All your questions about the new iOS 12, answered
It’s September, and that means your iPhone is about to get a shiny new OS. Whether you always install new updates the minute they roll out, or put them off as long as you can, you’ve probably got questions. Like, what’s the release date for the newest iOS version? Will it work on your iPhone? And most importantly, is it worth upgrading at all? We have the answers, so read on.
Q: What is the iOS 12 release date?
A: The official release date for iOS 12 was September 17, soon after the iPhone event. The latest iOS release follows the usual schedule: iOS 9 was out on September 16, iOS 10 — on September 13, and iOS 11 — on September 19.
Q: How to update my iPhone’s iOS?
A: It’s super easy and takes up to 15 minutes. Just follow the steps below.
- Plug in your iPhone and connect it to Wi-Fi
- Go to Settings > General > Software Update
- You should see iOS 12 there, tap Download and Install below it
- Confirm using your passcode or TouchID
- Agree to the Terms & Conditions
- Wait a few minutes
Important: Make sure you back up your iPhone before installing the update. That way, you’ll be able to roll back if something goes wrong or if you don’t like the new system.
For more details and helpful tips, check out our guide to iOS update preparation and troubleshooting.
Q: What if I have no space to download the update?
A: Nobody knows for sure how much space iOS 12 will occupy, but here’s a rough estimate. An iOS update typically weighs anywhere between 1.5 GB and 2 GB. Plus, you need about the same amount of temporary space to complete the installation. That adds up to 4 GB of available storage, which can be a problem if you have a 16 GB device. To free up several gigabytes on your iPhone, try doing the following.
Delete unneeded photos
Your Photos app probably has dead weight you can unload: multiple shots of the same scenes, dozens of selfies you took to pick the best one, long-forgotten screenshots, photos of whiteboards from meetings — the list goes on. Weeding them out takes a lot of time, but if you download Gemini Photos on your iPhone, you'll be done way faster.
Important: Make sure you empty the Recently Deleted folder in Photos after you’re done removing your pics with Gemini Photos.
Delete the heaviest apps
Some apps accumulate tremendous amounts of data over time (looking at you, Facebook). There’s no way to purge the data and keep the app, so delete the biggest space hoggers and reinstall them after you update the iOS. Just make sure you have all your logins at hand, because you don’t want to get locked out of your accounts.
Q: What are the new iOS features?
A: This time there are fewer redesigns, and the overall look of Apple’s new iOS remains similar to that of iOS 11. However, you can count on better performance, a whole range of usability improvements, and some neat AR tricks. Plus, Apple made a few baby steps towards fighting smartphone addiction. Intrigued? Let’s dive into it in more detail.
Smoother, better, faster, stronger
The first thing you’ll love about iOS 12 is how much faster everything is. Transitions, animations — all the little things you never noticed. But you do notice once you switch from the earlier system to the new one.
Less intrusive notifications
Do you ever wake up at 5 a.m., reach for your phone to check the time, and then see a Mail notification saying “I need this ASAP”? Your iPhone can ruin your sleep in so many ways — but not with Do Not Disturb. Now the mode not only snoozes sounds, but also hides notifications from your lock screen, so they don't distract you during the night. Plus, you can switch on Do Not Disturb while you're at a certain location or attending a specific event from your calendar.
Better photo management
Photos got a lot more attention in this update. The new app design puts default albums like Selfies and Panoramas out of your way, so you can focus on moments and the albums you created. Search and sharing got sharpened: you can find photos by places, and iOS 12 will prompt you to share the pics with people who are in them. And finally, some great news for camera photographers: now you can easily import RAWs and edit them right on your iPhone (A9 chip or later).
Tracking time spent in apps
Are you always on Instagram and find it hard to cut down? The latest iOS is on it. A new feature called Screen Time shows you exactly how much time you spend in apps and allows you to set a limit for each. That way, if you resolve to spend less than an hour per day on social media, you’ll finally be able to make it happen.
AR gets more real in iOS 12 and receives even more real-world applications. Major businesses and developers have already created apps to preview things in your apartment before buying them, visualize human anatomy, or chase dinosaurs down your street. And now augmented reality objects better reflect the surroundings and can be shared via Messages or Mail.
Measuring stuff with your iPhone
The new Measure app lets you see the dimensions of objects by looking at them through your iPhone’s camera. A less sexy use for AR than games and learning apps, but boy, is it helpful! No more wondering if that rug is the right size — just point your phone at it and know.
Q: Who can upgrade to Apple iOS 12?
A: Basically, if your iPhone can run iOS 11, it can be upgraded to iOS 12. Compatible devices include iPhone 5s to iPhone X; iPads from iPad mini 2 to 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation; and iPod Touch 6th generation. Here’s the full list of upgradable devices if you want to make sure.
That’s all folks, hope this post cleared away any confusion you had about Apple iOS 12. But in case you didn't know, that's not the most recent version of the iPhone's operating system. Check out what's new in iOS 13, which was released a year later, in 2019.