iOS 12: Ahead of Time.

With the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR & Apple Watch Series 4 being announced last Wednesday, it was hardly surprising to see the rumours becoming reality.

After weeks of leaks, hype and anticipation, iOS 12, along with watchOS 5, were finally released after a few months of extensive beta testing.

The speed of the software has dramatically improved the iPhone 7 I’ve been using and I have noticed that a lot of the pre-installed apps have been given a UI (User Interface) overhaul, with some app icons changing completely.

The Photos app has seen some remarkable improvements, and photos, videos, selfies, bursts and screenshots have all been separated into their own designated categories to make organising photographs a lot easier.

Some apps have received complete UI overhauls, and the Voice Memos app has now gone universal by being added to the iPad for the first time since it was launched. Meanwhile, iBooks has officially been renamed to Apple Books.

Safari has received some updates, as icons for tabs have finally been added, though AutoFill for passwords has been improved, as you can now sign in to websites with your email address and password automatically filled in for you if you saved your account passwords to AutoFill.

FaceTime has finally received a much-needed upgrade, as you can now do a group FaceTime video call with up to 32 people at once.

For those of you with an iPhone X, the iPhone X will receive four new Animoji character heads, all of which come bundled with the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max & iPhone XR.

Screen Time is now a thing, as it will tell you how often you pick up your phone to open certain apps you may use frequently (i.e. Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter), and you can now set a time limit for the apps you use on a regular basis, so if, for instance, you’re the power-hungry user who uses social media frequently or plays games on your iPhone, iPod touch & iPad, you can now limit how often you can use those apps every day.

Notification Centre received an upgrade, as all your text messages are now grouped together (i.e. WhatsApp & iMessage), social media apps will group notifications as they come in over every hour, and if your iPhone has 3D Touch, you can now clear all notifications with one long press and sweep away notifications that you don’t want to see or are not interested in.

iOS 12 is compatible with the following devices, as listed below:


  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • 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


  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad 6th generation
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2

iPod touch

  • iPod touch (6th Generation)

Below are the official release notes for iOS 12:

iOS 12 Release Notes
  • iOS 12 brings performance improvements and exciting new features to iPhone and iPad. Photos introduces new features to help you rediscover and share the photos in your library, Memoji — a new, more customisable Animoji — make Messages more expressive and fun, Screen Time helps you and your family understand and make the most of the time spent on devices, Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri, augmented reality becomes even more engaging with the ability for developers to create shared AR experiences, and new privacy features help protect you from being tracked on the web. This update introduces new features and improvements to:
  • iOS has been enhanced for a faster and more responsive experience across the system
  • All supported devices see improved performance, going back to iPhone 5s and iPad Air
  • Camera launches up to 70 per cent faster, the keyboard appears up to 50 per cent faster, and typing is more responsive*
  • Apps launch up to twice as fast when your device is under heavy workload*
  • New For You tab helps you discover great photos in your library with Featured Photos, Effect Suggestions and more
  • Sharing Suggestions proactively recommend sharing photos taken at events with the people who are in them
  • Search enhancements make it easier to find your photos with intelligent suggestions and multiple keyword support
  • Search for photos based on the place, business name or event where you were when you took them
  • Improved camera import with faster performance and a new large preview mode
  • RAW support for editing images
  • Portrait mode improvements preserve fine detail between subject and background when using Stage Light and Stage Light Mono effects
  • QR codes are highlighted in the camera frame, making them easier to scan
  • Memoji, a new, more customisable Animoji, make Messages more expressive with personalised characters that are diverse and fun
  • Animoji now also include T-Rex, ghost, koala and tiger
  • Make Memoji and Animoji wink and stick out their tongue
  • New camera effects bring Animoji, filters, text effects, iMessage sticker packs and shapes to the photos and videos you capture in Messages
  • Animoji recordings can now capture up to 30 seconds
Screen Time
  • Screen Time provides detailed information and tools to help you and your family find the right balance of time spent with apps and websites
  • See the time spent in apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received and how often devices are picked up
  • App limits help you set the amount of time you or your child can spend in apps and on websites
  • Screen Time for kids lets parents manage how their child uses iPhone and iPad from their own iOS devices
Do Not Disturb
  • Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location or calendar event
  • Do Not Disturb During Bedtime hides all notifications from your Lock screen while you sleep
  • Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
  • Instant Tuning gives you control over your notification settings from the Lock screen
  • New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Centre without interrupting you
  • Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri
  • Add shortcuts using the “Add to Siri” button in supported apps, or in Settings > Siri and Search
  • Siri suggests shortcuts on the Lock screen and in Search
  • Get motorsports results, schedules, stats and standings for Formula 1, Nascar, Indy 500 and MotoGP
  • Search for photos by time, location, people, topic or recent trips to find relevant photos and Memories in Photos
  • Translate phrases in more languages, with support for over 40 language pairs
  • Check facts about celebrities, such as when they were born, and ask questions about food, including calories and nutrient content
  • Turn the torch on or off
  • More natural and expressive voice now available in Irish English, South African English, Danish, Norwegian, Cantonese and Mandarin (Taiwan)
Augmented Reality
  • Shared experiences in ARKit 2 let developers create innovative AR apps you can experience together with friends
  • Persistence enables developers to save and reload experiences from where you left off
  • Object detection and image tracking gives developers new tools to recognise real-world objects and track images while they move through space
  • AR Quick Look extends AR throughout iOS, letting you view AR objects with built-in apps like News, Safari and Files, and share them with friends with iMessage and Mail
  • New augmented reality app to measure objects and spaces
  • Draw lines across surfaces or in free space to measure, and tap a line’s label to see more information
  • Automatically measure rectangular objects
  • Capture, share and mark up screenshots of your measurements
Privacy & Security
  • Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
  • Suppresses ad retargeting by reducing advertisers’ ability to identify iOS devices uniquely
  • Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
  • Reused passwords are flagged in Settings > Passwords & Accounts
  • Security code AutoFill presents one-off security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
  • Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
  • Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device
Apple Books
  • All-new design that makes discovering and enjoying books and audiobooks easy and fun
  • Reading Now makes it simple to get back to the book you’re currently reading or find great recommendations for what to read next
  • Add books to the new Want to Read collection to keep track of what you’d like to read next
  • The Book Store makes it easy to find your next favourite read with new and popular selections from our Apple Books editors and recommendations chosen just for you
  • The new Audiobooks store helps you find immersive stories and informative non-fiction books narrated by your favourite authors, actors and celebrities
Apple Music
  • Search now supports lyrics so you can use a few of the words to find a song
  • Artist pages have an easier-to-browse design with a personalised station of any artist’s music
  • The new Friends Mix is a playlist of songs you’ll love from everything your friends are listening to
  • New charts to show you the daily top 100 songs in countries around the world
Apple News
  • Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics
  • The new sidebar on iPad and Channels tab on iPhone make it easy to jump straight to your favourite publications and discover new ones
  • All-new design lets you easily view stock quotes, interactive charts and top news on iPhone and iPad
  • Top Stories section includes articles selected by Apple News editors to highlight the latest news driving the market
  • Read Apple News stories directly in the app, formatted to look great on iPhone and iPad
  • Watchlist includes colour-coded sparklines that let you see daily performance at a glance
  • See an interactive chart for every ticker symbol, plus key details including after-hours price, trading volume and more
Voice Memos
  • All-new design with improved ease of use
  • iCloud keeps your recordings and edits in sync across all your devices
  • Available on iPad with support for both portrait and landscape orientation
  • Get notified when films and TV programmes are available to watch in Up Next
  • Share your favourite films, TV programmes and sporting events with universal links
Apple Podcasts
  • Now supports chapters for shows that include them
  • Skip 30 seconds or to the next chapter with forward and back buttons in your car or on your headphones
  • Easily manage new episode notifications from the Listen Now screen
  • Live Listen now works with AirPods to help you hear more clearly
  • RTT phone calling now works with AT&T
  • Speak Selection now supports using the Siri voice to speak text that you have selected
Other features and improvements
  • Camera effects in FaceTime transform your look in real time
  • CarPlay adds support for third-party navigation apps
  • On supported campuses, use contactless student ID cards in Wallet to access buildings and pay with Apple Pay
  • Website icons can appear in tabs on iPad by enabling them in Settings > Safari
  • Weather includes air quality index in supported regions
  • Quickly swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go home on iPad
  • Swipe down from the top right to access Control Centre on iPad
  • Mark Up includes a palette of additional colours and options to change line width and opacity for each tool
  • Battery usage chart in Settings now shows your usage for the last 24 hours or 10 days, and you can tap a bar to see app use for that period of time
  • On devices without 3D Touch, touch and hold the keyboard Space bar to turn your keyboard into a trackpad
  • Maps adds support for indoor maps for airports and shopping centres with indoor positioning in China
  • New definition dictionary in Hebrew, and bilingual dictionaries in Arabic and English, and Hindi and English
  • New English thesaurus
  • Automatic software updates allow iOS updates to be installed automatically overnight
* Testing conducted by Apple in May 2018 using iPhone 6 Plus supporting normal peak performance, pre-release iOS 11.4 and pre-release iOS 12. Keyboard tested using Safari; Camera tested by swiping from the Lock screen. Performance varies based on specific configuration, content, battery health, usage, software versions and other factors.
Some features may not be available in all countries or all areas; for more information, visit: and
For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:


The software has been mostly stable all throughout the public beta and iOS 12 itself is one of the most stable releases to date, and some minor problems with an app or two freezing at the beginning of the public beta were resolved straightaway and all throughout the public beta, I had absolutely no problems with iOS 12.

I was able to continue performing daily tasks as normal and there was a noticeable improvement in overall performance and speed, so the software itself is worth downloading and installing and will dramatically boost the speed and overall performance of your device.

If you tested the public beta of iOS 12 before today’s release, please tell me whether you had any problems with the software at all and if you didn’t have any problems with the software and instead found it boosted the performance of your device and added new features I might not be aware of, please tell me below. I would love to hear your responses and I hope you enjoyed my review of Apple’s definitive, new iteration, iOS 12.

Alex Smithson

© Apple, Cisco 2018

© The release notes for iOS 12, the software, the iDevice/Watch trademarks and the iOS trademark are all copyright of Apple & Cisco. Full copyright goes to the respective owners.

Disclaimer: The photo shown in the image above this review is owned by me, was taken on a Nikon D3300 DSLR and I’ve reviewed the software based on what I tested, came across and experienced during the pre-release stages (public beta version) up to the final release build.


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