Last week Apple announced the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. With the new devices, we get a refresh to iOS with iOS 12. With this release Apple has put an emphasis primarily on performance and stability. Finally, older devices won’t fear from updates but rather improve with their performance – and should look forward to each and every update. And as with all updates, there’s plenty of new hidden features in the iOS. With so many features included, I’ve decided to recap what I found most important.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 iOS 12 features:

1. Apple Music now has lyric search

How many times have we remembered a beat or rhythm of a song but simply couldn’t get our head around it’s name. Gone are the days of having to know the exact name of a song. Starting with iOS 12, you can now type the lyrics of a song directly into Apple Music and it will find what you’re looking for.

Apple Music Lyric Search

2. Express cards

As with every update, Apple is looking to kill our physical wallet. This feature will exist only with the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. iOS 12 will enable the phones to retain enough battery when the phone powers off, for digital transit cards and student ID cards to still properly work. Can you imagine if this would come to drivers licenses? Super cool.

3. Notifications

Long and over due. Notifications in iOS 12 are finally getting an overhaul. This update is all about presentation. Multiple notifications from one app can now be grouped together. Tapping on the grouped notifications, will expand them out so you can view them all individually. Adjusting notification settings is also easier than ever.

iPhone grouped notifications

4. Siri

Another place where Apple is showing up late to the show. Fortunately, and thanks to thick competition in this space, iOS 12 gives an extensive update for Apple’s version of a personal assistant. The big update here is Siri being open now to third-party apps. In other words – developers can figgle around much deeper with Siri’s abilities. Essentially, allowing Siri to do much more than just receive voice commands. And of course, Apple threw in many new features of its own. Suggesting to send a text message when you’re running late – or – saying “play alert on my iPad” – are just an example of the difference approach Apple takes with this update.

5. Screen Time

Although most of us like to be in denial: screen addiction is a clear issue in society. While most companies are capitalizing on this addiction, Apple wants to prove to the world it’s looking out for the better of its consumers health. For this exact reasons, advocate Apple consumers stick around through thick and thin.

How is it doing this? As with all bad habits and addictions, there is a need to be checked into a rehabilitation center – Apple’s attempt version of a rehabilitation center is called Screen Time. An app embedded into the iPhone’s settings that can restrict time spent on categories of apps or individual ones. To understand what needs to be battled most, Apple will provide a clear summary of where your addiction resides. Moreover, if you’re a parent you’ll have plenty of control of how your kid can use their iPhone.

Apple Screen Time


Perhaps, the most important update was older generations being released from the Apple jail cell. As previously mentioned, iOS 12 really puts an emphasis on making older devices more usable. But Apple has done more than just improve performance and that’s beyond clear but not so surfaced. Sure the first-party apps Books, Voice Memos, Stocks, and News receive some updates; such as ibooks now being renamed to Apple Books and Stocks and Memos receive more of the re-skin overhaul. But in essence, iOS 12 was just an enormous deployment of tools that developers could adopt to create much more impressive and powerful apps in the near and far future. Ironic enough, to really get a grasp of iOS 12, we need to wait for the developer community play catch up and learn everything Apple has released for them. The coming year should be packed with fruitful updates from our favorite third party apps.