5 Cool iOS 12 Features and How to Use Them

Unless you’ve been living under a rock above the Himalayan snow line, you’ve probably heard about iOS 12. Here’s what you need to know.

This year’s iOS update is focused on making life easier and technology less abominable. We asked a Yeti family, selected randomly, to put iOS 12 through its paces. Put on a sweater vest and scroll down to see the results.

Talk to everyone at the same time.

FaceTime got a serious face lift. Now you can video call up to 32 people at the same time. Comb your beard and get ready for the whole family to join. Looking a little grisly? Turn your face into a friendly Animoji.

How to use Group FaceTime

  1. Open the FaceTime app and tap (+).
  2. Add the contacts you want and tap Video.
  3. To add effects or replace your face with an Animoji, tap the star .

If you’re already on a FaceTime call, just tap to add people.

Live without interruptions.

With iOS 12, you can set custom Do Not Disturb modes based on your calendar and location. Silence notifications for an hour, until your alarm goes off, or until you leave a location.

No more interruptions during family dinner or morning hunts. Any Yeti can tell you, sometimes you just don’t want people to find you.

How to use Do Not Disturb

Open the Control Center and press firmly on the to pull up your Do Not Disturb options:

  • For 1 hour
  • Until this afternoon/morning/evening
  • Until I leave this location
  • Until I leave this event

Keep your screen
time in check.

The new Screen Time feature tracks your device usage down to the minute and lets you set boundaries for yourself or your kids.

See which apps you use the most.

Didn’t realize your kid spends 97 minutes a day on social media? Set App Limits or schedule Downtime to focus on what’s important. In your Screen Time settings, designate periods of total offline time, or customize limits by app category (games, entertainment, social media, etc).

Discover your inner cartoon.

The Animoji just got personal. Memojis are customizable Animojis that look like you and mimic your facial expressions. Show your teeth, growl, and record a message. Works with iPhone X or newer.

How to make a Memoji

Open a thread in Messages and tap the App icon , then the Animoji. Swipe right until you see a Plus sign . You can customize your look with a haircut, eye color, and accessories. Your new Memoji will be added to your Animoji collection.

  • To send as a voice message, press the red Record button and start speaking.
  • To send as a sticker, make a face and tap the Memoji.

Automate your daily routines.

We’re all creatures of habit. The Shortcuts app streamlines daily routines and makes life more efficient. Set up a sequence of tasks, then cue Siri with a custom voice command, like “Time for hibernation.” Siri will learn your routines over time and even suggest shortcuts based on your calendar, location, and recent actions.

iOS 12.1 is available now.

If you haven’t updated yet, open Settings > General and tap Software Update.

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