In Depth

iOS 12: UK release date, new features, compatible devices and where to download

Latest smartphone software is tipped to dramatically speed up older devices

The full version of Apple’s new iOS 12 operating system is available for iPhone and iPad users to download from today. 

The eagerly awaited system was first announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June, and is tipped to significantly improve the performance of older devices. It also features inbuilt tools to help users who want to cut down the amount of time they spend on their smartphones.

Apple launched a beta programme at the end of June so that users could trial an incomplete version of the software, in order to iron out any bugs ahead of its global launch. 

With the tried-and-tested final version now available, here is everything you need to know about  iOS 12:

UK release date and how to update

The iOS 12 launches at 6pm UK time on 17 September.

Updating existing iPhones and iPads to free of change and can be done at home. Before downloading the software, Apple recommends that users make a copy of their device’s content and settings by backing up to the iCloud service or through a computer that has iTunes installed. 

To update, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Settings app on your device and select the General tab
  • Press the Software Update button 
  • If the update is available, you should be given the option to download the software 

Bear in mind that it may take a few hours for the update option to appear on your device following today’s release. 

What devices are compatible with iOS 12? 

According to the Daily Express, the devices compatible with iOS 12 are as follows:

  • iPhone - iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE and iPhone 5s
  • iPad - 12.9in iPad Pro, 10.5in iPad Pro, 9.7in iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2
  • iPod - iPod touch 6th generation
What’s new on iOS 12?

One of the standout features is that iOS 12 should greatly speed up the performance of older iPhones. 

Apple’s earlier handsets sometimes slow down with software updates, but iOS 12 is tipped to boost the time it takes to launch an app by up to 40%, and the camera mode by up to 70%, The Sun reports.

Other new additions include a mode that allows users to set time limits for each app, The Verge says. Once the set limit has been reached, iOS 12 will show a “time’s up” message in the centre of the screen. 

Although more time can then be requested on the app, it is hoped that the feature will help users reduce their smartphone use. 

Apple has also improved the accuracy of its voice assistant Siri, and introduced more customisation options for animated emojis, MacRumors adds. 

Meanwhile, the Maps app has been given a redesign that incorporates “more intricately detailed” graphics, says Digital Trends. For instance, maps for parks and forests have different gradients of green, which appears to show the area’s topography.  

Only maps of San Francisco have been revamped as yet, but Apple is expected to roll out the graphics overhaul to locations across the world over the next 18 months, the tech site says.

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