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Editors' Review

by   / September 17, 2018

Apple iOS 12 is Apple's most exciting iOS update yet, bringing with it the new AR-based Measure app, an improved Camera app and Photos experience with faster load times and search and better organization and editing suggestions, an easier to follow Stocks app, an all-new Apple Books, custom emoji or Memoji in the Messages app, and group chats and fun new effects in FaceTime. There's also the addition of Screen Time, one of the best new iOS features, which helps curb iPhone addiction and set parental controls.

Note: The new iOS update, iOS 12 is available for newer iPhone models and iPads as well as older iOS devices: iPhone 5s and later; iPad mini 2, iPad 5th generation, iPad Air, iPad Pro, and later; and iPod touch 6th generation.

SEE: iOS apps are coming to Mac: Everything you need to know


Made to measure: The new AR-based Measure app uses the augmented reality view to quickly calculate distances between any two objects using your iPhone or iPad. For distances, tap any item and move your phone or tablet to the next item. Users can then take a photo of the measurement to refer to later. Measure can also help you with leveling, if you're hanging art or a mirror, for example.

More memorable Messages: Text, voice, and photo messages become so basic next to all the fun new communication tools in Apple's latest iOS software. Start with exciting new filters, video stickers, and live Animoji, which let you become your favorite animal: bear, koala, tiger, unicorn, dragon, lion, chicken, bunny, panda, pig, fox, dog, cat, monkey, or T-Rex and record messages to send to friends. Users can also become a robot, alien, skull, ghost, or even a pile of poop. Or you can create and share a personalized Memoji (an Animoji that looks just like you). Memoji, which blew viewers of the WWDC keynote away, in June of 2018, lives up to expectations.

Easier to follow Stocks: The Stocks app finally comes to the iPad in the new iOS release, iOS 12, so people can more easily follow their stock performance on the Apple tablet's larger screen. The addition of a customizable watchlist and interactive charts that show you your stocks' performance throughout the day or even over multimonth periods with easy-to-read color-coded sparklines makes following your stocks easier than ever. The inclusion of reputable business news stories from Apple News helps users make more informed decisions when trading stocks.

Improved Apple Books: iBooks has been redubbed Apple Books. But that's only the beginning. Apple's reading app has been majorly updated to make locating and reading your books easier than ever. Easily discover something new to read in the app's brand new bookstore or dedicated audiobooks store, organize your collection so it's easy to retrieve, and never lose your spot in the book you're currently reading, with the Reading Now tab, which, like a bookmark, takes you where you last left off with a tap.

Thoroughly modern memos: The native Voice Memos app looks even more modern in iOS 12, and iPad users can now use it on the larger screen in the latest iOS version. Better yet, with cross-platform syncing in the latest iOS version, users can now work with recordings across all of their iOS devices.

Improved load times and search in Photos: Camera app photos load quicker than ever in iOS 12. With smart Search Suggestions, showcasing important events, people, and places, for example, in tiles under the search bar and the ability to use multiple keywords for more expeditious combined searches, you'll also be able to find them faster in the updated Photos app. The addition of the For You tab brings your best photos and groups of photos -- some recent and others took on this day in previous years -- to the forefront for easier access.

Thankfully, image editing is no longer left to you in Photos. The Photos app now recommends various image-enhancing photo effects, even showing you what they'll look like before you select them with helpful image previews. Knowing that the best photos are there to be appreciated, Photos will also suggest sharing these photos with the people in them (after first identifying them using machine learning and facial recognition) via the Messages app.

Screen Time: Screen Time, which you'll find under Settings, is one of the new iOS software update's most exciting new features. Screen Time helps you limit your screen time, if you find yourself overusing your phone. Go to the Settings app, then Screen Time to see a detailed graphical breakdown of your phone usage. You'll see your most used iOS apps, how many times you've picked up your phone, and how many notifications you receive. If you feel you're overusing your iOS apps, then the Downtime feature can help you schedule some time away from your mobile devices. If you cheat, you'll receive notifications admonishing you to step away. You can also set content and privacy restrictions and parental controls here to keep your children safe and from overdoing it, too.

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Missing FaceTime features: We couldn't wait to start using FaceTime's exciting new features in the latest version of iOS that were announced at the WWDC keynote, such as group chat with support for up to 32 people on FaceTime calls, or the ability to add participants and launch FaceTime calls right from a group chat in Messages or to add live filters, stickers, Animoji, and Memoji to keep your fam engaged. But the new FaceTime for iOS features don't seem to be ready yet.

Bottom Line

From the new augmented reality-based Measure app to improved search and grouping in Photos to an overhauled Stocks, Apple News, Voice Memos, and Apple Books, to fun new ways of communicating with friends, family, and colleagues in the Messages and FaceTime apps, there's much to look forward to in the latest version of iOS, iOS 12. So there's no reason not to upgrade to the latest software update, especially if you have one of the latest iPhone models.

Also see

Find, download, and install iOS apps safely from the App Store


Full Specifications


Publisher Apple
Publisher web site
Release Date September 17, 2018
Date Added September 17, 2018
Version 12


Category Utilities & Operating Systems
Subcategory Operating Systems & Updates

Operating Systems

Operating Systems iOS
Additional Requirements 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

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