So Apple is updating iOS 12 for iPhones and iPads. Is it a big deal?

There are certainly features that many Apple fans will love. Such as parental controls for their kids Apple devices. Like many other tech companies, Apple says it is concerned with how people, especially children, have become addicted to their device and it wants to encourage people to take breaks. Introducing screen time balance features Monday, parents will be able to set time limits on their kids' iPhone, iPad and app use.

Anyone can easily see how much time they are spending on their device each day including how many times you actually pick it up to check it. If you are bothered by the fact you're spending 3 hours or more on Instagram or Facebook, you can now allow yourself a set amount of time for an app or category like social media.

If you, for example, want to limit your daily time on Instagram to three hours, you can set that time limit. During the day, you'll get updates on how much time you have remaining. When you reach your time limit, and you likely will, the app screen will disappear and you'll see
"Time's Up". You will be able to add time if you were, say right in the middle of something.

While parents who use Apple products will like this feature, it's worth noting that it could be better. Most parents share their iPad with their child and any time limits you set will be for that device.

Apple doesn't have multiple-logins on any of its devices. This is a feature I'd like to see in a future update. Parents and children could have their own logins which would make parental controls much easier to manage.

Android devices and Amazon Fire tablets have had this feature for years.

Group Facetime is another new feature in iOS 12. Up to 32 people can be in on the same Facetime call, which will be especially important for employees to hold face-to-face meetings with a large group. Users will see the faces of everyone on the screen sort of floating on the screen. When someone starts talking, their picture enlarges so you can better see them for the conversation.

Again, Google has had this feature in its Hangouts app.

Lots of people are excited about the new animoji features. In case you're still using an iPhone 7 or older, animoji are animated characters such as a panda bear, cat, bunny, pig and unicorn. The phone's face detection captures the movement of your mouth and when you send an iMessage to someone, you can select one of these animoji and speak. The message is sent with your voice and the animated character. It is pretty cool.

In iOS 12, Apple is introducing a few more characters that will stick out their tongue when you do in the message.

Apple is also adding "Memoji" which allows you to create a personalized emoji of yourself. Once again, Apple is behind Samsung that introduced the same type feature in its recent Galaxy S9 devices.

All in all, Apple fans are going to be happy with the new updates because it's from Apple and they really are cool. Android users, though, are watching and probably thinking "big deal, we've had these things for a long time".

iOS 12 is expected to be released in September.