New iOS 12 features are about to change your iPhone and iPad, thanks to the update that was announced at the very start of the Apple WWDC 2018 keynote.
You can get the iOS 12 developer beta now (as we’ll explain below), wait for a likely public beta at the end of the month, or get the final version with new 2018 iPhones.
Apple unveiled a host of features on the keynote stage, but there are actually more changes coming to your iPhone and iPad than it officially mentioned on Monday.
No, it’s isn’t the biggest software update, but it’s obvious Apple is making its mobile operating system to make it both reliable and competitive with Google’s Android P.
Here are all of the iOS 12 features, now that the update is confirmed.
iOS 12 release date
- June 4 for iOS 12 developer beta (for paid Apple Developers)
- Likely June 26 for a public beta (based on iOS 11 public beta)
- Likely September for the final iOS 12 software with new iPhones
You’ll be able to test it early, as there will likely be three iOS 12 release dates: one for developers, one for public beta testers, and one final version for everyone else.
The first developer beta is available now. But it’s early software and you must be a registered Apple developer. That costs money: $99 for the annual membership.
The iOS 12 public beta typically launches after iOS 12 developer beta 3, and if Apple’s history tells us anything, it should be on or around June 26. This beta is free and less problematic, with a few more weeks in the cooker.
Both versions of the iOS 12 beta will be unfinished software, so we advise you to proceed with caution before deciding to install iOS 12 developer beta 1 on your primary device. Waiting for the public beta is a safer choice.
Everyone else can wait for the final version of iOS 12, which is also free. The release date for that should be in September, alongside new iPhones for 2018.
iOS 12 compatibility
- Compatible with iPhone 5S, iPad mini2 and iPad Air and newer
- 11 iPhones, 10 iPads, 1 iPod touch – the broadest iOS update yet
iOS 12 will run on all devices that have its 64-bit chipset, which was first introduced in 2013. It’ll work on the iPhone 5S and newer, while the iPad Air and iPad mini 2 are the oldest iPads that are compatible with iOS 12.
That’s means this update is supporting 11 different iPhones, 10 different iPads and the sole iPod touch 6th generation still clinging to life. It’s the broadest support for a software update Apple has ever offered, and this is one of the biggest advantages Apple has over Android phones.
ARKit 2 and multiplayer gaming
- ARKit 2 allows for ‘shared experiences’ (multiplayer potential)
- LEGO, Fender, Adobe and Pixar are all working on AR with Apple
iOS 12 cements Apple as a leader in augmented reality (AR) with the arrival of groundbreaking multiplayer capabilities it calls Shared Experiences in ARKit 2.
These multi-user virtual environments are coming to ARKit, allowing for multiplayer gaming and experiences through iPhones and iPads. iOS 12 is going to create a more collaborative (and competitive) way of experiencing AR.
LEGO demoed a four-player game, pledging that it was in when it came to Apple’s “creative play possibilities.” Players were involved in building up an AR town. It was like The Sims was reimagined for the future.
ARKit 2 opens up AR to hundreds of millions of users, according to Apple, and that makes the OS broadest AR platform in the world. We got a taste of AR last year, but multi-user virtual environments bring more advanced tools and gameplay.