5 Ways That iOS12 Can Boost Business Productivity

Photo by Tyler Laskovich

Photo by Tyler Laskovich

More than mere window dressing, Apple’s latest software update—iOS 12—strives for a feature-rich, one-two punch of performance and functionality.

Sure, there are still a few frivolous and fun features like Memoji and some eye-candy enhancements to certain apps, but the keynote from summer’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) made it clear that iOS 12 is much more about substance than style. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

The WWDC keynote was over an hour long, but don’t worry because we already watched the whole thing so you don’t have to. With that in mind, here’s what you should expect from iOS 12 (available for download today) to make your business life a little lot more efficient.

Performance

There’s a lot going on “under the hood” of Apple’s soon-to-come update. All supported devices will somehow feature better battery life as well as increased processing power. If only the auto makers could figure out a similar trick to get increased gas mileage while achieving better acceleration…

To sum up the performance enhancements, everything will be done faster. For example, apps will launch 40% faster and the keyboard display will appear 50% quicker as well. Even the camera is activated quicker in iOS 12.

Collaboration

FaceTime may render Zoom and Skype unnecessary for iOS users with its latest enhancement. If your business currently uses those apps to conduct video conferencing for multiple attendees, consider that the newest version of FaceTime will support video and audio connections for up to 32 people. That’s more participants than most small businesses have on their entire staff!

Apple’s trademark usability shines with the FaceTime redux. Whoever is speaking takes center stage with an enlarged photo. If that’s not the person you want to focus on, just double-tap their photo to enlarge. Of course, double-tapping one of 32 photos on an iPhone model that doesn’t have the word “Plus” at the end of it, could be challenging. Fortunately, this feature is also supported on the larger screen devices like iPad and Mac.

Distraction Free Work Zone

Apple appears quite aware that the attention span of the average American is diminishing by the second. Wait… what were we saying? Unfortunately the problem is compounded by the fact that more and more is being demanded of us in business and at home. Apple’s understanding of that is evident in the upcoming release with enhancements to two existing functions (Do Not Disturb and Notifications) and the creation of an all new app (Screen Time).

Do Not Disturb… for now

Heading for a mission critical, one-hour meeting where you want zero interruptions? Then set the new Do Not Disturb function accordingly. From now on, you’ll be able to turn off messages, notifications, and calls for a specified time. You’ll also be able to set the feature to turn on again after you leave a certain location or when a scheduled event is over.

Put Notifications in Their Place

Notifications are great… sometimes. Truthfully, they can get a bit overwhelming, especially for the on-the-go business owner who doesn’t always need to know that their third cousin from Poughkeepsie just checked in to the local tapas bar for unlimited empanadas.

Soon, you’ll be able to direct notifications from specific apps to the Notification Center, as well as turn them off altogether. Siri will also lend a hand by making suggestions based on how you respond to certain alerts. In addition, message threads and topics will be grouped together, making it easier to quickly view what’s important and dismiss what isn’t… not that great empanadas aren’t important.

Save on Screen Time

Screen Time is a welcomed addition to a society that recognizes kids and adults alike may be spending entirely too much time with their devices. The app provides an easy-to-use dashboard that breaks down screen usage into key chunks of data including total screen time for the day, the longest individual session, and post-bedtime usage. You’ll also be able to set limits for individual apps and see which apps are being used the most.

The savvy business owner understands how valuable downtime is. Too much time interacting with devices can reduce valuable “thinking” time. True creativity and innovation often arises when devices aren’t intermittently beeping, clicking, or alerting. Awareness of your own screen time, as well as your children’s, is crucial to maintaining a positive and productive mindset, and Screen Time could be just the app to help.  

Augmented Reality (AR)

Multiple industries—fashion, construction, animation, even education, and more will find great functionality in Apple’s newly augmented reality experience called ARKit 2.0.

Just imagine being able to place kids clothing on your child virtually, to see how it looks before you buy it. Teachers will be able to bring the wondrous nature of the cosmos right into the classroom for optimal discovery. Of course, you’ll also be able to search for and find as many Pokemon Go! characters as there are in your worldly travels. Yes, in addition to performance and function, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with iOS 12 as well.

The construction industry, the DIY handyman at home, and many others should also find the new Measure app quite handy. The app will allow you to measure lines across surfaces in 3D and provide automatic shape detection for dimensions. Just point your camera at anything in the room to get actual measurements of real world objects.

Apple has also partnered with Adobe to bring any object from the Creative Cloud suite of services into an AR environment using a new file format called USDZ. The new format is optimized for file sharing among apps like Mail, Messages, Safari, and others. Furthermore, Apple is already in talks with Adobe and LEGO to create further AR functionality using USDZ across all iOS devices.

For a more detailed look at the powerful potential of ARKit 2.0 and Measure on iOS 12, check out the feature’s dedicated page.

Shortcuts

Success in business requires adaptability. You also need to be able to think quick on your feet. However, you likely still have a daily routine you like to follow. After all, no matter how successful we are, most of us are still hopeless creatures of habit. That’s the logic behind the new Shortcuts app.

Shortcuts allows you to create a list of routines you normally execute throughout your day and activate them with a simple voice command. Better yet, if you forget any of those items, Siri will act as a superstar personal assistant, and say something like “Uh, It’s your 15th wedding anniversary today. Should I order the dozen roses from the usual place? Okay, so Siri is too eloquent to use the words, “Uh,” but you get the point.

With all those features, iOS 12 looks poised to greatly assist in bringing a new world of efficiency to your business and personal life, but those are just the major players. Other honorable mentions include the following:

  • Smarter Siri

  • Third-party support for CarPlay

  • Breakdown of battery usage

  • Sparklines in Stocks app

  • Stocks app comes to iPad

  • iBooks becomes Apple Books with a more intuitive search function

  • Browse tab and easier access to favorites in News app

There’s a lot to love for business owners and others about iOS 12, but if performance, functionality, and a fair smattering of fun aren’t enough to convince you to download it… at least you still get rid of that annoying red-circled number “1” that’s hovering over the Settings app icon.

Jade Fryerios12, productivity, apple