Are you itching to test drive Apple's next major version of its mobile operating system before anyone else?
So far, everyone had a sneak peek of iOS 12 during Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) and although it is not as exciting as its predecessor, iOS 11, it still has a bunch of new features that you will certainly like.
iOS 12 highlights include performance upgrades, iOS Apple app updates, new Animojis, a personal avatar known as a Memoji, plus new digital health and parental control options.
Why is there a noticeable lack of new game-changing features of iOS 12? Well, given the numerous bugs seen on iOS 11, Apple is apparently focusing more on strengthening the reliability and performance of iOS 12 rather than rolling out half-baked features that are not ready for prime time.
If you want to see for yourself then you'll be pleased to know that Apple has just released the iOS 12 Public Beta!
Are you willing to help Apple squash some bugs before iOS 12's general release? Here's how to install the iOS 12 Public Beta on your iPhone or iPad.
How to get the iOS 12 Public Beta
If you want to try out iOS 12 now, you can sign up for iOS public betas through the free Apple Beta Software program.
Upon enrolling your iPhone or iPad, you'll get access to pre-release builds of iOS.
As is the case with any beta software, Apple warns that the builds may contain errors and inaccuracies and it recommends installing the betas on secondary devices only.
1. Here's the enrollment process. First, open your iPhone or iPad Safari browser app and go to Apple's Beta Software program page. (Note: Signing up for the Apple Beta Program requires an Apple ID.)
3. Once signed in, find the button for "enroll your iOS device" and tap on it.
4. Move down the page until you find "Download Profile," and tap to download it. Then tap on "Allow" in the pop-up window that appears and asks to let your Settings app load the Beta configuration profile.
5. Find the button for "Install" in the upper right-hand corner. Authenticate your device and then tap on the "Install" link one more time. Then, tap on the "Install" button that will appear at the bottom of the screen.
6. After it's installed, your device will be rebooted.
7. Once your gadget has restarted, the iOS 12 beta will then be available like a regular update. Go to Settings >> General >> Software Update and the "iOS 12 Public beta" will be ready for you. That's it!
The best bit about iOS 12 is that it's compatible with any Apple gadget that's compatible with iOS 11. No planned obsolescence here. Here's a list of iOS 12 capable gadgets:
- iPhone 5S and newer
- Any iPad Air
- Any iPad Pro
- iPad mini 2 and newer
- iPod touch (6th generation)
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New iOS 12 Features
Do you want to review all the new iOS 12 features? To recap, here are all the iOS 12 announcements during this year's WWDC.
As predicted, iOS 12 updates will focus more on performance and reliability than on new features.
According to Apple, on iOS 12, apps launch 40 percent faster, the keyboard appears 50 percent faster, and the camera opens 70 percent faster on older devices.
Better yet, iOS 12 will be available to every device that's currently compatible with iOS 11. This means even older iPhones and iPads will get the speed and performance bump!
Augmented Reality experiences are also getting a boost in iOS 12.
First, there's a new AR app from Apple called "Measure." This will allow you to automatically detect the dimensions and measurements of an object in real-time via the camera. Bye-bye, physical tape measure?
Next is the introduction of ARKit 2 for developers. Judging by the augmented reality Lego game they demoed, the ARKit 2 possibilities are intriguing.
The iOS 12 Photos app is also getting a few nifty features like an improved Photo Search. The app will have an improved indexing and will even offer search suggestions, tags, shares and locations ala Google Photos.
A new "For You" tab will also suggest filters and effects on the photos you've taken.
Not to be outdone, Siri is gaining new abilities in iOS 12. For one, Siri is now open to third-party apps for quick actions.
A new "Shortcuts" app is also coming to iOS 12. This app allows you to create your own Siri shortcuts and string multiple actions with a single Siri command. Siri can now do suggestions right on the lock screen, too.
The stock Apple News app is getting a new Browse section while the Stocks app will integrate with Apple News.
Apple's book reading app iBooks is also being renamed to Apple Books in iOS 12, complete with a redesigned Book Store Apple.
The iPad is also getting its very own Stocks and Voice Memos apps. Recordings in Voice Memos will be synced across all your Apple gadgets via iCloud.
CarPlay in iOS 12 will now support third-party navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze.
New digital health and parental control options
As predicted, Apple also unveiled iOS 12's new time-management features. Similar to Android P's Digital Well Being feature, a new option called App Limit will give you the ability to limit the time spent on any app. These settings and stats are available and synced across iOS devices with a feature called Screen Time.
Other new features include "Do not disturb during bedtime" and grouped notifications.
New animojis and Memojis
With iOS 12, animojis will now be able to track your tongue. Four new animojis - Ghost, Koala, Tiger and a T-Rex - are also on their way.
Another exciting update is Memojis. Memojis are customizable and personalized avatars that you can create and make them resemble yourself.
Here's another big update in iOS 12 - Group FaceTime sessions! You will be able to FaceTime with up to 32 people in iOS 12 and even use Animojis/Memojis during calls.
Important Note: Again, since beta programs are still in the testing phase, they are not completely stable. If you rely on a system or program regularly, it is advised that you stay away from their beta versions.
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