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Apple’s iOS 12 strategy: Take more time to squash the bugs

Enlarge / The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Apple has new features planned for its big, new iOS update—but not as many as you may expect. According to a Bloomberg report, the next sweeping iOS update, codenamed "Peace" and likely to be called iOS 12, will include a number of app redesigns, the expansion of Animoji into Facetime, and other changes, but not some of the biggest rumored changes such as redesigned home screens for iPhone and iPad. Instead of filling iOS 12 with a bevy of new features, Apple is reportedly changing strategies to allow developers more time to perfect the new features to ensure reliability.

The biggest change planned for iOS 12, slated for release this fall, is a universal app system that would allow one app to work across iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. Currently, users have to download separate iOS and macOS apps to use the same programs across their mobile devices and desktops or laptops. Along with this change, Apple could bring some mobile-specific apps to macOS, like the Home app that controls HomeKit-enables smart home devices.

Animojis will find another home in Facetime when iOS 12 is released. Apple is reportedly working on increasing the number of AR characters available and allowing users to don them during live Facetime video chats. A new iPad is reportedly in the works that has Apple's FaceID camera, which would allow it to support Animojis as well (Animojis are only currently available on the iPhone X, which has the new FaceID camera). Also planned for the new software update are a revamped stock-trading app and Do Not Disturb feature, an updated search view that leans more heavily on Siri, a new interface for importing photos onto an iPad, and multiplayer augmented reality gameplay.

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iOS 12 Said to Feature Animoji in FaceTime, Deeper Siri Integration, and Do Not Disturb Improvements

Apple's alleged plans to double down on the quality of its iPhone, iPad, and Mac software platforms, rather than rush to introduce new features, have been revealed in more detail by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg News.

The report claims that Apple's software engineers will have more discretion to delay features that aren't as polished, with the company essentially shifting to more of a two-year roadmap for iOS and macOS, rather than trying to release major feature-packed upgrades every single year without question.
Instead of keeping engineers on a relentless annual schedule and cramming features into a single update, Apple will start focusing on the next two years of updates for its iPhone and iPad operating system, according to people familiar with the change. The company will continue to update its software annually, but internally engineers will have more discretion to push back features that aren't as polished to the following year.
The report describes Apple's new strategy as a "major cultural shift," and an admission that its recent software updates have suffered from an uncharacteristic number of bugs, ranging from a critical root superuser vulnerability on Mac to iMessages appearing in the wrong order across Apple devices.

Apple's commitment to a fast-paced iOS release schedule already led some features to be delayed regardless, including Apple Pay Cash and Messages on iCloud, so the new strategy would likely involve not announcing or testing those features in beta until they are much closer to being ready for public release.

Despite the increased focus on under-the-hood refinements, iOS 12 is still expected to include some significant new features, including Animoji in FaceTime, which will enable people to place virtual faces over themselves during video calls.

Additionally, in iOS 12, Apple is planning deeper Siri integration in the iPhone's search view, Do Not Disturb improvements that will give users more options to automatically reject phone calls or silence notifications, a redesigned version of its Stocks app, and a multiplayer mode for augmented reality games.

As previously reported, Apple is also expected to make it possible for developers to release apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, starting with iOS 12 and macOS 10.14, which should be introduced at WWDC 2018 in June.

Last month, Gurman reported that developers will be able to design a single third-party app that works with both a touchscreen, and a mouse or trackpad, depending on whether it's running on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Apple would presumably also streamline its own apps on the desktop and mobile.

The report didn't reveal exactly how the process will work, but Apple could be planning to release a new SDK with new APIs that enable true cross-platform functionality. Right now, Apple's UIKit and AppKit frameworks provide the required infrastructure for iOS and macOS app user interfaces respectively.

Today's report reiterates other features that are delayed, including redesigned home screens on iPhone, iPad, and CarPlay, tabbed apps on iPad, and the ability to view two screens from the same app side by side on iPad.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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New Animoji features in iOS 12: iPad and FaceTime support, new characters & more

Apple is pausing on innovation in order to focus on software stability and reliability, but several new features are nevertheless being planned for this year’s major update to the mobile operating system powering the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch hardware.... Read the rest of this post here

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FAQ: Does FaceTime Use Data? We Have The Answer

Does FaceTime Use Data

When it comes to iOS users and the FaceTime app, one of the most frequently asked question from our users is: “Does FaceTime use data?” and then that question is usually accompanied by “So how much data does FaceTime use?”

If you’re here reading this, then it means you have these same questions – and we are here to help!

The conviniet thing about Facetiming is that your cellular minutes are not used – this gets even better for people on an unlimited data plan. But for people with limited data, we would advise that you turn off cellular for FaceTime – this would make FaceTime totally free (except for the cost of Wi-Fi).

So to answer your question, “Yes, FaceTime uses data!”

Here’s how much data FaceTime uses as well as how you can disable FaceTime from using your cellular plan data.

Does FaceTime Use Wi-Fi Data or Cellular Data or Cellular Minutes?

Well, it depends. FaceTime is a free service that supports cross-platform Apple-to-Apple video and audio call making. As established earlier, FaceTime uses data, not minutes, and you can turn off FaceTime’s ability to use your cellular data if you wish. We will get to that further down in this post. In terms of general costs, FaceTime users only have to pay for their cellular plans and Wi-Fi.

Here’s some quick stuff you might want to know about the FaceTime app

  • If you have a Wi-Fi connection, Facetime would default to your Wi-Fi but could supplement with your cellular data during low Wi-Fi signal.
  • If you do not have Wi-Fi, FaceTime by default would use your cellular data, but will not use your minutes.
  • You can turn FaceTime cellular data usage off, prohibiting cellular data to be used at all.
  • If you turn on cellular data for Facetime, you are able to FaceTime without Wi-Fi.
  • Facetime does not consume an excessive amount of data – especially if you make shorter Facetime calls, or even better, FaceTime Audio calls

Does Facetime Use A Lot of Data?

Based on our research, a 20 minute Facetime Video call consumes roughly 65MB of data. The usage seems linear a we’ve seen short, 2 minute calls consume just over 6MB of data.

For people who make short Facetime calls – 5 to 30 minutes, using FaceTime is not going to drain your data plan. Chances are that your idle time on social media and games will do way more damage.

Facetime Audio calls consume significantly less data than FaceTime Video calls. Video consumes up to 10x more data.

However, if you would be making longer FaceTime calls to maybe catch up with your distant family and friends, be sure that you are connected to Wi-Fi. Longer calls on FaceTime mean you use more data.

To ensure you don’t go on a data drain rampage, we would show you how you can track your FaceTime data usage as well as how you can disable FaceTime from making use of your data.

How to Track Facetime Data Usage For a Particular Call

  • Open either the FaceTime app or your Phone.
  • Tap “Recents” in the phone app. On the other hand, the Facetime app would automatically open your Facetime Video history.
  • Click the ‘i’ next to the particular contact that you had a Facetime call with.
  • If this call used your data, you would be able to see how much data was used next to the Facetime call’s timestamp.

This process makes it easy to check if you are using too much data during a particular call. But if you want to keep a track on your overall FaceTime data consumption, then use this step.


How to Track Overall FaceTime Data Usage

For this step to work, you must have Facetime installed on your device. If the app is not installed, then you won’t be able to keep a tab on your overall Facetime data usage. With the app installed:

  • Open your phone Settings.
  • Click Cellular.
  • Find FaceTime by scrolling down.
  • Below FaceTime, you would see the overall data usage.


Keep in mind that your iPhone would not automatically reset your data usage. This means every time your plan is reset in a month or week, you have to manually reset the data usage as well to keep a track on your usage – otherwise, your overall data usage would be the data Facetime has used since you have had your iPhone.

For example, if you reset your data usage two months ago, your overall data usage starts counting from two months ago. To reset your overall data:

  • Open Settings, Click on Cellular.
  • Scroll down and tap “Reset Statistics”.

Doing this resets your data usage, so you can track it properly.

Be sure to reset monthly for accurate tracking.

How to Prevent Facetime from Using Your Data

Like any other Apple app, Facetime’s ability to use your cellular data can be turned off. Doing this means all Facetime calls would use your Wi-Fi connection and not your data.

  • Tap on Settings.
  • Tap on Cellular.
  • Scroll down till you find Facetime.
  • Toggle it off


And that’s pretty much it!

So now, you know that Facetime uses data, you also know how to track it and stop it from using your data as well.

If you have any questions, leave a comment in the comments section below and we would be glad to answer them.

How to record FaceTime calls

FaceTime has made it incredibly easier to keep in touch with loved ones. The simplicity and the immediacy of the app have made it one of the most used applications in our household, especially because we live overseas and don’t get to see our family in person very often.... Read the rest of this post here

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