iOS 12 brings many new features to both iPhone and iPad, but before we show you how you can upgrade, we recommend backing up your iPhone or iPad in case anything goes wrong.
To find out the latest news and see what's new, check out 11 of the best new features in iOS 12.
iOS 12 supported devices
Before your hopes are dashed, these are the devices that support iOS 12:
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 5s
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (first and second gen)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Air
- iPad (2017)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad mini 3
- iPad mini 2
- iPod Touch 6th gen
The following devices are not supported on iOS 12: Original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, original iPod touch, iPod touch 2nd-gen, iPod touch 3rd-gen, iPod touch 4th-gen, iPod touch 5th-gen, original iPad. iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPad 4.
iOS 12 beta
Right now, the only way that you can get the iOS 12 developer beta is, rather obviously, if you're a registered Apple developer. This gives developers a chance to use the operating system before release later this year, and allows them to make sure that their apps run perfectly on Apple's new OS.
Sadly, you can't just pretend to be a developer to get access to the beta as you need to sign up to the iOS Developer Program, which costs £79/US$99 per year.
Alternatively, for the more patient among you, you can get the iOS 12 public beta for free. This will be made available before the end of June 2018. We'll update this guide as soon as it's released. In the meantime, you can enroll for the public beta.
To install the developer beta, simply sign in to the iOS Dev Center using the Apple ID you enrolled in the dev program. Once logged in, register your iOS device's UDID number (you can find out how to find your UDID here) and download the appropriate version of iOS 12 for your iOS device.
A zip file should be downloaded - unzip it. Next, open iTunes and plug your iOS device in. Then, hold Shift (or Alt on Mac) and click the Restore button on the device's Summary tab. Browse for the .IPSW file you downloaded, and the iOS 12 developer beta will be installed on your device.
It's unwise to do this on your main iPhone, as beta software is - by definition - unfinished and may contain bugs.
Update apps first
Before you upgrade, there are a couple of housekeeping jobs to do. First, make sure all your apps are updated. Like iOS 11, iOS 12 supports only 64-bit apps.
Also, be sure to sign out of banking apps, or check with your bank if you need to do anything before upgrading.
This is because some apps, particularly financial ones, use a 'digital key' that's locked to the hardware and software, and won't work if you upgrade iOS.
To update apps, open the App Store and tap 'Updates' at the bottom right. By default, updates install automatically, but you can tap 'UPDATE' on any pending updates before upgrading to iOS 12.
Make room for iOS 12
Now check if you have enough free storage space as the update has to temporarily store the download.
You can check how much space is available by tapping Settings > General > Usage. The list of apps will tell you which ones are using up your phone or tablet’s storage. Typically, it will be the Photos app, which is full of your snaps and videos.
You should copy these to your PC and then delete those you don’t need on your device to free up space.
Videos use up the most space, but beware that these aren’t backed up to your iCloud Photo Stream as only photos are included. To back up videos, you need to use iCloud Photo Library, which sounds similar, but synchs all your photos and videos across all your devices. (Hint: it's under iCloud settings on your phone).
Finally, make sure your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is fully backed up to iCloud or your computer via iTunes before performing the update. It's unlikely anything will go wrong, but if it does, you could lose any data that's changed since your last backup such as new contacts, documents, photos, videos and more.
Download iOS 12
When the final version of iOS 12 is released in September 2018, there are two ways to update your iPhone or iPad: over the air (via Wi-Fi) or through iTunes.
The easiest way is over the air. Open the Settings app and go to General > Software Update.
If iOS 12 is available, you'll see the option to download it. If not, just be patient and wait a while before checking again.
When iOS 12 is first released, Apple sends pop-up messages to tell users it's ready to download.
If you don't want to update via Wi-Fi, the other option is to use iTunes.
You'll need to connect your device to a computer running iTunes. You should update iTunes to the latest version (currently 12.6.2) before connecting your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
To do this, launch iTunes and from the Help menu, click Check for Updates.
Once you have the latest iTunes, connect your device, unlock it and tap 'Trust' when asked if you want to trust this computer.
In iTunes, you should display a message saying a software update is available.
If you don't see this, simply click on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch icon, then click the Check for Update button.
You'll be prompted to download and install the update - make sure you don't disconnect your device before the upgrade process is finished.
Your iPad or iPhone will restart and install iOS 12. This can take a while, so be sure to connect its mains charger.
Wait for it to display the passcode screen: you'll need to unlock it and go through a couple of setup screens before you see the Home screen.