Introduction to iOS 12

This document provides a high-level description of some iOS 12 APIs for which Xamarin's preview release provides C# bindings.

To get started building iOS 12 apps with Xamarin, see the getting started guide

ARKit 2

ARKit is the augmented reality framework included with iOS. ARKit 2 allows multiple users to interact with each other in an augmented reality scene, makes it possible to persist objects in space and return to them at a later time, and provides 2D image recognition and tracking and 3D object recognition. iOS 12 also provides AR Quick Look, a way to render usdz AR models in your apps.

Siri shortcuts

Siri shortcuts allow developers to more deeply integrate their applications with Siri. With Siri shortcuts, users can use voice commands to open content or initiate background tasks, or they can initiate these same tasks through shortcuts that Siri suggests on the lock screen.

Core ML 2

Core ML 2 reduces application size through model quantization and flexible models, improves application performance with a new batch prediction API, and uses custom models to support advances in machine learning.

Notification improvements

In iOS 12, grouped notifications make it possible to present user notifications in app or thread-related groupings. Summary text provides further information about a notification group.

Notification content extensions in iOS 12 allow for custom user interfaces and dynamic action buttons.

Natural Language framework

The Natural Language framework enables applications to perform various types of language analysis. For example, it can identify parts of speech and determine the language represented by a block of text.

Vision framework

The Vision framework includes an improved face detector that can detect faces in various orientations. Also, request revisions can select specific Vision framework algorithm revision.

Photo and video APIs

In iOS 12, the portrait segmentation API returns a portrait effects matte – a linear mask that delineates the foreground from the background of a portrait image and is useful in creating various image effects. iOS 12 also makes it is possible to use depth data from the TrueDepth camera for real-time video effects.


iOS 12 makes it easier for users and developers to work with passwords:

  • Password AutoFill and automatic strong passwords make it possible to automatically generate, store, and use strong passwords in iOS applications when signing up for and logging into an application.
  • Security Code AutoFill makes it possible to use SMS-based authentication codes without manual cutting and pasting or memorization.
  • The ASWebAuthenticationSession class streamlines the process of working with federated authentication services.
  • Autofill Credential Provider extensions make it possible for third-party password applications to supply username and passwords to login fields.

HealthKit updates

iOS 11.3 introduced Health Records, which allows users to download their health record information from various healthcare institutions and view it on their iOS devices. iOS 12 adds APIs that allow third-party applications to securely access this data.

iMessage App Presentation Contexts

In iOS 12, iMessage apps support presentation contexts, which allow the apps to run as a normal iMessage app or in the context of a photo or video effect.

Network framework

Network framework, the network stack underlying the URLSession APIs commonly used in iOS applications, is now available as a standalone framework, making it easier to work with TCP, UDP, TLS, IPv4/IPv6, and more.


In iOS 12, third-party apps can deliver maps and turn-by-turn navigation instructions in CarPlay by using the new CarPlay framework.


With iOS 12, Apple has deprecated: