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The best iOS 12 new features

Find out the best new features coming to Apple's mobile OS this fall

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote was all about software; those wishing for updated MacBooks are most likely disappointed. Instead, this was really an event just for Apple developers, a group now 20 million strong, CEO Tim Cook announced.

Though we heard about updates coming to watchOS and macOS at WWDC, iOS 12 was top of mind for many a developer (and iPhone/iPad owner). Apple's mobile OS update is now offered as a public beta.

Here are some of the most interesting new features of iOS 12.

Group FaceTime
In iOS 12, you will no longer be restricted to one-on-one FaceTime chats. With Group FaceTime, you can talk with as much as 32 people at the same time.

Memoji
Memoji is an upgrade to Apple's Animoji that lets you create a lifelike avatar of yourself on your iPhone X. If you prefer to appear like an animal, though, Apple is including a ghost, koala, tiger, and T-rex as Animoji options in iOS 12.

Screen Time
Tech addiction is a hot topic recently. You'll get a summary of just how much time you spend on your iOS devices, and which apps suck up the majority of your time. You can set limitations, and iOS 12 will warn you when it's time to sign off.
If you tend to get inundated with notifications during the night, meanwhile, you can stop them from showing up on your screen until a specific time, and you can organize conversations so the alerts don't get out of control.
Moms and dads can do the exact same for their kids, restricting access to iOS at particular times of the day (like bedtime) or to particular apps, like Snapchat.

Siri Shortcuts
Siri has fallen behind Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant when it comes to the smart home, but Cupertino is not quiting. With Shortcuts, you can create an expression that will be Siri's cue to carry out a series of tasks, similar to routines for Alexa or Google.

ARKit 2
With iOS 12, you get support for ARKit 2 and a new open file format, usdz, which will bring augmented reality to apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News.

Photos
In iOS 12, Apple will play catch-up somewhat to Google Photos, providing things like sharing suggestions, which will recommend that you send particular shots to friends and vice-versa. You'll also be able to search by Events, People, Places, Groups, Categories and recent searches, and include several terms in a search.

Faster Performance
Apple claims that speed is a significant focus of iOS 12. According to the company, the new version will open apps as much as twice as fast "under heavy workload," the video camera will appear 70 percent quicker, and the keyboard will display as much as 50 percent quicker.

911 Location Sharing
With the new OS, your location will be automatically and securely shared with 911 emergency responders. The system uses GPS and WiFi access points to locate callers.