iOS 12 Developer Beta 1: Grouped Notifications, Memojis, Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time Manager and More!

Almost immediately after the reveal of iOS 12 at WWDC, the very first Developer Beta was seeded by Apple. Coming in at around 1.26 GB on the iPhone 6s, with a build number of 16A5288q, this first beta comes packed with much-needed improvements and long-awaited features such as Group Facetime with up to 32 people, new Memoji, added Animoji, Native RAW Photo Editing, Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time management, and so much more! Let’s dive in!

The surprisingly stable first Beta contains many new features and improvements that’ll be listed and touched upon below.

  • Group Facetime with up to 32 people will now be an option on iOS 12. Rather than using third-party apps, it is possible to natively host a large yet dynamic call where each speaker is able to receive individual attention without being overshadowed. This is due to an automatic response by the software that increases the size of the current speaker’s video stream to aid attention and comprehension of what is being said. Facetime UI is also redesigned for simplicity and ease of use.
  • Facetime and Camera Overlays are quirky details able to be added during calls or in the messages or camera app. Such overlays include stickers, text, drawings, Animoji’s or new Memoji’s.
  • Memojis are Apple’s attempt at customizable Animojis that are representative of actual people. They follow the same technological process that rendering Animojis requires, but instead they’re just customizable human-like Animojis. However, I was unable to test these out since a majority of testing occurs on an iPhone 6s.
  • Grouped Notifications, a feature previously found on iOS 10 and removed on iOS 11, are now found once again on iOS 12. This feature is immensely appreciated as it removes so much clutter from the Notification Center.
  • Screen Time is a new feature in the Settings app that allows you to see and control your phone usage time. Also included is the ability to manage your family’s screen time as well. Downtime allows you to have specific hours where you can trigger “timing out of apps”, this is essential to having a healthy relationship with your devices. In addition, you can set time limits for apps, this allows you to have more control over your life and your connections with technology.P1090953.JPGP1090982.JPGP1090955.JPGP1090960.JPGP1090961.JPG
  • Measure allows you to use AR to measure lengths of objects accurately without an actual ruler.P1090971.JPG
  • Siri Shortcuts, although seemingly unpolished in the first beta, will allow you to set Workflow like tasks for Siri. As of right now, Siri Shortcuts is not an app available as shown at WWDC, but is strictly within the Settings app with limited functionality.P1090984.JPG
  • Improved Battery Usage Insights provide greater views on how your battery is being used and how fast your battery is draining. This is provided by updated graphs and more detailed information.P1090987.JPG
  • New Notification Settings allow you to have more control over what notifications you see and when or where you see them. P1090957.JPG
  • Updated Voice Memos UI improved for simplicity and ease of usage, with new features including saving new files with the location that they were recorded at automatically.P1090977.JPG
  • Updated Books UI with a unique font and simplified user experience.P1090991.JPG


As of right now, these were all of the features I was able to test on an iPhone 6s here at Apple Summit. I’m certain that there are many more features hidden on the iPhone X and 8 devices that will be found later on and updated in upcoming posts.

All in all, iOS 12 Developer Beta 1 is extremely stable, even more so than iOS 11 was in its first days. However, It is not recommended that Developer software is installed on daily devices as there is always a risk of malfunction.

All Images via – Elizabeth Sardes

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Elizabeth Sardes

Hello world, I’m Elizabeth! I’m an app developer, t-shirt designer, and Apple News Writer for Apple Summit!

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