How To Get Apple iOS 12 for iPhone & iPad

Delia Walker
September 18, 2018

If you like to live on the edge, smash that update button as soon as Apple makes iOS 12 available (but don't say I didn't warn you). We've heard from readers with older devices that its performance improvements have given a new lease on life to the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and the like, and one TidBITS Talk reader said it solved his iOS 11 battery problems.

Speaking of developers, the new and improved ARKit 2 that comes as part of iOS 12 will make AR apps even more powerful, though it might take some time for such apps to start appearing.

Apple has rolled out iPhone X-like gestures on iPad
Apple has rolled out iPhone X-like gestures on iPad

There are two ways to activate these shortcuts. You can now ask Siri to execute a number of commands across apps with a single prompt-summoning a traffic report, tuning in to drive-time radio, and turning up the air conditioning in your home-as you're leaving the office. Of course, there will be plenty of additional options in the days and weeks ahead, so keep an eye out if your favorite apps add support down the road as well. Your experiences during the beta period should have given you a sense of whether you can install on Macs that you rely on to get your work done-you should know by now if your essential apps are compatible or not. Most are self-explanatory, but the Interact shortcut is a fun addition from developer Brian Mueller - its simple goal is to provide an avenue for Siri and CARROT to interact with each other, with you playing the amused spectator. It's here you'll be able to access a pared-down version of Siri Shortcuts.

Shortcuts invoked via Siri provide both informative verbal responses, as well as rich visual summaries in the Siri interface. The more you use it, the more it'll learn, and the better suggestions it'll give. So, for instance, you can now use Siri to quickly identify a star, planet, or other celestial body just by asking Siri to identify it. In the case of this example, Citymapper doesn't even open.

Notifications. This new system is all about avoiding interruptions and reducing clutter on your lock screen. On top of that, there's a new Walkie-Talkie app that will allow you to use your Apple Watch just like you used to use your old Nextel phone.

Having Shortcuts as an app you have to download from the App Store might be a good thing for the community, because it means that custom shortcuts and the complicated drag & drop action steps within the app won't be presented to users who aren't looking for it. If that's going to cut things close, then wait until later. Head to Settings and then Siri and Search. The procedure is exactly the same. Apple's retooled version of this app is Siri Shortcuts.

Pick a suggested shortcut and record a trigger. With CARROT Weather's shortcuts support, however, I can't imagine anything better than this release.

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