Apple has added useful new features and made quite a few improvements in iOS 12, released in 2018. You can find out about iOS 13 here.
The new Shortcuts app - which is built on an existing app called ‘Workflow’ that Apple acquired back in March 2017 - allows users to chain together a set of instructions, and in doing so create custom ‘shortcuts’.
Once a shortcut is saved, it can be triggered by Siri using a voice command, meaning tasks that would have previously involved multiple steps can be requested and completed in moments.
In theory, you can set up a shortcut that starts heating the water at home, gives you directions on how to get home from your current location, then send a message to your family to let them know you’re on your way.
Going on a trip? Create a shortcut that checks the weather, traffic, suggesting the best route to take.
Developers will be able to create ‘actions’ within their apps that can be used in Shortcuts.
On release, there will be hundreds of shortcuts available for download from a gallery inside the app.
You can still download the original Workflow application, if you’d like a taste of what’s to come.
Siri suggestions learns your routines with continued use, so over time you’ll be notified suggested shortcuts tailored just for you.
If you’re running late for an event, Siri will suggest that you send a text saying you’re going to be late. When watching a movie, Siri will suggest turning your phone on Do Not Disturb.
Food knowledge will enable you to ask Siri questions about food, including calories, vitamins, and how healthy a food is overall. For example, ask “How much fat is there in whole milk?” or “How healthy are peanuts?”
It’s not clear at this point if this feature will work outside the US, as it taps into the USDA database to search for information.
Already an incredibly useful tool, Siri translate is due to receive a major update in iOS 12, with a huge number of new languages included, with support for over 40 language pairs.