To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

iOS 12 release date: iOS 12 is out. Here’s how to install it

Our guide to iOS 12, including installing and enjoying iOS 12

iOS 12 is finally here and we’re buzzing. After a beta trial period, all Apple users are now able to download the full version iOS 12, and take advantage of all of the delightful updates it has to offer.

The final version of iOS 12 was released Monday 17 September, after being officially announced alongside the iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4 at Apple’s autumn keynote on 12 September. Apple typically releases their new operating systems at 1pm Eastern time (US), so expect it at 6pm in the UK.

Highlights of the new operating system include an option called screen time, which shows you how much time you’ve been spending on various apps. There are also improvements to notifications and Siri, as well as Memoji – similar to Animoji that came with iOS 11, only now with avatars of yourself instead of animals.

Just follow out step-by-step guide down below to get iOS 12 and marvel at those updates as well as a number of security updates, augmented reality and many more improvements that the new OS has in store.

iOS 12: Everything you need to know

iOS 12 release date and installation: How to install iOS 12

To get the iOS 12 you’ll need an iPhone 5S or newer, iPad mini 2 or iPad Air or newer, or a sixth-generation iPod touch. Simply follow these steps to install:

  • Open settings
  • Tap ‘General’
  • Tap ‘Software Update’

After doing this, your device will check for the update and, if iOS 12 is available, the download will begin. Then just sit back and relax – it won’t be long until your iPhone or iPad has a whole new lease of life with a completely new operating system!

Looking even further into the future, it could be a while until we see iOS 13. According to a report on Bloomberg, Apple’s software lead Craig Federighi told his team of engineers that, after iOS 12, new updates to Apple’s mobile operating system would take place every two years. 

The idea behind such a move hasn’t been explained, but it’s likely so Apple engineers have more time to implement larger features without having to cram them into earlier updates instead.

iOS 12: Power

The tagline for Apple’s iOS 12 appears to be, tellingly, “More power to you”. In a preliminary introduction, the company explains that iOS 12 is designed to make your iPhone/iPad experience faster, more responsive and, bemusingly, “more delightful”. 

iOS 12: Performance 

In keeping with the “power” theme, iOS 12 promises to speed up your everyday tasks (the ones conducted on the iPhone/iPad, that is). Quotidien tasks like opening the camera and typing on the keyboard will become snappier and more immediate. 

Promisingly, Apple has confirmed that multitasking on iPhones and iPads using the software will become faster, and is set to boast “significant improvements”. If your hardware is a little dated (think iPhone 5s or iPad Air), never fear – this update extends back as far as those virtually prehistoric pieces of kit.

Apple have also said that the iPhone 6 Plus will be 40% faster at launching apps, while other stats released by the company have included: 

  • Up to 70% faster swipe to Camera
  • Up to 50% faster keyboard display
  • Up to two times faster app launch under heavy workload (i.e. multitasking)

iOS 12: FaceTime

In a revolutionary if ever so slightly impractical upgrade, iOS 12 now permits you to FaceTime up to 32 people at once. If this sounds logistically nightmarish, a clever “tile” system diverts this: the “tile” of the person speaking gets larger automatically, so you can always keep track of the conversation. 

You can join an active Group FaceTime at any time, or start one from a group thread in messages. That intercontinental extended family reunion just went digital…

iOS 12: Emojis 

Emojis go high-tech with iOS 12. Memojis allow you to create an emoji just for yourself, although this functionality is reserved for the iPhone X. Your Memoji can be made to match your mood and personality. In a Sims-like twist, you can make as many Memojis/alter egos as you like, and use them in Messages and FaceTime.

Meanwhile, four new Animojis have been introduced with iOS 12 – the koala, tiger, ghost, and T-Rex. Again, available for iPhone X users only, these creatures are expressive – they can wink, stick their tongues out, and conjured up in Messages threads and FaceTime calls alike. 

iOS 12: Minor design tweaks

A handful of changes concerning glyphs and icons in the settings have also been introduced. The new beta features updates to the News buttons, with the ‘Today’, ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Channel’ button all slightly redesigned. News also gets a new browse tab an sidebar.

There are also new icons in the Albums tab, and the ‘Use as wallpaper’ glyph has changed. Meanwhile, the Stocks app features neater icons as well as integrated charts and headlines.

In Apple Music the search bar now prompts you to search for ‘Artists, songs, lyrics and more’, while trending music searches can also now be found below the box. The pause button, which was slightly off-centre previously, has been centred too. Elsewhere, there are new sound effects in Facetime.

iOS 12: Augmented Reality

It’s the tech craze du jour, so it only makes sense that Apple would include some augmented-reality (AR) functionality in iOS 12. 

ARKit 2 means developers can create more immersive AR experiences at their fingertips. Proud of your creation? iOS 12 allows multiple people to experience the AR at the same time. You can send your creations via Messages and Mail.

Not forgetting the eminently practical potential of AR, a new app in iOS called Measure allows you to measure real-world objects just by pointing your camera at them. Perfect pre-Ikea preparation. 

iOS 12: Screen Time

It’s an update that’s certainly splitting opinions. Screen Time is a system which purports to make you “more aware of how you and your kids use your devices”. 

It’s an analytics system presented via a characteristically streamlined interface, showing you how long, for example, your longest continuous iPhone/iPad session was, and how long you used it after your regular bedtime. 

Users can place limits on how long they use each app for, with social media apps providing an easy and – we imagine – popular target for these. You also receive data on which your “most used” apps were. The information, if troubling to some at first, can help users keep track of, and make the most out of, how they choose to spend time on their iPhones and iPads. 

iOS 12: Notifications 

iOS 12 permits much easier control of your notifications, allowing you to manage and reduce interruptions throughout the day. Siri offers insight on how to manage these, based on your past record of interaction with them. 

Do Not Disturb can also be set up for a limited amount of time – a single hour to cover a meeting, or until you leave one particular location. 

iOS 12: Photos

Given the exceptional quality of iPhone cameras, iOS 12 updates to photo sharing and photo search are very welcome additions. There’s a For You tab, which curates the best moments from your photo library and suggests sharing the snaps with the people in them. 

Searching for pictures has never been easier, either. Before you even start typing away, there’s a suggested page of recent events, people and places. You can also refine results by adding multiple keywords – think “art”, “beaches” and so on. 

iOS 12: Siri Shortcuts

Siri now wields the capacity to pair your daily routines with third-party apps, in order to streamline your life and save you time. For example, if your daily commute involves picking up a large latte en route to work, Siri suggests when to place your order via the lockscreen. 

Users can also design their own shortcuts using the new Shortcuts app, including personal voice-activated ones. 

Other Siri upgrades include the ability to translate over 40 language pairs, recite motorsports results and standings on command, and also being able to give things like food knowledge and celebrity facts when asked.

iOS 12: Privacy

One of Apple’s core philosophies is that privacy is a fundamental human right, and iOS 12 certainly doesn’t shirk this moral responsibility. iOS has always come equipped with built-in encryption and on-device intelligence, in addition to a roster of other tools that allow users to share what they want when they want to. 

This has all been maximised for iOS 12: Safari stops Share buttons and comment widgets from tracking users without their permission, and also stops advertisers from amassing your device’s unique characteristics; this means they won’t be able to re-target ads to you across the web. Immensely satisfying.

Read more

News Hub