Pro Tip: Instant Markup gets way better in iOS 12


This is how it feels to use iOS 12's new Markup tools
This is how it feels to use iOS 12's new Markup tools
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug iOS 12 doesn’t really have any huge new standout features. It’s more a collection of really solid improvements to iOS 11. It sounds odd to say that my favorite new feature is Do Not Disturb during Bedtime, but it’s made a big difference in how I use my iPhone.

Likewise with today’s Pro Tip. iOS markup for screenshots, PDFs and Photos was already good, but new options for the pen tools make it great.

Markup in iOS 12

The pen tool now has opacity and thickness options.
The pen tool now offers opacity and thickness options.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Here’s the new pen in iOS 12’s Markup tools. It’s just like the old pen, only now when you tap it, you can pick from five different tip sizes and an opacity slider. This means that the plain pen tool can become a fat, translucent highlighter or a thin, hard fineliner.

The same is true for the highlighter and pencil tools:

The pencil is also enhanced the same way in iOS 12 markup.
The pencil is enhanced in the same way.
Photo: Cult of Mac

These new tools also carry across to the drawing tools in the Notes app. If you have an Apple Pencil, you probably love the Notes app, because it is the fastest drawing app on the iPad. It has very low latency, making it feel like you really are drawing with a pen on paper. Now, with custom opacity and different thicknesses, it’s a full-fledged drawing app.


Finally, Markup gets a color picker. You’re no longer limited to just four colors, plus black and white. Now there’s an extra circle at the end of the color section. Tap it, and you see a color picker with a 12×10 grid of swatches. Pick any of these, for any tool — highlighter, pen, or pencil.

The new iOS 12 color picker 120 new shades to choose from!
The new picker offers 120 new colors and shades to choose from!
Photo: Cult of Mac

As I said, it’s a small change, but a big one in terms of how it will affect your use of Markup. And that’s the case with pretty much everything in iOS 12. For instance, did you ever run a beta of iOS that made your iPhone and iPad run faster? That’s iOS 12.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on July 25, 2018, during iOS 12 beta testing. It has been updated for the public iOS 12 release.


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