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Apple Previews iOS 12 With Memoji, Group FaceTime, Siri Shortcuts and More

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Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) 2018 today with a traditional keynote event, including a detailed preview of iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system that will be released to the public for compatible iPhones and iPads later this year.

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In addition to making iPhones and iPads faster and more responsive with performance improvements across the system, iOS 12 brings tons of new features such as ‘Memoji’, Group FaceTime calls, Siri shortcuts, Screen Time, fun new camera effects, improved Photos app and much more.

“With iOS 12, we’re enabling new experiences that weren’t possible before”, said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We’re using advanced algorithms to make AR even more engaging and on-device intelligence to deliver faster ways to get things done using Siri”.

Below is a brief rundown of what’s new in iOS 12.

Faster Performance

With iOS 12, Apple says the Camera app launches up to 70% faster, the keyboard appears up to 50% faster and typing is more responsive than previous versions of iOS.

Memoji and Fun Camera Effects

iPhone X users can now create personalized ‘Memoji’ characters right within Messages by choosing from a set of inclusive and diverse characteristics to form a unique personality.  The existing set of Animoji also expands with ghost, koala, tiger and T. rex. All Animoji and Memoji now feature winks and tongue detection to capture even more expressions.

New camera effects bring Animoji, Filters, Text and Stickers to Messages and FaceTime.

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Group FaceTime

Group FaceTime makes it easy to chat with multiple people at the same time. Participants can be added at any time, join later if the conversation is still active and choose to join using video or audio from an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

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Siri Shortcuts

iOS 12 lets users customize Siri Shortcuts by creating a simple voice command to kick off their favourite tasks, or even download the new Shortcuts app to create a series of actions from different apps that can be carried out with a simple tap or customized voice command.

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Screen Time

Screen Time provides users with detailed information and tools to help them better understand and control the time they spend with apps and websites. Daily and weekly Activity Reports show the total time spent in individual apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received and how often iPhone or iPad are picked up.

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Shared AR Experiences

Designed in collaboration with Pixar, a new open file format, usdz, makes it easy to experience AR nearly anywhere in iOS, including apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files and News, delivering powerful graphics and animation features.

iOS 12 also brings numerous enhancements and new features to existing apps like Books, News, CarPlay, Wallet and more.

The developer preview of iOS 12 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today, and a public beta program will be available to iOS users later this month at beta.apple.com.

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