By McKenna Middleton | Opinion Editor
The new iOS 12 update for iPhones and iPads, expected to roll out any day now, promises more effective and entertaining features. A poll of Lariat Twitter followers revealed that 85 percent of 110 survey participants have an iPhone and will therefore receive the new operating system updates once Apple releases the software. Devices going back to the iPhone 5 and iPad Air will support the new system.
The latest iOS will offer new features to make iPhones “faster, more responsive and more delightful,” according the Apple website. Although the upgrade was announced on June 4, there is no exact date set for the release of the operating system.
In terms of enhancements to effectiveness, the new software boasts faster swipe to Camera, faster keyboard display and faster app launch even while other apps are running simultaneously.
Elk Grove, Calif., freshman Leighton Glim has been participating in the iOS12 Beta testing program for two months on an iPhone 7 plus. Glim said he applied to be a Beta tester because, as a computer science major, he likes thinking about how he would improve updates if he worked at Apple. He said the new system doesn’t seem noticeably faster to him, but he suspects there might be a bigger difference in speed for older devices.
Apple also promises a more user-friendly photo search with the update as well as changes to Siri that make using shortcuts more intuitive.
Despite promises of user-friendly features, Glim said he has noticed a few glitches during the Beta test period. One issue has been having his device disconnect from wifi when it is locked for an extended period of time. Another has to do with sharing pictures.
“I know one thing a lot of people have complained about is in the messages app, they made it a little more confusing to send pictures to people. It’s going to take a while for people to get used to it. I know I still haven’t gotten used to the new way of sending pictures,” Glim said.
Beta testers like Glim can report these problems to Apple through a feedback app, so the system will be as hiccup-free as possible when it is released to a wider audience.
San Antonio senior Isabel Hutt, who currently uses the iPhone X, has had an iPhone since Apple released the first generation in 2007. She said new updates are always a give and take, but she is excited for the changes.
“I generally am excited about new updates because they seem interesting, but then once I get it downloaded, I get frustrated because I don’t know whats going on, but I get use to it eventually. It’s a cyclical thing for sure,” Hutt said.
FaceTime will also get a facelift with iOS12. While iOS11 only allows users to FaceTime with one person at a time, the new features support FaceTime with up to 32 people at once. To help users communicate effectively, Apple’s website explains that “The tile of the person speaking will get larger automatically, so you’ll never lose track of the conversation.” These video calls can be made from group messages or through the Phone app. Glim said he thinks this will be the most beneficial update to Apple devices, and said FaceTime also provides stickers and filters for callers to use under iOS12.
On the entertainment side of iOS12, upgrades to the emoji experience include Memoji, which allows users to create an animated version of themselves, and Animoji, reminiscent of the dog filter on Snapchat.
Amidst increased calls for Apple to address the addictive nature of its products, iOS 12 includes features that help users take this issue into their own hands. This includes a feature called “Screen Time” that gives users a breakdown of how much time is spent using screens. Notification management “gives you new ways to reduce interruptions throughout your day,” according to Apple’s preview webpage. For those that use Do Not Disturb to decrease the amount of notifications received, iOS 12 lets users specify a certain time or even location for Do Not Disturb. With this upgrade, Do Not Disturb will turn off automatically when the indicated time finishes or location is left. These features could have big implications for consumers that worry about cell phone addiction.
Baylor marketing professors Dr. Jim Roberts and Dr. Meredith David conducted research on the dangers of cellphone addiction and its effects on relationships.
David suggested that being aware of cellphone use can be a first step in identifying and combating cell phone addiction.
“We need to be cognizant of how attendant we are to our phones,” David told the Lariat in an interview in March. “We should start trying to think, do we feel the urge to be checking our phone constantly? Do we have to keep our phone in sight at all times? If it rings or beeps, do I feel that I have to check it or look at it at that moment?”
In addition to these changes, Apple’s preview of iOS 12 takes a strong stand on privacy issues.
“Apple believes privacy is a fundamental human right, which is why iOS has always been designed with built-in encryption, on-device intelligence, and other tools that let you share what you want on your terms,” Apple states on the webpage.
Under iOS 12, Safari also prevents tracking without the users permission from advertisers and webpages.