iOS 12 Preview (And How To Download It Early)

iOS 12 Preview (And How To Download It Early)

With every major iOS update comes plenty of exciting new features, and iOS 12 is no different. In anticipation, we take a sneak peek into Apple's upcoming operating system, which is soon to be available to iPhone users across the globe

Every update aims to improve on the last, so you can bet that iOS 12 will be the best iPhone operating system yet. Users can expect a faster all-round performance, with improvements focusing on quicker app launches, a more responsive keyboard and a speedier swipe up to launch the camera (up to 70% compared to iOS 11).

Find out when you can get your hands on Apple's next big update, and discover the very best bits of iOS 12, below.

When can I try iOS 12?

iOS 12 was officially announced at Apple's WWDC 2018 event, and is said to be 'coming this autumn'. However, if you simply can't wait for the official release, there is a way to get your hands on the update right now as part of its beta testing phase.

To try iOS 12 beta, you need to be a member of the Apple Beta Software Program. You can participate for free and download the software once you've signed up with your Apple ID, but caution is advised. Still in its testing stages, Apple will be fine-tuning the software until the official release so performance issues are likely to happen.

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Take control with Screen Time

Helping users to reduce the amount of time they spend on their smartphone to promote a healthy, proactive relationship with tech is a hot topic in the industry right now, and many major brands are introducing ways to help users become more mindful of how they use their devices.

Apple's contribution to this movement is Screen Time, a collection of new tools designed to help iPhone owners monitor how they use their phone. You can now set time limits for particular apps and websites, receive activity reports and enable downtime where notifications and apps are blocked. It's great for parents too. Using your children's Apple IDs, you can view how much time they're spending on their device and set limits for them.

New notifications

Sick of hundreds of notifications clogging up your screen? Let Grouped Notifications take care of it. iOS 12 will intelligently group your notifications together (either by app, topic or a messaging thread) so you can see everything with one glance. We have a feeling this will be a lifesaver in the morning.

Apple is making it easier to control notifications as well. You can now manage them directly from the lock screen. Let's say Instagram keeps popping up - turn them off completely, set the app to 'Deliver Quietly' so it won't pop up on your locked phone or let Siri take control. The intelligent assistant will offer suggestions about your notifications over time, based on how you use your device.

Introducing Memoji and new Animoji

If you love Animoji, then Apple's all-new Memoji is going to be right up your street. A completely customisable human emoji, you can now create a Memoji that just looks like you. Edit your face shape, features, skin tone, hair colour, accessories and more then use in Messages and during FaceTime.

If you go into the Messages app and tap the camera icon, you'll find another seriously cool new feature. Tap the star icon on the left, choose Animoji and tap on your Memoji. Your head will be replaced by your Memoji character (similar to how Snapchat filters work) and you can take photos as your animated self to send to friends.

Of course, Animoji haven't been neglected in the update either. It's now possible to create fun-filled clips that last for 30 seconds, and you can also play with four new characters: a fearsome T-Rex, a ghost, a koala and a tiger. Expect to find more expressive Animoji and Memoji too, Apple has improved the software's tongue and wink detection for iOS 12.

FaceTime with 32 people

Currently you can use FaceTime with two other users, but iOS 12 is about to change everything. Once the update drops, you'll be able to use it with a whopping 32 people at once. Sounds crazy? Don't worry, the person currently talking will automatically appear larger on the screen. Alternatively, you can use Focus View and choose who you'd like to see.

Shortcuts with Siri

Siri's IQ has had a boost, thanks to Siri Shortcuts. The intelligent assistant will let you assign certain phrases to tasks, to make life even easier.

If you say 'Hey Siri, I'm on my way home' for example, you can set up a shortcut that will text your partner, bring up the fastest route to your house on Maps and even turn on your lights and boil the kettle if you have any smart gadgets in your home. The possibilities really are endless - it's a great feature to experiment with.

Siri can also now translate text into 40 languages and the assistant now knows a collection of new facts. Motorsport schedules have been added, and Siri can now also offer smarter answers to questions about food. Ask how healthy a certain meal is, and stats from the USDA database, calories and nutritional information will all pop up.

Improved AR

Apple has continued to work on its AR offering in iOS 12, with the introduction of ARKit 2. A standout feature? Shared Experiences.

Developers can now create games and AR experiences that multiple people can see and use simultaneously. Fight battles in space together, work on real-life home renovation projects or explore the cosmos with your entire class.

Another super handy feature is Measure. Get ready to put your measuring tape away, as this all-new app is going to do the hard work for you. Using the impressive sensors on the iPhone, you can point your camera at an object, drag pointers to indicate the edges of the object in question and then your phone will automatically estimate its dimensions.

There are so many other features coming to iOS 12, from smarter photo searches to improved privacy features. If you're tempted by the next-generation iPhone X or iPhone 8 before the newest operating system is launched, you can get a great deal online today at