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The operating system also ships on the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, so you'll see all of these new features if you bought one of those phones.
There's a lot to discover, but here's a peek at what's new.
If you have a device with Face ID (the iPhone X, iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max), you can now create a custom digital version of yourself. It's a lot of fun, since you can record audio and use the Memoji to mimic your facial expressions before sending a clip off to a friend in iMessage.
This is a big one. The system gives you a lot more control over your notifications, so you're not constantly being bombarded by alerts. Now, when you swipe down from the screen, you'll notice that app notifications are bundled together — instead of one for each alert from a single app. Tap it to expand and see every notification. You can also manage them by doing this:
A new feature in iOS 12 lets you limit how long you use certain types of apps. If you think you spend too much time on Facebook at work, for example, you can set a limit so that you can't use Facebook for more than two hours a day (or any time limit of your choosing). This applies to all sorts of categories, not just social networking.
Here's how to use Screen Time:
This is part of Screen Time, and it can help you see how much you're using certain apps. To do this:
This is really cool. Siri gets a power boost in iOS 12 with Siri Shortcuts, which allows it to tap into third party apps. You can ask about upcoming trips through TripIt, for example or run a few tasks in a row, like automatically open up Maps with a route to work and your favorite morning playlist.
Here's how to get started:
Now, when you say, "Siri, get current song," it will analyze the music that's playing and tell you what song it is.
Some other fun ones: Create a shortcut for heading to work that shows traffic and plays your music. Or create one that automatically takes a picture when you speak "Siri, say cheese." Or set one that automatically calls into a meeting using your conference number and code. There's a lot to dig through, so play around.
You can also set third-party app shortcuts by doing this:
Now, when you say "Siri, upcoming travel plans" it will tap into TripIt return your upcoming trip results.
Now, when you take a picture right from the iMessage app, you can draw on it, add stickers and more. Here's how to do that:
Apple's new Measure app uses its augmented reality tools to let you measure things, maybe a couch to check if it will fit in your living room, on the fly. It's not always as accurate as a tape measure and can be buggy, but it's good if you want a rough estimate
Here's how to use it:
Apple's iOS already had a "Do not Disturb" mode, but now there's a more in-depth "Downtime" option that's part of Screen Time. It's great for bedtime, so that only certain apps can send you notifications and only certain people can reach you. Here's how to use it:
The Photo gallery has a couple of new changes, too. A new "For You" tab shows you memories, like pictures you might have taken in the past. There are also "Sharing Suggestions," which gathers a bunch of photos that the app thinks you might want to send off to certain family or friends. If you share from a certain event that friends might have attended also, Photos will recommend that your friends also share those photos with you.
To see some of these new features, do this:
The operating system lets you use third-party mapping services besides Apple Maps when you plug your phone into a car that has Apple CarPlay support. This means that you can use Waze and Google Maps instead of Apple Maps, which is really useful if you prefer one of those. You don't need to do a whole lot, but it's worth checking out if you didn't know it was there. To get started:
If you have an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, you can now change the bokeh, or the background blur, after you've snapped a Portrait picture. It allows you to adjust how strong the effect is, and can help your pictures look much more professional. To do this: