… hey, stop reading Facebook and focus on this article!
any of us wonder if we’re spending too much time scrolling through stuff on our screens, and today’s kids have 24/7 social media, cyberbullying and addictive game design to contend with. So iOS 12 introduces Screen Time to provide ‘insights and control over how you spend your time’. A weekly activity summary charts apps you’ve used, categorising activity into social networking, entertainment, productivity and so on. (This won’t be so helpful if you access a lot of different content within Safari.) You can see how often you picked up your device and which apps nagged you with the most notifications. Then you can set App Limits, which block an app when you’ve spent your allocated time for the day in it. Of course, you can override this, but your weekly summary will remind you how often you did so. Limits and stats are synced across your devices. For parents, content and privacy restrictions are now joined by Family Sharing access to Screen Time, so you can set allowances for your kids’ iOS
Screen Time will help you to learn how much time you’re spending on your iPhone and iPad.
usage and downtime, when only certain apps are available, and access their Summaries. Some campaigners point out that parents controlling kids’ access to information isn’t always a good thing, but it’s your choice whether to focus on control or self-awareness.
Apple app amendments There are revamps for some of iOS’s standard apps
T Notifications in iOS 12 are better organised and can be tweaked without going to Settings.
he iBooks app, which handles ebooks, audiobooks and PDFs, is renamed Apple Books, and has a new design that, like the App Store, aims to help you find new content that’s of interest to you. This app is just as much about organising the content you already have, though, and the new Reading Now tab keeps your last book open where you left off, while reminding you of other recent reads. The legendarily inessential Stocks app celebrates its debut on the iPad by integrating business feeds from Apple
News. Also coming to bigger screens is Voice Memos, previously a miss for iPad productivity nuts, complete with iCloud syncing so recordings made on one device are available on others. For CarPlay, Apple’s interface for iPhone that’s built in to some vehicles, improvements focus on faster and smoother operation, with no major changes to the small set of core apps. But the big news is support for thirdparty navigation apps, subject to their developers updating them, so you can swap Siri for your favourite trip adviser.
Meet iOS 12 iOS
Group FaceTime Phone a friend… and a friend… and a friend…
onference calling has been a much-requested FaceTime feature, and it now arrives belatedly but in style in iOS 12 with up to 32 participants per call. Showing them all on screen obviously presents some interface challenges, especially on iPhones (the feature is also supported on the Mac in Mojave). Apple’s solution is to arrange participants’ live feeds as floating tiles in a sort of 3D cloud, with those who are currently talking enlarging and drifting to the front; less active participants are relegated to the ‘roster’, a band across the bottom which includes your own view. You can also manually bring anyone to the front by double-tapping their tile. A single tap displays the contact’s name, which will be a godsend in virtual meetings where you suddenly realise
iPhone X users can access Animoji so you can converse wearing a lip-synced cartoon head
you don’t know who this person is that’s droning on about the latest Google Analytics data. For less formal chats, iPhone X users can access all the Animoji and sticker options (see below) within FaceTime, so you can hold a conversation with 32 of your friends all wearing lip-synced cartoon heads. If that’s how you like to keep in touch.
No green bubble friends Setting up conference calls can be quite a pain, but Group FaceTime can be initiated directly from group chats in Messages. Both of these features, of course, remain unavailable to ‘green bubble’ friends with non-Apple devices. That’s one disadvantage compared to the existing group video chat options in Microsoft’s Skype and Google Hangouts, which each allow up to 25 participants on a range of platforms. But if Apple can maintain the call quality and reliability that make FaceTime such a pleasure to use, it’ll surely be the gold standard for groups. We can’t help feeling, though, that the tile interface may be the next Cover Flow: cool to demo, but fatally awkward in its use of screen space.
Apple has built a fluid interface to help manage up to 32 participants in a group video chat.
Animoji gets personal iPhone X users can now create a Pixar version of themselves
nimoji – cartoon avatars that animate to match your speech and movements – were an instant hit when they launched with the iPhone X. iOS 12 adds four more (ghost, koala, tiger and T-Rex) plus Memoji, a system for generating your very own Animoji. As demonstrated by Apple’s Kelsey Peterson, this feature offers enough attributes, from eye colour to freckles to hairstyles, to make it recognisably you. Once your Memoji is set up, you can record it lip-syncing you to make a video
message – a new option shows a live feed with the cartoon head replacing yours – or even use it live in FaceTime. Tongue tracking now makes Animoji stick out their tongues when you do. There are obvious comparisons with Bitmoji, the avatar app that integrates with Snapchat, but Apple’s graphics are more cinematic, while the 3D avatar concept reminded us of Nintendo’s Miis. As before, Animojis are (currently) exclusive to the iPhone X, relying on its TrueDepth camera, although other Apple devices can display the results.
iOS Meet iOS 12
Augmented reality with ARKit 2 Apple’s mash-up of the real and computergenerated worlds gains shared experiences
he upcoming iOS update will feature version 2 of ARKit, supporting apps that let virtual objects interact in real spaces, via the camera, on your screen. ARKit 2 will recognise more types of surfaces, and the augmented world can be preserved for later, with objects in place, or shared in real time for multiplayer AR. These capabilities were demoed using a game built by LEGO. Matt Moss (twitter.com/thefuturematt), one of 350 students awarded WWDC scholarships, quickly released an iPhone demo of on-screen buttons operated just by looking at them. He pointed out the accessibility potential of this. ‘Nope ads won’t abuse this,’ tweeted more cynical security engineer Josh Pitts (twitter.com/midnite_runr). Tara Reddy (twitter.com/taralouisereddy), whose social gaming startup LoveShark plans to release its first title in July, sees more enticing possibilities, like “battling characters on the kitchen table with your friends.” ARKit is the first tech, she told us, that gives developers such easy access to AR. “It’s ready-made for us, and we can concentrate on our apps rather than the underlying tech.” Adobe’s Abhay Parasnis, on the WWDC stage, said iOS had “by far the most powerful platform for AR,” praising Apple’s new Universal Scene Description file format, created with Pixar and due to gain native support in Adobe CC apps. AR, based in the real world and usually viewed on an ordinary screen, involves similar technologies to VR, which is currently pushing into the mainstream with the £199 Oculus Go headset. There’s speculation Apple is working on a headmounted set, but for now “they’re quite different experiences”, reckons Tara, who doesn’t envisage users wearing helmets in public – although “I could see AR glasses for home or work when the hardware is good enough.” Roll on WWDC 2019…
Photos You snap ’em, iOS sorts and shares ’em
uilding on iOS 11’s subject and scene recognition, which lets you search for things like ‘cars’ or ‘flowers’, the Photos app in iOS 12 actively sorts your pics, offering sets based on Moments, People (using face detection) and categories generated by analysing your shots, like Sports or Dog. You can enter names of businesses or events to find related photos, and do advanced searches with
multiple criteria. It’ll also suggest which effects might enhance a photo. Sharing Suggestions makes all this even more personal by offering to share a photo you’ve taken with any friends detected in it, or related to it, if they also use iMessage. They get the full resolution pic, and their Photos app then recommends pics of their own to share back. Apps also get more scope to carry out operations direct from Photos.
Meet iOS 12 iOS
Peak performance Will the new operating systems make your device sink or soar?
umours abounded before WWDC that iOS 12 would focus heavily on performance. While that wasn’t the only theme of Apple’s mobile software update, it was certainly an important element. Apple’s Craig Federighi explained at the show that iOS 12 is faster and more responsive than iOS 11 and, interestingly, works with all iOS devices back to 2013 (covering the same devices as iOS 11), back to and including the iPhone 5s. In fact, he said Apple was especially focused on the oldest devices. Federighi used the example of an iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 12. Apps will open up to 40% faster when running iOS 12, he said, while the keyboard appears up to 50% faster. The most impressive improvement that he cited was launching the camera by swiping right at the Lock screen – iOS 12 makes it up to 70% faster, he claimed. So how exactly has Apple achieved this? Federighi explained that, ordinarily,
iOS 12 will respond more quickly to highstress usage, making things feel faster
Changes to how a device’s processor adapts to demand are said to boost iOS 12’s performance.
your device’s processor will gradually ramp up its performance level to meet increased demand. In iOS 12, however, that performance is increased instantly as soon as it is needed. The result is an operating system that is able to respond much more quickly to high-stress usage, thus helping not only modern phones but older ones too. In contrast to iOS 12, Apple stayed rather quiet about macOS Mojave’s performance features. Where macOS High Sierra was a performance-boosting
upgrade, Apple has focused Mojave on introducing new functionality and features to the operating system. So while the update will contain many productivity and workflow improvements – such as stackable desktop files and easier access to screenshot-editing tools – notable performance tweaks weren’t disclosed. That doesn’t mean that Apple hasn’t improved macOS performance at all, but we might have to wait a little longer until we find out about it.
Compatibility What devices will iOS 12 and macOS Mojave work with?
ne of the major benefits of iOS 12 is its compatibility with older devices. The new operating system will work on devices all the way back to the iPhone 5s, the iPad mini 2 and iPad Air – great news if you’re using an older device and don’t feel like upgrading yet. However, that extensive backwards compatibility does not apply to macOS Mojave. In fact, Apple has announced
that Mojave will work with a more limited number of computers. While macOS High Sierra supported Macs from as far back as 2009, Mojave will only run on models from 2012 or later, or a 2010 Mac Pro running a Metal-compatible graphics card. Apple’s Metal technology looks to be the reason for the raised requirements. Key features on Apple’s roadmap, such as machine learning, depend on it.
iOS Today view widgets
Discover Today view widgets Get info at a glance, rather than opening apps or web pages it will take 20 minutes you will learn How to install the best widgets in the Today view You’ll need iOS 10 or later
Widgets offer a quick way to look up information with a couple of taps, rather than going to a web page or an app. They appear in the Today view in iOS, as well as on macOS, and Apple’s operating systems come with a bunch of useful basics: a world clock, weather, and what’s coming up on your calendars and reminders lists, to name a few. To reach the Today view on iOS, swipe right on the Lock screen, the leftmost Home screen, or in Notification Centre. On a Mac,
click Notification Centre’s icon at the far right of the menu bar, then the Today tab. To customise the widgets shown in the Today view, scroll to the bottom of the view and click Edit. You can remove existing widgets, add new ones (including those bundled with apps), and drag widgets up and down to put them in your preferred order. Here are some useful examples of thirdparty widgets you can get from the App Store We’ll start with a few on Mac, then dig into the iPad and iPhone goodies. Adam Banks
How to Do more with widgets in macOS
Tired of opening Activity Monitor to check performance? Get info in real time. This app is £4.99, but a free demo is available at imagetasks.com, along with a plug-in to read fan and temperature data.
2 Parcel Delivery Tracking 3 MiniPlay Don’t be out when couriers call – keep an eye on what’s on the way with a quick click into the Today view. Parcel includes UK couriers such as DPD and Royal Mail. It’s also available for iOS.
iTunes comes with a widget, but this one beats it with the simple but essential benefit of supporting Spotify too. Start playing in either app; the widget shows art, plus playback and volume controls.
Today view widgets iOS
How to Do more with widgets in iOS Genius tip! On iOS, when you scroll to the bottom of the Today view and see the Edit button, it will tell you if there are any newly installed widgets for your apps you can check out.
1 Launch Center Pro
2 Weather Underground
4 Google Transit Departures
5 Quick Notes
6 Steve – The Jumping Dino
If you like customising for efficiency, you’ll love this powerful widget, which lets you create a mini Home screen of selected apps within your Today view. You can also invoke actions, such as messaging a regular contact.
This automation service offers a range of ready-made ‘recipes’ through its app. Turn on the IFTTT widget, then tap it to go to a list of widget-enabled tasks, from changing your smart lights to saving a snap to Google Photos.
Apple’s Notes widget misses the point by showing only a couple of lines of each note. Michal Kos’s gives you the whole note (with a Show Less option). It lacks extras like syncing, but it’s perfect for shopping lists.
This has two widgets. WU Weather shows similar info to iOS’s own weather widget, but with better use of space and more options. WU Radar maps rainfall nearby. The free apps have ads, but these aren’t shown in the widgets.
Apple’s Maps Transit widget only shows your favourite routes. This one, available with Google Maps, requires no setup and shows all buses and trains leaving your vicinity soon, all in the Today view, and so from the Lock screen.
Steve is a dinosaur. He jumps. In the Today view. On your iPhone. Just tap to play. Yes, that’s all this does: it’s a 2D infinite running game featuring a T-Rex. Called Steve. In a widget. Stop thinking and install it.
APPLE APPS Do more with Photos
Do more with Photos
Browse, manage and edit your snaps and Live Photos like a pro it will take 30 minutes you will learn How to make fuller use of the Photos app on your iPad You’ll need An iPad running iOS 11, and some images ready to work on
On Mac, Photos has evolved into a full-fledged photo editor. On iPad, it’s more basic, but that doesn’t mean you need Affinity Photo or Snapseed when you want to get something done. As this tutorial shows, Apple’s app still has plenty to offer, whether you want to edit existing snaps, zero in on something specific within a large collection, or work with Live Photos shot on a recent iPad or hurled across from an iPhone. To get started with our tutorials, you’ll need some images on
your iPad. You can shoot some photos using its camera, of course. But also, you can share content to it from an iPhone. In Settings > Photos, there’s iCloud Photo Library, which stores your entire library in iCloud, synced between your phone and tablet, but this eats into your iCloud storage space. Alternatively, use My Photo Stream to upload recent static images, and then iCloud Photo Sharing to create shared albums into which you can drop specific Live Photos for playing around with. Craig Grannell
How to Find your favourite photos
1 Use keyword searches
Photos for iPad lacks bespoke tagging functionality, but you can still search using keywords. Photos intelligently attempts to match dates (for example, ‘March 2016’), categories (‘music’) and even objects (‘trees’).
2 See nearby snaps
Tap an image in an album to view it fullscreen. Flick the image upwards and drag past the effects options (if they’re shown) to see a Places map. Tap it and Show Nearby Photos to see what you’ve shot in the vicinity.
3 Browse related pics
Keep dragging upwards and you’ll for most images see a Related heading. These are automated albums created by Photos, based on locations or similar subject matter. Tap one to peruse. Tap the play button for a slideshow.
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