As always the iOS update is free and early predictions are that it will be available to download and install on your phone from September 18.
Apple usually makes the iOS update available just after the new iPhones are released, which is happening on September 12 .
So what can you expect from the new iOS? Here are nine new features we can expect.
1. Free speed boost
One of the biggest and most important upgrades to your iPhone or iPad with iOS 12 will be the performance. Faster speeds are promised on all compatible devices but apps will load up to 40 per cent quicker.
Apple also says the keyboard will display faster when you tap a text entry box. That might not seem like a big deal on an iPhone X , but anyone using an older phone may have suffered with this.
Also promised are faster camera load times, which is a big deal when you’re trying to capture kids doing something cute, or an amusing animal.
There are also improvements to on-screen animations. This should give your existing device a more fluid feel and should generally enhance using an Apple phone or tablet day-to-day.
2. New Animoji
There are two changes coming to Apple’s animated emoji this year. The first is the addition of a dinosaur, koala, tiger and a ghost.
The second is the arrival of Memoji, these are Animoji that are designed to look like you. As with Animoji these use the depth sensing hardware on the iPhone to track your facial movements in real time.
Also added to Animoji in iOS 12 is the ability to stick out your tongue or wink and have the animated character do the same.
These obviously only work on the iPhone X and the new, as yet unreleased, iPhone XS and iPhone X Plus. This is because they have the depth-sensing camera needed to do face tracking.
3. Photo upgrades
Apple is really improving the Photos app. The iPhone already looks at your photos and works out what’s in them (try searching cat or dog in the app now). But this is getting a big boost.
When you attend an event with someone the phone will offer you the chance to share photos with them. If someone sends you photos, the phone will be able to suggest images you took at the same time and place for you to send back.
You can also search based on vague memories. For example “Mexican restaurant” will return results for any photos that the phone knows were taken in a Mexican restaurant. You won’t need to remember the name, crucially, which will be very helpful for those with short memories.
Apple’s voice and video app is also getting a big update. You can now have group calls with up to 32 people. This might sound unmanageable, but the video of people on the call are resized as they talk. Everyone else is relegated to smaller windows while they listen.
5. Stickers and photo effects
We’re all used to photo effects, but Apple is adding the ability to use them in FaceTime. You’ll also be able to use text effects – like adding speech bubbles.
If you and your friends all use iPhones then group messages will allow you to include everyone in a FaceTime call.
You can also use Animoji with FaceTime too. Looking a bit sleepy? Just appear as a dinosaur and no one will ever know. You can also download sticker packs in the iMessage store which can also track your face.
6. Augment your reality
You may not have used Augmented Reality yet, but Apple is pushing new features that will make apps using it much more exciting.
Using your phone or tablet camera AR allows game and app developers to augment the real world with alien invaders, pokemon or allow you to see how a new sofa would look in your lounge.
Behind the scenes Apple calls the tools that app creators use “ARKit”. The second version of this will launch with iOS 12 and will allow you to play games with friends, each of you seeing an AR world from your own position.
It’s even possible for games and apps to place AR objects in the real world which you can return to over and over. Your kitchen table might play host to virtual Jenga, with the blocks staying in place until you return.
An area that Android users claim is lacking on Apple devices are the notifications. Apple has clearly been paying attention, because iOS has a load of improvements to how it tells you what’s happening.
Firstly, notifications can now be stacked. So you’ll see one notification from WhatsApp with the others stacked behind it. Tap it and they’ll all expand so you can see everything in one place.
There are also new options for managing notifications. Pressing each will present you with additional options. You can either have further messages delivered quietly, or turn them off. You can also access the iPhone notifications menu here too.
8. Managing your time and your kid’s time
The world has decided that we use our phones too much so both Apple and Google are making changes to iOS and Android that help us stay in control.
A new bedtime mode stops all notifications during the hours you set. You can use your phone as usual, but messages, social media posts and news stories simply won’t appear as notifications.
You’ll also be able to see a breakdown of all the time you spend on your phone. Got a social media problem? Well, iOS 12 will help you see how much Facebooking you’re doing and let you set a time restriction on it, if you like.
For adults looking to manage how kids use phones and tablets there’s the option to set limits on games, apps and websites. You can set app specific limits too, so only 30 minutes of arguing on Twitter per day, or an hour of looking at dogs on Instagram . It’s up to you how you restrict how your family uses their devices.
9. Do not disturb
As well as controlling how you use apps based on time, there are also new options for setting times when you don’t want to be disturbed.
You can even lock out notifications until you reach a certain location. So, for example, once you get to the office or as you move away from home. Great if you want to get some proper downtime from work during your free time.
Will my iPhone, iPad or iPod get iOS 12?
Apple’s supporting a really long list of phones with this update.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 , iPhone 8 Plus
And the following iPads will support iOS 12 too:
iPad Air (2013)
iPad Air 2 (2014)
iPad mini 2 (2013)
iPad mini 3 (2014)
iPad mini 4 (2015)
iPad Pro 12.9 (2015)
iPad Pro 9.7 (2016)
iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)
iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)
And if you have an iPod 6th generation you’ll get the iOS 12 update too.
When can I get iOS 12?
Apple usually launches the new version of iOS on the Tuesday after it announces the new iPhone range. That’s happening on Wednesday 12 Spetember this year. So expect the release on September 18.
How do I get iOS 12?
On launch day your iPhone will detect that the new version is ready. However this process might not be the fastest way and Apple’s download servers get very busy when the new version of iOS launches.
You can check manually by going to settings > general > software update. This should start the checking process on the day and may get you the download before some other people.
It’s a big download though, so you’ll need to be on Wi-Fi when it arrives.
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