What the Tech? Apple releases beta version of iOS 12
If you have an iPhone, your day-to-day experience is changing again. Apple released the Beta version of iOS 12, its new operating system which brings many new features that you may (or may not) like.
Beta versions of software and operating systems are released so that developers and other brave souls can put it through the motions and look for flaws, holes and other problems. Once the Beta testing phase is over, Apple will release the official final version to all users in the fall.
Among the most anticipated changes in iOS 12 are new Animojis. A tiger, T-Rex, panda and ghost are now included as animated characters you can use to send as iMessages.
Also new in iOS 12 are Memojis which you can design to look like yourself. Users can create the Memoji by selecting hair color, style, face shape, skin type etc. I found it difficult to create what I think is a good representation of myself. The Memoji all look very young. Still it is pretty cool to send an animated version of yourself with your voice as the message.
Screen time is a long awaited feature for parents who want more control over how much time their kids are spending on their phone. With Screen Time, parents can see exactly what apps their kids are using and for how long each day. Parents can also set limits of time spent with an app as well as a daily time limit.
Notifications are easier to manage. Group messages can be swiped away all together rather than you needing to swipe to dismiss each individual message. You can add up to 32 people in a Facetime conversation. iOs 12 is also faster. This is especially helpful to people who still use older iPhones. iOS 12 will run on phones as old as the iPhone 5s so if your older phone is starting to run slow, iOS12 should help things move along.
There are other improvements to Apple's Stocks app, Notepad, Apple Books and Do Not Disturb features.
But remember, iOS 12 is a beta version so it isn't stable. Some people have reported having problems with the update. It is recommended you should not install iOS 12 on your primary smartphone or device and if you do download and install it, make sure you backup your phone to a computer before initiating the update. If something goes wrong, you'll be able to restore the phone to the last backup.
Unless you just cannot wait until October for the update, it's best to give it a few weeks and let Apple discover then fix any problems found by Beta testers.