Apple has released the public beta version of the much anticipated free iOS 12 software update for iPhones and iPads, which means those eager to try it before anyone else can install it right now.
Announced at the beginning of June, packed with new features, speed improvements and tools to help prevent smartphone addiction, iOS 12 is shaping up to be one of the best iOS updates in the last few years.
It was originally released as a developer test version, but is now available for the general public to try before its full release in September.
To try out iOS 12 you’ll need an iPhone 5S or newer, iPad mini 2 or iPad Air or newer, or a sixth-generation iPod touch.
Installing the beta is fairly straightforward:
- Make a full backup of your phone or tablet, as reverting back to iOS 11 will require a full wipe and restore of the device
- Visit Apple’s beta site on your iPhone or iPad and sign in with your Apple ID (the one you use for iTunes and the App Store)
- Download the beta settings profile and install it using your pin code
- Connect to wifi
- Check for updates in the settings app under General > Software Update
- Download and install the iOS 12 Public beta (this may take some time)
Once installed, iOS 12 will automatically update as new beta versions are released, but it is important to make sure you install the updates as they arrive, as bugs are fixed on a regular basis and older versions will no longer be supported.
It’s also worth noting that this is a test version of iOS 12 so bugs within the system may be present, apps may crash and some things may not work correctly. Battery and performance might not be up to scratch either.
But the iOS 12 beta does include Apple’s new Screen Time tools, for monitoring how often you use certain apps, how often you pick up your phone and various other useful bits of information. You can also set app and device time limits for your children’s iPhones or iPads through the parental controls.
Other features include Apple’s new personalised Memoji, stacks of notifications from the same app so they’re easier to process and a general speed improvement across the board, even for older smartphones such as the iPhone 5S.