iOS 11 has been a disaster, from crashing apps just because of one character even until replacing the character ‘i’ into ‘a?’, therefore this year Apple promises to focus on more stability on iOS 12 rather than features. This year updates, also include the same range of device as last year which means iPhone 5s as the oldest iPhone is receiving more love. But we still get many features that probably might or might not be useful, depending on where you live. I will only discuss deeply about the features that seem promising for the South-east Asian countries or at least what I want to see become available in South-east Asia.
More and more performance
It is all about performance this year, after years making fun of Android instability. Apple makes a mistake on their end by releasing unstable iOS version. Even with the recent iOS 12 beta 7 pulled off from the developer preview after only 1 hour of releasing because of many apps are crashing. Although, they fixed it immediately one day after in iOS 12 beta 8, it is still embarassing for Apple to pull a beta like that. This could make consumers think, will they deliver their promises without any crash. Especially about the performance on the older iOS devices after the scandal. For you who doesn’t know what Apple has promised for the performance improvement this year. They promise up to 70% faster swipe from lock screen to camera, up to 50% faster keyboard showing up (we all know it will not improve our typing speed), and 2 times faster app launch under heavy load even in older device. During this beta testing, we see more improvement on the iPhone 6S in terms of speed but for the iPhone X we see a little bit of reduce. We are not sure why, but we are hoping Apple doesn’t forget the scandal that hit them last year.
FaceTime for popular kids
Facetime just got supercharged, it can support up to 32 people now. Amazing right? Yes, but the fact that most South-east Asian people don’t use FaceTime means Apple hasn’t pushing FaceTime in this region. I have been living in Thailand and most of the people use Line instead. In Indonesia majority of people are using WhatsApp. While in Singapore some people even use WeChat. But, I admit I just recently changed to FaceTime and the call quality is much more better in FaceTime and since it is integrated deeply with iOS, whenever someone call me through FaceTime Audio, it will shows like a normal phone call. They are also much more optimized for the battery life on iPhone compared to other IMs.
Apple heard us about the notification
Finally the highlight of iOS 12, Apple will implemnt grouped notification. I have been waiting for this my whole life. iOS has a really messed up notification which makes it hard to read. Especially for someone who has 3 IMs with the same green color and almost same pattern. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish which one is which. The grouped notification isn’t grouped per app basis, but it is also grouped per topics (thanks to Siri). So we will see less clunky notification. In addition to that, when you enter Do Not Disturb mode the notification is now sent to Notification Center directly. Thus, you don’t have to deal with a spam of notification when you wake up in the morning. Furthermore, when you exit the Do Not Disturb mode there will be an information about today’s weather, which is very nice. You can also control the notification setting directly if you want to mute that apps or just deliver it directly to Notification Center. Therefore, you don’t have to see it in your lock screen.
Other Features: Siri, AREmoji, Apple Maps
Siri is also improving but not until Alexa or Google Assistant leagues. How? Apple only implement the Siri Shortcut which is a way for you to have custom command for your digital assisant. I am not a fan of this fix, although it is more flexible to user but it is better to improve Siri’s understandings of a lot of circumstances. And this 2018, I want to have freedom of choice in terms of music player. At least I hope Siri can play music from Spotify. I know this is not a feasible business for Apple, but they can at least compromise by having users to say “Play … from Spotify.” And if they don’t say that from Spotify, it will be defaulted to Apple Music.
In the war of Emoji, Apple has received Samsung’s challenge for AREmoji and created Memoji which is like Animoji but it is an avatar of you. While Samsung also has received Apple’s challenge to create a $1000 phone with the Galaxy Note 9. However, I feel like the Apple version is more responsive than Samsung’s and also with iOS 12 now it has tongue detection (a very important features). With that said, instead of adding it to Animoji, I hope FaceID also can recognize me with my tongue out or my mouth yawning. It is annoying when you cannot unlock your phone while yawning.
Another feature that is worth mentioning is the Apple Maps, they are trying to improve with their own data now (before this they are using third-party Maps provider API). It will see significant improvement in the US, but I hope they can expand faster on South-east Asia. Yes, the road here is more challenging, but there is one thing that I don’t like about the Google Maps is the lane guidance is sometimes messed up, especially here in Thailand. Also, the indoor maps such as airport and shopping mall would be helpful also. So please Apple, focus on us also.
This might be only me, but Apple Wallet is also almost non-existent in this region. I cannot connect my Starbucks card to the Apple Wallet or even shop with it. And they are releasing features where student can tap in the class by using their phone. I would like to come to work and my apartment with that also. I hope that they will enable it to third-party for this kind of stuff.
iOS 12 might be a really good update for Apple and everyone will welcome this update. I just hope there is no more app crashes or annoying bugs like that I mentioned in the beginning. Most important note also, Apple should focus on South-east Asia region also, since in Singapore and Thailand there are a lot of Apple users as well. If Apple can gain trust in this two countries and go to Indonesia later. They will own the first (China) and fourth (Indonesia) biggest market in the world.