iOS 12

Post the keynote session of iOS 12 and more importantly the introduction of Siri Shortcuts, I had been waiting eagerly for its release. Updated my iPhone 8 to iOS 12 two days after it was launched. The changes I noticed and the verdict. Here it goes:

  1. Measure app : Worth the hype? In every way. Easy to use and accurate, I would give it 7/10 . Had tried flat and round tables in my house and the app measured all with perfection. Though I wouldn’t use if often, might be a handy app for interior designers .

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2. Screen Time:  Available only in settings, this is well designed, easy to use and configurable.  With its downtime and App Limit, you can check your usage of WhatsApp or Instagram or Charm King in a neat graphical format. Well did I enable – No ? Why, will explain later. I guess this will be only useful if you want to limit your kid’s screen time. And with passcode enabled feature, there are less chances of tampering as well. Will give 8/10 .

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3. Battery Health:  Not so obvious feature in Settings->Battery, tried it only after reading about it in an article. Couldn’t figure out as to why we need it. If an app uses battery more and I need it, I am not going to offload. No ratings as there is nothing new or noteworthy.

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4. Do Not Disturb: I had always been a fan of this feature. An important tool to avoid pesky calls in meetings and regular calls when I drive. In iOS 12, this has been enhanced with a Bedtime enabled feature, wherein  silence will reign supreme, during your sleep hours which according to apple should be from 10.00 PM – 7.00 AM. Pretty cool. They have integrated it with Bedtime alarm in clock app. Impressive. For people who rely on alarms to wake up and prefer an uninterrupted sleep, this is great add-on. 8/10.

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5. QR Scanner: Introduced as part of Control Centre to keep up with current trends. Well how often do we scan codes now ? Not too often right, except when you are using paytm. That gets me thinking –  If I scan a paytm QR code – will it open the app to make the payment –  need to check. Also, with the feature built into native Camera app, I don’t see any need to add it to Control Centre. What indeed I would like is the flexibility to add any app to Control Centre and not those predefined by Apple. No ratings. Sorry

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6. Siri Shortcuts: Now we are talking. Till now, I hardly used Siri for anything, Not very good with public speaking, I found it annoying to use Siri, even while driving, since with music on, Siri doesn’t respond. I got introduced to Siri shortcuts during a food order and play booking hiatus. Once done, Apple recommended me to add shortcuts for these to enable me to give one word voice command to check the status. Here are the results:
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IMG_2746Now, the play is scheduled for tomorrow, so this result is fine. But the food was delivered 2 days back. So this is not what I expected. Might be an issue with Swiggy Integration, but it’s just not cool. Or well it is. I just added a Siri Shortcut to play Old is gold playlist from ganna.com, recommended by the app itself. Hence the feature is useful, if it saves time from hunting ,searching and stuff, saves the click – 7/10.

Siri in Settings recommends as well based on your recent activities.
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7. Search Recommendations: One feature I use and like a lot on iPhone is its Search capability. I just need not remember where I have placed an app or a song. Search and I am done. During one such attempt, I stumbled upon Apple’s suggestion to message MOM, which I realized was the last activity I did. Useful – no scary. It is recording my activities even at an app level. Crazy. What If my phone is being used by someone else. 3/10. I have never used it till date.

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8. Photo App: Now we are talking. Well not exactly. Apple promised a lot of features in Photo App, which are hardly used. How often would you search for a keyword or a place unless you are a blogger or a graphics designer . Even then I would use a DSLR and not phone click for my work. People who share clicks on Social Media –  Do they really care to search and share ? Well all said and done, the best part about any Apple feature/update is its ease of use, simplicity and accuracy. Check for yourself.

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There are exceptions though. I searched for snow and it showed me a desert pic, image recognition gone rogue. Sharing suggestions is expected to use AI and prompt you to share pics with people in the pic. Again, will I use it – guess not.

Albums are structured differently. Though neat, I would definitely want to reduce the font.

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One cool thing I noticed was to create an Apple Watch face with a selected pic.
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Though not a Watch user, I liked the feature for the thought process behind it and the clarity of implementation.

Apart from these, there are several announcements on performance enhancements, better AR experience , message memojis. Not for me .

I like Apple and its upgrades. Only reason being they are uncluttered and intuitive. However, do Apple users really need those, is a question ?

We keep comparing Android and iOS – without even giving usage or requirement a thought ? In our fast paced world, where people hardly have time to call each other, will they really care if you give them a “For You” section in Photos or 32 people group chat option in FaceTime. I wonder who would be listening in such group calls.

Or the other way round is , let them compete, load you with features, and you decide what you need at the end of the Day and concentrate on just that.

As for me, I would never let technology decide how much time I need to spend on social media. I would rather rely on my will power to do so.

 

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