Archive for September 17, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

iOS 12 Released

Juli Clover:

Apple today officially released iOS 12, the latest operating system designed for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. iOS 12 is available on all devices able to run iOS 11, which includes the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch.


iOS 12 is a major update that brings several new features and upgrades to Apple’s iOS devices, along with some significant performance improvements. Apple has revamped the operating system from top to bottom to make iPhones and iPads, especially the older models, faster and more responsive.

Jared Newman:

I didn’t realize this until charting it, but the number of iOS upgrades that each iPhone gets has increased every two years since the original launch.

Federico Viticci (tweet):

iOS 12 isn’t Apple’s Snow Leopard release: its system changes and updated apps wouldn’t justify a “No New Features” slide. However, for the first time in years, it feels as if the company is happy to let its foot off the gas a little and listen to users more.


I’ve been reviewing Apple apps and iOS releases for almost a decade now; I believe Shortcuts is the most beautiful, creative piece of software the company has ever shipped. Shortcuts is a new kind of command line for iOS – a tool to visually script any app and feature of iOS – but it’s also something else entirely. More than Workflow before it, Shortcuts is a productivity playground in between the OS and apps – a place for users to create their own enhancements to iOS; a lab where every iOS user is free to experiment, chain apps together, remix actions, and tie everything back to Siri.

Rene Ritchie:

There’s a lot I’d still like to see from Apple, from small details like rotation lock for everything but photos and video, to rounding out foundational technologies with handoff for media and the ability to change default apps, to re-revolutions like a new Home screen experience and far deeper and more personal, though still private, context for Siri.

Maybe that’ll come tomorrow with iOS 13. Today, iOS 12 is the biggest sign yet that Apple is starting to think beyond multitouch interfaces by finally opening voice to all apps, and beyond current devices by pushing augmented reality so far, so fast.

Samuel Axon:

But there’s more to iOS 12 than the average user will notice. It adds or expands upon a few ways for third-party developers to make different kinds of apps or to tap into the work Apple has done on Siri, machine learning, or augmented reality to bring new capabilities to those apps. iOS 12 also adds new features to Apple’s own apps—and many of those features are driven by the company’s machine-learning efforts.

Mattt Thompson:

In celebration of this week’s release of iOS 12, we’re sharing what we found after trawling through the API diffs from iOS 11.4 to 12. (As it were, many of these are still undocumented, so proceed with caution).


Shortcuts in iOS 12 let you get things done with your apps, with just a tap or by asking Siri. In addition to running shortcuts available on your iOS device, you can use the Shortcuts app to create custom shortcuts, simplifying everyday tasks by combining steps across multiple apps.

Foundation Release Notes (finally):

Foundation in macOS 10.14, iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12 includes new features, API changes, and deprecations.

Update (2018-09-20): Nicholas Riley:

iOS 12: best upgrade ever. Awesome job folks. If this is the worst I see...

Rui Carmo:

The keyboard switcher (world icon) and the number toggle key (123) are swapped on the iPad, but remain in the same positions on the iPhone. Whomever decided to change this is an unqualified moron, since the inconsistency is maddening and I am constantly hitting the wrong key.

The Shortcuts app broke pretty much every single workflow I had (which I was expecting), and can’t even access third-party storage providers outside iCloud Drive.

The Curious Case of AirPower

John Gruber:

I wrote about AirPower’s absence earlier this week. What I’ve heard, third-hand but from multiple little birdies, is that AirPower really is well and truly fucked. Something about the multi-coil design getting too hot — way too hot. There are engineers who looked at AirPower’s design and said it could never work, thermally, and now those same engineers have that “told you so” smug look on their faces. Last year Apple was apparently swayed by arguments that they could figure out a way to make it not get hot. They were, clearly, wrong. I think they’ve either had to go completely back to the drawing board and start over with an entirely different design, or they’ve decided to give up and they just don’t want to say so.

Marco Arment:

The craziest part of @gruber’s AirPower report, if correct, is that they decided to announce it to the public before having a working solution to a critical engineering challenge that, if unsolvable, would be fatal to the product.

Bob Burrough:

Now that everyone’s asking “why did they announce it if it wasn’t ready?” Go back and review this thread from February of this year.

Marko Karppinen:

Adding wireless charging years after others in 2017 and simultaneously announcing AirPower feels to me like they just didn’t think Qi was good enough. Had they known AirPower wouldn’t work out… I wonder if they would’ve done wireless charging at all.

Sonny Dickson (via Benjamin Mayo, MacRumors):

We have managed to obtain several pieces of exclusive information that shed some light on what challenges Apple is currently facing with the project. According to our sources, the broad feeling of many working the project at Apple is that the device may be doomed to failure, and may not be viable at all unless significant advancements can be made.


Chatter from less notable individuals involved with the project further suggest that the AirPower concept and trademark are likely to be applied to an all new product, which will include unmentioned features, to be publicly shown at an undisclosed date “not likely to occur before Spring”.

Binyamin Goldman:

We have now confirmed with two independent sources that Apple has cancelled the AirPower wireless charger.

John Gruber:

After I published what I’ve heard, a wise and knowledgeable little birdie told me that it’s not at all uncommon for a project at Apple to have massive resets multiple times. [Cough, Titan.] What is unusual regarding AirPower is that it’s happened in the open, for the world to see. That is to say, the real mistake may not be a flawed coil design or whatever, but rather the decision to announce it when they did, before those problems were solved.

Previously: September 2018 Apple Event, AirPower Status and Removing the Lightning Port, Pre-Announcing AirPower.

Update (2018-09-19): See also: Hacker News.

Update (2018-09-20): Russell Ivanovic:

Apple: AirPower? What’s that. Never heard of it. Don’t know what you’re talking about!?


Update (2018-09-24): Guilherme Rambo (MacRumors):

Looking into iOS 12.1, we noticed that the component of iOS responsible for managing the charging interface that appears when using AirPower has been updated, which means that Apple is still actively working on the project.

Furthermore, a picture of the “getting started guide” that comes packaged with the iPhone XS clearly mentions AirPower. “Place iPhone with screen facing up on AirPower or a Qi-certified wireless charger,” it reads.

HomePod Now Supports Multiple Timers

Juli Clover:

The update lets you use Siri to search for your favorite songs using song lyrics, and it lets you create multiple timers. It also allows you to make and receive phone calls right from the HomePod.

The HomePod could previously be used as a speakerphone, but after the update, it will be able to be used to place and answer phone calls without the need to transfer a call from the iPhone.

HomePod will be able to ping your iPhone or any of your other Apple devices so you can find them in your Home, and it works with Siri Shortcuts, a new feature introduced in iOS 12.

Why is iOS 12 still limited to a single timer?

Previously: Multiple iOS Timers.

Update (2018-09-28): Marco Arment reports that Siri’s initial support for multiple timers is not very reliable.