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iOS 12 tidbits: 5 little things you might have missed

We’ve all been living with iOS 12 for more than a month, now. Indeed, those of us who are signed up to Apple’s beta program have been using a version of iOS 12 for much longer.

That’s more than enough time to bed in with Apple’s latest mobile OS and really start to understand how it ticks. It’s also sufficient time to pick up on a number of smaller features and flourishes that don’t always grab the headlines – but which make our lives a tiny bit better all the same.

Here, then, are five little things you might have missed in iOS 12.

Face ID alternate appearance

Okay, so this little feature did attract some headlines in the techier corners of the web. We even provided a handy guide. But being able to register an ‘alternative appearance’ is a massively useful provision.

Ostensibly, this is useful for expanding Face ID’s remit to include a different view of your face – perhaps your sunglasses routinely screw with Face ID, or you need to wear a mask for work. More practically, it enables you to register a partner or close family member to be able to access your device with their face.

Ask Siri what your passwords are

Remembering what your various web passwords are can be an absolute bind. Apple already helps out hugely with its Keychain management tool, but sometimes you don’t need the full autofill treatment – you just need to know what your password is.

In iOS 12, you can simply ask Siri for that information. Your iPhone will then seek biometric authentication, and will quickly supply you with the relevant characters. Give it a try with Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, or any other service that your iPhone is logged into.

Easier two-step authentication

Two-step authentication is a great way to make all of your online services more secure. But it’s always been a bit of a pain in iOS, requiring you to jump into Messages and copy or memorize an authentication code, then jump back into the relevant app to paste or input it.

iOS 12 will now recognize such messages when they arrive, and will provide an instant paste-in code above the keyboard in the relevant app.

Force-closing apps much easier

Original iPhone X owners will recall what a long-winded process force-closing apps was in iOS 11. You had to swipe up a little from the bottom of the screen to bring up the app-switching menu, then long-press the app you wanted to close, then swipe to close.

Here in iOS 12, that process is way more natural. Just open the app-switching menu and swipe away. It’s basically the same way it worked before in non-iPhone X devices, but we’re glad Apple finally came around nonetheless.

Apple Music lyric search

We’ve all had those occasions where a random song pops clearly into our head, but we have no clue what it is. Tracking down that song can be a laborious process.

In iOS 12, Apple Music makes your detective work a lot easier. Just type a portion of the lyric into the Apple Music search field and hit the Search button, and all will be revealed.