Today the official version of iOS 12 was released to the public, and it brings a wealth of new changes and features to the table. Major speed improvements, better notifications, and enhanced Do Not Disturb are just some of the new items to explore in iOS 12.

If you’ve had the willpower to remain off the developer beta or public beta up until now, you’re in for a serious treat. In this post and video, we’ll walk through some of the headlining features and changes in iOS 12.


First and foremost, iOS 12 is built for speed. By far the most important feature of iOS 12 is how it performs on both new and older hardware. In the past, iOS updates had the tendency to make older hardware feel slower, but that’s definitely not the case with iOS 12.

You should feel confident in your ability to run Apple’s latest iOS update on older hardware, even as far back as the iPhone 5s or iPad Air. I’m running iOS 12 on my iPhone SE test device, and the phone now runs better than it did on iOS 11.

Video walkthrough

Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos

Enhanced Do Not Disturb

Another favorite feature of mine is the enhanced version of Do Not Disturb present in iOS 12. You can now 3D Touch on the DND option in Control Center to quickly enable Do Not Disturb for a set period of time, or when leaving a specific location. You can also jump directly to DND scheduling options directly from Control Center.

Grouped Notifications

Another one of the outstanding features of iOS 12 revolves around its improved notifications system. Notifications are finally grouped by application, which helps keep Notification Center and the Lock screen more organized.

Grouped notifications allow you to selectively expand or collapse all notifications related to a specific app. The new and improved system also lets you interact with a single notification, or a group of notifications in one fell swoop.

Managing Notifications

Adding even more depth to Notifications on iOS 12 is the new ability to deliver notifications quietly, or disable notifications directly. Quiet notifications will still appear in Notification Center, but will not appear on the lock screen and will refrain from presenting a banner, playing a sound, or displaying a badge on the app icon.

Battery monitoring

iOS has long has the ability to monitor battery usage to some degree, but iOS 12 includes more verbose battery monitoring tools that are persistent even after a reboot. There’s a new battery level graph that corresponds directly with an activity level graph to help you better understand your battery usage. iOS 12 will also display battery usage by app sorted by the most battery hungry application.

Measure app

Upon installing iOS 12, you’ll find a brand new app on your Home screen — the Measure app. The Measure app is an ARKit app that does exactly as its name implies, letting users measure real objects using augmented reality. Measure also offers the leveler, which was once hidden inside the Compass app, its own dedicated tab.

Animoji improvements

Admittedly, the initial popularity of Animoji has faded a bit, but it’s still fun to revisit from time to time. Included with iOS 12 are four additional new Animoji: koala, tiger, ghost, or T-rex.

In addition to the four new characters, Animoji now has both winking and tongue detection, which adds more variety to the facial expressions. Users can also record longer Animoji (up to 30 seconds) thanks to iOS 12.


What’s more exciting than four new Animoji? Memoji, of course — a virtually unlimited custom-animated 3D avatar in the same vein. With Memoji Maker, you can create your own animated character with customized hairstyle, skin color, eyes, nose and lips, ears, facial hair, and much more.

Screen Time

ScreenTime is a new iOS 12 features that lends you insights about how much you use your iOS device. Screen Time includes weekly reports, downtime and app limit scheduling, and content and privacy restrictions.

If you find yourself using your iPhone or iPad more than you’d like, then Screen Time is a great first step in helping you gain control of your usage. It’s also a handy tool for parents, because it allows them to monitor their children’s usage, and restrict usage if needed.

Photos app

The For You tab in the Photos app provides intelligent sharing suggestions to quickly share photos with friends. You’ll also find an updated and much smarter search option that provides suggestions for recent events, people, and places.

An updated Albums tab still provides quick access to all of your app and user-created albums, but you’ll now find a list of media types for quickly distilling particular types of media like Live Photos, Slo-mo, Screenshots and more.

Camera effects

The Messages app in iOS 12 is, to be honest, sort of a mixed bag. For example, I’m not a fan of the way photo sharing is presented inside the updated Messages app. Yet, there are some notable enhancements to be found for marking up your photos and videos with special effects for sharing with your friends.

Default camera effects include Animoji masks for your face, filters, text, and shapes, and activity app stickers. You can also include third-party app stickers as camera effects, and all items are tracked to stay in their relative position in the case of video.

Siri Shortcuts

Siri Shortcuts brings deeper automated actions to iOS 12 that can be triggered directly by Siri. By default, the Siri & Search section of the Settings app will provide suggested shortcuts that you can assign to a Siri trigger. The new standalone Shortcuts app, however, is your main tool for creating custom Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12.

Based on the foundation established by Workflow, Shortcuts is a powerful automation tool that provides a wealth of trigger-able actions that can be accessed at any time from iOS using only your voice. What’s even better is that Shortcuts are automatically shared via iCloud, so you can access them on other eligible devices.


Of course, there are many, many more new features to be found in iOS 12, but these are a dozen of the standout items from Apple’s huge yearly update. For a more in-depth look at all of the new features found in iOS 12, be sure to watch our series of video walkthrough that step through each of the new features found in iOS 12.

What is your favorite new feature in iOS 12? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Jeff Benjamin

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.