Though most of the features new to iOS 12 will have a broad and practical application for most iPhone owners, many of its features can specifically change the way you work on your mobile device. Here is the list of features I find most useful for small business owners.
1. Group FaceTime
It's been eight years since Apple introduced FaceTime and not much has changed since then. Due to its current limit of two people per conversation, FaceTime has done little to make a dent in the business world. It's no wonder people are using third party apps like Skype and Google Hangout for remote meetings and video chats.
However, these third-party apps aren't flawless. They work a little bit differently on every machine, require a camera, and regularly need updates to the software and plug-ins. I have had to cut more than a handful of meetings short due to the unreliable nature of these third-party apps, and once or twice have lost a client due to technical difficulties.
Apple is hoping to change that with the introduction of group FaceTime calls. In iOS 12 you will be able to FaceTime with up to 32 people at once. Without downloading a third-party app and all of its plug-ins, you can stay in touch with your team with a FaceTime meeting.
The only downside to the new FaceTime function is that it still only works with other Apple devices. If you have employees or clients that don't have any Apple devices, you will have to find a third party app that works for both parties. Fortunately, most of us have at least one Apple product and will be able to take advantage of group FaceTime as soon as the update is released later this fall.
2. Updated Notifications
Apple's notification center has been pretty much the same since its release in 2011. With force touch introduced with the iPhone 6s, Apple added actions (replying to a text, sending an email to trash, etc.) directly in notification center, but not much has changed since then.
In iOS 12, notifications are getting a long overdue update.
The first big feature is grouped notifications. Instead of a long list of notifications, you can consolidate your notifications by app, and dismiss them all at once, making it easier to get rid of unimportant notifications.
You'll also be able to turn off notifications for specific apps temporarily, right inside of notification center. This will allow you to stay focused on work without disabling more critical notifications like emails, texts, or phone calls.
3. Screen Time
Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with my smartphone. At times it can be a useful tool to help me get work done, while most of the time it can be a significant distraction. Apple has heard our complaints and has introduced a new app for iOS 12, called Screen Time. In Screen Time you can track how much time you are spending in each app, and even set time limits for specific apps.
Once you are close to reaching the time limit you set for yourself, your phone will notify you that time is almost up. If you want more time in the app, you can simply increase the amount of time allotted.
The most significant feature in Screen Time is the analytics it provides. Though setting time limits though Screen Time will not prevent you from using the app further, it will help you be more mindful of how much time you are spending in specific apps. With the Screen Time analytics, you can see the average time spent in each app, as well as when you use the app most. When used correctly Screen Time can help you understand how much time is spent being productive, and how much time you are wasting.
Even though iOS 12 won't be out for a while, it is essential to know what new features will be available and how you can use them to help you reach your business goals. The features highlighted in this article are just three of many useful features coming in iOS 12. After we have had the chance to play with the Beta and use the software ourselves, we will post a more in-depth article discussing all of the new features and ways to use them to your advantage. Stay up to date by checking our blog posts, and signing up for our email newsletter.
Now get off your phone and get back to work!