If you can’t wait until Spring to enjoy the new features of iOS 12 for iPhone and iPad, you can join Apple’s Beta Software Program and download the new software today.
When you join the program, you get a chance to enroll your device to download the beta software, try out the latest features and also provide feedback directly to Apple using a dedicated app on your device.
To get started head over to the Apple Beta Software page using the device you’d like to use and sign in with your Apple ID.
Both the program and the software are free.
When you’ve signed in you’ll be asked to install a profile on your iOS device and then you’ll need to restart the device.
Once your iPhone or iPad restarts, go to Settings > General > Software Update and you’ll see the iOS 12 Beta Software ready to install.
Apple advises users not to install the iOS 12 Beta on their primary device because it is still in beta so it’s possible that not all features will be available to all users and some of your apps might not work.
Before installing the beta you should also back up your device as well.
Tech Guide has been running iOS 12 for a couple of weeks now and it has been extremely stable. We haven’t experienced any glitches or crashes.
Once you’re enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program and have iOS 12 on your device, here are the features you will find:
A new feature called Shortcuts will allow users to assign a string of tasks that can be unlocked with a voice command.
With Shortcuts (found in the settings) these actions can be grouped together and assigned a key phrase so Siri can act on them.
Siri can also make proactive suggestions like reminding you to call people on their birthdays and send a message if you’re running late.
iOS 12 also includes Screen Time which will take note of the amount of time you pick up your iPhone and how much time you spend on your apps.
Users can also set limits in the amount of time they can spend on each app and each type of apps.
Parents can also use this feature to more accurately monitor the apps their children use and also set screen limits.
Bringing experiences into the real world will be improved with upgraded augmented reality capabilities.
An exciting new development will be multi-user support where up to four people can share the same augmented reality experience.
These new capabilities are now possible thanks to a new USDZ file format for easily creating, editing and sharing AR content.
This is a new app that takes advantage of the augmented reality technology and the USDZ file format to be able to measure objects and detect rectangles to give you an accurate measurement.
It’s now easier to search your images by object and scenes along with moments and places.
You can now use multiple search terms to find the image you’re looking for.
A new For You tab brings up featured photos of the day and remind you of images you took on this day in the years gone by.
There are also sharing suggestions which will recommend images to share as well as the people to share them with based on the faces in your photos.
With iOS 12, it is now possible to group notifications by apps and topics so you’re not overrun by numerous single notifications.
This makes it even easier to manage and delete a number of notifications at the same time.
There is even a new Do Not Disturb During Bedtime mode which can mute all your notifications so you’re not overwhelmed with a long list of notifications that may drag you further out of sleep if you happen to glance at your iPhone during the night.
We already know Animojis, well now we have Memojis which allow you to create an animated version of yourself to share in messages and add effects in FaceTime.
Users can personalise their Memoji to get their look right and also add things like glasses and headwear.
Both the existing Animojis and the new Memojis also come with tongue detection so you can stick your tongue out at your phone and be replicated on your animation.
Within messages, users cannot only add animojis (and there are four new ones – a friendly ghost, a koala bear, a tiger and a T Rex) but also include fun effects to their image.
FaceTime is one of the most popular features on iPhones, iPads and Macs and it has now been upgraded for group calls.
Now up to 32 people can chat at the same time and can be seen through their own tile on your screen.
When a person speaks their tile becomes larger and more prominent.
Many of the native apps that are found on iOS will also be updated.
These include Apple News which has been redesigned to easily catch up with the biggest stories as well as drill down into your favourite news sites.
The Stocks app has also been reimagined and now includes the top business stories as well.
Voice Memos has been rebuilt to make it even easier to use and will now be included on the iPad for the first time. iCloud sync will now provide access to your voice memos from anywhere.
iBooks has been renamed Apple Books and has also had a refresh and the new look store now makes it even easier to discover new books.
The new Reading Now feature also allows users to pick up right where they left off.
CarPlay has also been enhanced with support for third-party map apps including Waze and Google Maps.