Apple has just released the iPhone X. It is the company’s first smartphone without a physical home button. It is the first iPhone where users will have to rely on various swipe gestures for almost all the basic functions. The iOS 11 that powers the iPhone X doesn’t take full advantage of the phone’s capabilities. At its core, iOS 11 is the same software that runs the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. When Apple announces the iOS 12 sometime next year, the software should bring a few much-needed features to make the iPhone X more useful.
Will iOS 12 bring these features?
Michael Simon of MacWorld says the iOS 11 feels “less modern than ever” considering it is the backbone of a revolutionary new iPhone. Michael says the iOS 12 should include a Dark Mode to take full advantage of the iPhone X’s OLED display. The Dark Mode will remove all the visual barriers between the display and the bezel to offer you the experience of a true bezel-less glass.
Face ID is new, and still in the preliminary stage of its life. The technology is deeply integrated into the iOS 11, but there is still scope to improve it. Michael Simon says the iOS 12 should offer “greater angles of recognition” for Face ID. Apple should also allow users to add a second face. Users should have the option to let their spouse or kids with registered faces unlock the device.
Simon has some cool ideas regarding how Apple could better utilize the screen space on either side of the notch. The notch houses some critical components, so it’s not going to go away anytime soon. The iOS 12 should turn the status bar into a “fully interactive space.” It will minimize the need to open the Control Center frequently.
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The iOS 11 places the home bar at the bottom of the screen. If you want to unlock the phone, you have to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. That’s a bit annoying because if you don’t succeed the first time, you have to swipe again from the bottom to unlock the device. The iOS 12 could make it a lot easier by allowing users to swipe anywhere on the screen to unlock the iPhone X.
It’s quite surprising that the iPhone X lacks an Always-On display despite sporting an OLED screen. An Always-On display offers a quick glance at notifications, battery percentage, and time without having to touch the phone. Michael Simon also suggests that the iOS 12 should bring iPad-like multitasking functionality to the iPhone X. The anniversary iPhone has a close to 6-inch display, which is sufficient to run two apps simultaneously.
The iOS 12 unveiling is still several months away. Apple traditionally announces the new version of its mobile software at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) sometime in June. The software then goes through a series of developer and public beta phases before being rolled out to the wider public in September along with new iPhones.
iOS 11 install base reach 52%
According to data shared by Apple with developers, the current iOS 11 is installed on 52% of the compatible iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The OS was released on September 12 to the public. It means the iOS 11 took nearly two months to reach more than 50% adoption rate. By comparison, the iOS 9 had taken less than a week, and the iOS 10 had taken less than a month to cross that milestone.
It’s still much better than Google’s latest Android Oreo, which currently runs only 0.2% of the active Android devices. The slow iOS 11 adoption rate could be attributed to a variety of factors such as bugs, lack of many intriguing features, poor sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and the delayed launch of the iPhone X.
Apple to launch two OLED iPhones next year
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning to launch two OLED smartphones next year. It is unclear whether both of them will be bezel-less like iPhone X or one of them will have thick bezels like iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. The analyst added that Apple would also change the stainless steel metal frame structure to enhance the data transmission quality.
The iPhone X uses four parts for the metal band around the casing. But the 2018 OLED iPhones could have more parts. Kuo did not reveal whether there will be any LCD smartphones next year. The analyst also expects the 2018 iPhones to offer spec upgrades, but Apple is unlikely to add the TrueDepth camera on the back of the new iPhones. The front-facing TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X supports Face ID and other face-tracking features such as Animoji.
Kuo believes Apple will completely replace Touch ID with Face ID on all its flagship smartphones next year. The 2018 iPad Pro is also expected to feature Face ID.