iOS 12 release date, features, news and rumours: Latest iOS will launch on 17 September

iPhone 8

iOS 12, Apple's new operating system for the iPhone and iPad, will be officially launched on 12 September, following a developer beta that launched back in June.

As the name suggests, this is the 12th iteration of the mobile operating system, succeeding the current version, iOS 11. Some key improvements have been confirmed, which users and developers alike will welcome. Read on to find out the latest news and rumours about the next version of iOS.

iOS 12 news

12/09/2018: iOS 12 will be generally available from 12 September

Apple launched not one, two, but three new versions of the iPhone at a special 'Gather round' event hosted today. A raft of enhancements to the devices were also showcased, including beefed-up battery life, sophisticated camera functionality and advancements to the processor technologies used.

watch Series 4 was also announced in addition to Apple detailing its plans to be a more environmentally friendly company from production and use right the way through to device end of life.

The event was jam-packed full of news, with a lack of iPad updates as expected by many. However, towards the end of the event, Apple's CEO Tim Cook confirmed that two of the OS updates talked about at WWDC back in June, iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, would be available on 17 and 24 September respectively.

15/08/2018: Apple rolls back iOS beta update after it crashes devices

Apple has withdrawn the latest iOS 12 beta update after it crashed devices and prevented people from being able to log into the lock screen.

The company was forced to stop sending out the iOS 12 beta 7 OTA when testers of the upcoming phone platform reporting various bugs and problems that essential bricked their iPhones. Luckily, some were able to find fixes, restoring their device via iTunes to a previous version of the software.

YouTuber Michael Gillig said: "iOS 12 Beta 7 just BRICKED my iPhone X. Can't turn on after trying EVERYTHING. And not detected by iTunes," although shortly after he said he's managed to rectify the issue by holding the power button down for five minutes and then it was detected by iTunes.

Although Apple has stopped pushing the update out automatically, users are still able to install the OTA beta 7 testing software manually, by downloading the IPSW file from its developer website and installing it on their device.

Apple is said to be working on a fix for the problems caused in the update and although it hasn't revealed when it might roll out another update, any significant delay could prevent the final version becoming available on time.

This isn't the first time Apple beta testers have come up against problems in the beta builds of the software. Group Facetime, which was one of the headline features of iOS 12 will now not launch with the update because of major problems with its functionality. Apple said in a statement "[the feature] has been removed from the initial release of iOS 12 and will ship in a future software update later this fall."

31/7/2018: Newly released iOS 12 beta updates iPhone glyph designs

A new iOS 12 developer beta is now available, introducing a handful of new changes mostly concerning glyphs and icons in the settings.

The new beta, reviewed on 9to5Mac, has updates to the News buttons, with 'Today', 'Spotlight' and 'Channel button' all slightly redesigned with updated glyphs - the icons used to describe a feature or button within the settings of a phone's operating system.

There are also new icons in the Albums tab, where photo categories have been tweaked with redesigned icons. Also, the 'Use as wallpaper' glyph has been changed.

Tweaks to the stock information tabs are also present, where neater, appropriately sized icons allow more information to appear.

The 'Copy link button' has been corrected so the text now reads 'Copy iCloud link' with a new icon.

Moving on from glyphs, there are new search options in Apple Music; the search bar now prompts you to search for 'Artists, songs, lyrics and more'. Searching for lyrics is a new feature Apple is keen to push as it also has its own new search box. Below the box you can find trending music searches, too.

Did you notice the pause button being slightly off centre when playing music? Probably not, but this new beta has addressed that 'issue' and corrected its 'wonky' pause button.

Continuing with hardly noticeable updates, there are new sound effects on FaceTime that don't add anything to the feature.

Despite the largely superficial changes with Beta 5, there are some worthy changes, such as the battery health no longer being in beta and the 3D touch icons being clearer thanks to a change in contrast.

The full version isn't due till the autumn and iOS 11 had ten updates, so expect some more betas before then with, hopefully, more significant changes.

16/07/2018: Adobe will release a full version of its Photoshop imaging application on iPads next year, with all the features of its desktop counterpart, but with a more user-friendly, made-for-tablet OS, the company has revealed.

Adobe has been hinting at better creative apps for larger-screened tablets for some time and although it hasn't committed to a timeline yet, Scott Belsky, the company's chief of Creative Cloud, told Bloomberg it wants to push the new mobile-centric apps out as fast as possible.

"My aspiration is to get these on the market as soon as possible," Belsky said. "There's a lot required to take a product as sophisticated and powerful as Photoshop and make that work on a modern device like the iPad. We need to bring our products into this cloud-first collaborative era."

Some of the app's new features include the ability to start a design on desktop or tablet and then switch seamlessly between the two, without losing any changes.

Adobe is most likely to offer the app for free to Creative Cloud customers, which has packages starting at 9.98 a month for the Photography Plan or 49.94 for the entire suite of Adobe applications.

Adobe will launch Photoshop CC for iPad at its annual MAX creative conference in October according to Bloomberg, citing "people with knowledge of the plan". However, the publication's sources said engineering delays could still alter the timeline.

10/07/2018: The latest public beta of iOS 12 now includes a beta version of the Siri Shortcuts app, according to reports from MacRumors.

The new app enables developers to build workflow-like shortcuts and link Siri commands to them, meaning that users can talk to their phone and perform various actions.

The new app is based on Workflow, which Apple bought last year. This enables users to create workflows with multiple steps that use first- and third-party apps as well as Apple services and settings in order to simplify tasks.

Users can create Siri Shortcuts to, for example, turn the lights off at night. Users can say "goodnight" and a shortcut can use the Home app to tell various smart lights to switch off.

The beta version of Siri Shortcuts is available through TestFlight, with a "Request" option for access available after logging in to the Developer Center. When installed the app comes with a gallery of ready-to-use options as well as any Workflow shortcuts users of that app created. The pre-loaded shortcuts can be customised for use by anyone.

The Shortcuts app will launch alongside iOS 12 this autumn.

iOS 12 features

Here are all the major new features you can expect when you download iOS 12:

Augmented reality

Apple kicked off WWDC 2018 with a new file format for augmented reality applications that have been developed with animation studio Pixar, called ISDZ.

Users can now measure objects and walls in augmented reality by dragging the viewfinder across an object in the camera frame, an innovation that could see the end of the trusty tape measure.

Apple also announced its second version of its augmented reality developer kit, ARKit 2, which will give developers the ability to create shared experiences where two users on different iPhones can see the same thing when running the same app.

The AR technology also lets users try a neat Lego game that allows the plastic brick-built characters to be brought to life on everyday surfaces through the camera. For example, your children could play with Lego Batman in your living room without leaving you to fear of treading on stray bricks.


FaceTime will now allow 32 users to participate in a conversation, with each person appearing in a tile that grows when they speak. What's more, participants can 'emoji-fy' themselves in a conversation. For photos, sharing and searching have been improved with the app suggesting search options for people, places or categories, and users will be able to search for businesses or place names.

Siri's comeback

Apple's voice assistant has been left for dead in recent years by the brilliance of Alexa and Google Assistant, but iOS 12 might change that. Siri will now be able to add shortcuts to other apps, create phrases to open third-party apps and generally become more useful with the help of machine learning. Granted, the user will have to put most of the work in, but it's probably the best way to tailor the experience because Siri will learn every time it interacts with the user. Also, if you have a house full of IoT gadgets, you can get them ready for your arrival by saying the phrase 'heading home' to Siri.

Animated emojis

After scoring a huge hit last year with iPhone X, Apple have added even more emoji upgrades for the latest iOS. This includes the tongue detection feature, where you wag your tongue and your digital replica does the same, for purposes unknown. New emojis include a ghost, a koala bear, a tiger and a T-rex, just in time for the latest Jurassic Park film. Arguably the best update, although still not really useful, is 'Memoji', where users can create a tiny digital avatar of themselves with choices of hats and other accessories.

Phone interventions?

In somewhat ironic fashion, Apple used its event of new shiny features to tell you how to use your phone less. So, after you've waggled your tongue at your new Memoji, you can turn on a 'Do not disturb' feature to block notifications and avoid further distractions. This section of the event got a big round of applause as the feature will allow you to block notifications at night, turn them off when you are busy and 'Grouped notifications' will block seemingly endless streams of notifications from those family and friends groups you have. Or, you know, you could just put your iPhone in Airplane mode.

Apple has also added the Screen Time app to let you know in detail how you use your iPhone and iPad, monitor how many times you pick it up, what apps you use most and offer limits on certain apps you think you're overdoing it on.

iOS 12 release date

Apple released iOS 12 in beta for developers on 4 June, the same day as WWDC. A public beta arrived on 26 June, before iOS 12 becomes generally available on 17 September.

iOS 12 availability

iOS is only available on Apple mobile devices, which is to say iPhones and iPads, and some older models won't receive the update, although which ones we can't yet predict.

Unlike Android, however, all eligible mobile devices will be able to download iOS 12 at the same time.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.