Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

Apple releases iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12

Apple releases iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12

Here's a more detailed look.

Apple has released iOS 12 and watchOS 5 to the public. It's a pain because it involves connecting your iPhone or iPad to a computer, but it should work pretty well.

If you're moving your device from iOS 11.4.1 to iOS 12 you'll get the shortest change log and the smallest download. We've heard from readers with older devices that its performance improvements have given a new lease on life to the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and the like, and one TidBITS Talk reader said it solved his iOS 11 battery problems. Apple says the camera app launches up to 70% faster while the keyboard appears on the screen up to 50% faster. That's a ton of impressive gains, and even though I own the iPhone X, these performance upgrades are very noticeable on the iPhone X. AR in iOS 12 is an even more realistic mix of the virtual and real world with support for image detection and tracking, making it possible to detect 3D objects and automatically apply reflections.

In terms of new features, there's a whole lot of new things.

And if you have an iPhone X, you can download an Animoji of your choice. Click on the "summary" tab on the left side of the screen, and you'll see a "backups" heading with a big blue button that says "back up now". Memoji allows you to create Animoji based on yourself, and Animojis can now mimic your facial expressions as well.

Should you drop everything and download the updates immediately? As for Facetime, Apple is introducing support for group calls of up to 32 people with iOS 12, though that's going to come out at a later date.

Augmented Reality Apple has continued its efforts to bring deeper Augmented Reality integration in its iOS. A feature called Screen Time will show you how much you've used your apps today and let you set up App Limits if you feel that you need more control over your app usage.

Stocks features an all-new design with a customizable watchlist that makes it easy to follow the market.

However, if you still want to give Measure a crack, go right ahead!

But wait, there's more. With the new software comes plenty of new features, including Siri Shortcuts. If you come across any bugs, use the built-in Feedback Assistant app to report them.

The Shortcuts app, however, is only available on the App Store, alongside apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote under Apple's developer page.

Voice Memos on the iPad.

If you're moving your phone or tablet from an older version of iOS, the list of changes will be much larger.

iOS 12 is available today as a free software update for iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad 6th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and iPod touch 6th generation.

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