The best iOS 12 features that Apple didn’t talk about onstage
Apple never gets around to addressing every new addition or change that it’s making to iOS during the WWDC keynote; there’s just not enough time. Sometimes the company will list a whole bunch of them on a big slide after software VP Craig Federighi goes over the big ones onstage. But that didn’t happen today. Luckily, Apple has posted a pretty comprehensive website of everything new in iOS 12. I’m gonna run through some of the cool, smaller features that didn’t get any stage time.
Federighi mentioned things like apps launching faster, the camera opening quicker, and the keyboard popping up more swiftly, but Apple claims that in general, iOS 12 has speedier animations. “When you do things like bring up Control Center, swipe while multitasking, or scroll in apps, it’s more fluid and responsive.” Hopefully this should be the end of stuttering, framerate drops, and other annoying weirdness. No one likes that stuff on their expensive smartphone.
iPhone X-like gestures on the iPad
Clearly trying to create a more consistent feel between its gesture-controlled iPhone X and the iPad, Apple is bringing over some of the former’s swipe gestures to the tablet. Swiping down from the top right corner will bring up Control Center, and a swipe “from anywhere on the dock” will bring you home — a replication of the iPhone X’s swipe from the bottom to reach the home screen.
This is also a good way of preparing for a future iPad Pro with Face ID and no home button.
SMS one-time passcode autofill
No more having to switch over to Messages to copy and paste a two-factor authentication code with apps you’re logging into. It sounds like iOS 12 will now recognize these codes when they come in and suggest them as an autofill option. It’s always better to use a code generating app like Google Authenticator or Authy, but if SMS is your only option, at least it’s less of a hassle.
Fill in passwords from third-party password managers more easily
If developers choose to enable it, iOS 12 will be able to show passwords from password manager apps like 1Password and Last Pass right in the QuickType suggestion through a new Password Manager API.
Password sharing between your nearby iOS and Mac devices
With iOS 12, Apple will let you conveniently grab a password that might be on your iOS device but not your Mac and vice versa. You could theoretically already copy and paste this stuff between platforms thanks to Continuity, but this might save you a few seconds or steps. Apple lets you share Wi-Fi passwords in a similar way, so I’d expect this feature to work very much like that.
Automatic strong passwords and warnings about reused ones
iOS 12 will prompt you to create a unique, strong password within apps that can be saved to your iCloud Keychain for easy access and autofill later on. This already works in Safari, but now Apple is extending it to any apps you might use on your phone. Additionally, iOS 12 will flag passwords you’ve reused in multiple places so you can quickly change them and ensure every app or service has its own unique password.
Siri can help find your password
While we’re on the subject, Apple says that Siri will be able to quickly display a particular password that you request in iOS 12.
Siri knows about celebrity facts, motorsports, and food facts
Apple is expanding Siri’s knowledge base with information about famous people, motorsports (standings/schedules/rosters/stats) and food. You’ll be able to ask the digital assistant calories specific food-related inquiries like “How much caffeine in coffee?” or more general questions like simply asking how healthy a given dish is.
Critical alerts that can bypass Do Not Disturb
iOS 12 introduces new “critical alerts” that must be opted into by the user. Critical alerts can get a notification through even when you’ve got Do Not Disturb activated. Apple cites healthcare providers that need to send an urgent message as one use case for critical alerts.
Improved RAW photo support
Apple has slowly been making iOS more capable when it comes to supporting and editing RAW image files, and iOS 12 continues that effort. The new update will enable users to “import and manage RAW photos on your iPhone and iPad and edit on your iPad Pro.” Some of this is already possible in iOS 11, but hopefully Apple is making it easier to separate RAW and JPG versions of a photo and edit natively in Photos — at least on the iPad Pro, it seems.