Apple recently unveiled a slew of new features coming to the software that powers its devices but the tech giant has included plenty of useful updates that went unmentioned at last week’s developers conference.
Apple advertised some of the major changes at its WWDC event last week, focusing on changes designed to give users a better understanding of how much time they’re spending on their device to promote digital wellbeing — something Silicon Valley is beginning to take more and more seriously.
The new iOS12 software isn’t expected to become public until around September but thanks to an early beta version for developers, we know about all the nifty new updates on the way. And some of them are fantastic.
Here’s a handful of the best new features coming to iOS 12 that flew under the radar.
LIVE LISTEN COMES TO AIRPODS
If you own a pair of AirPods, you’ll now be able to use them with Apple’s Live Listen, a special feature previously reserved for hearing aids certified through the company’s Made for iPhone hearing aid program.
After enabling the feature in your iPhone’s settings, you’ll be able to effectively turn your handset into a directional microphone that listens and directs the audio to your AirPods. The feature is designed to let you hear better in noisy environments like a lecture hall or busy restaurant by leaving your phone next to the person speaking.
NO MORE ACCIDENTAL SCREENSHOTS
This one is simple but a personal favorite of mine.
When grabbing for the iPhoneX off a flat surface it is pretty easy to pinch the two side buttons that take a screenshot but iOS12 will include a preventive measure that should help.
If you’re phone is asleep and the screen is black, the screenshot mechanism is deactivated. While the iPhone sensors are quick to activate the screen when the phone is moved, this should go a long way to stopping a lot of accidental screenshots.
TWO FACES FOR FACE ID
This is also something I’m looking forward to.
Under Face ID & Passcode in Settings in iOS 12 you can add an extra face that can be recognized by Face ID on your iPhone X. By selecting “Set Up an Alternative Appearance” it takes you to the Face ID set up page to make a secondary facial profile.
Ostensibly it is for when you might be routinely wearing something like makeup or big glasses that alter your facial appearance but it can also be used to add an entirely second person to Face ID, which is super helpful if you want your partner to be able to unlock your phone.
BLOCK USB ACCESS
For the security concerned, the early beta version of iOS 12 includes a small security update that gives you the option to block access to USB accessories once the phone hasn’t been unlocked for an hour.
Apple has always been strong on protecting user privacy and the feature is seen by some as directed at law enforcement in the US who have reportedly been using a “brute force” device to crack iPhone passwords and unlock devices.
You can find the new setting under Touch ID & Passcode (or Face ID & Passcode), and then look for the USB Accessories toggle switch.
WARNINGS ABOUT REUSING PASSWORDS
The new iOS will give you a friendly reminder that could end up saving you some heartache down the road. If you’re using the same password across a bunch of different platforms (which is not a good idea) you’ll get a warning prompt, as long as the details are in its password log. From Settings, go to Passwords & Accounts then Website & App Passwords to check.
This story originally appeared in news.com.au.