iOS 12 release date, features, news and rumours: what to expect from Apple’s next mobile OS


It’s only three months until the launch of iOS 12 — find out what to expect here.

iOS 12 is Apple’s new operating system for iPhone and iPad, which is expected to launch this year.

As the name suggests, this is the 12th iteration of the mobile operating system, succeeding the current version, iOS 11.

So far, news on what features we can expect from iOS 12 have been spotty and there are strong rumours that the next major refresh won’t come until 2019, with iOS 13. Nevertheless, there are some improvements expected — improved Shazam integration following Apple’s acquisition of the firm, for example, and an updated version of AirPlay.

Read on to find out the latest news and rumours about the next version of iOS.

iOS 12 news

20/04/2018: Apple CEO condemns convergence of iOS and macOS

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, revealed his dislike for the idea of merging iOS with macOS, despite a report claiming that Apple is doing just that.

“We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other,” said Cook in a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. “And if you begin to merge the two, you begin to make trade offs and compromises.”

The comment was in response to a report by Bloomberg which discussed rumors that Apple was going to merge iPhone, iPad and Mac apps in a secret programme called “Marzipan”.

Currently, developers have to make an app for iOS for Apple’s mobile devices and a version of the same app for macOS so it can run on Mac devices. In addition to the extra time and costs, Bloomberg calls the Mac App Store “a ghost town of limited selection and rarely updated programs”.

With a single app, all devices would get updates and new features at the same time, and the apps would run on both iOS and macOS with either a keyboard or touchscreen.

Cook agrees that it might make the company more efficient, but said: “That’s not what it’s about. You know it’s about giving people things that they can then use to help them change the world or express their passion or express their creativity.”

Despite complaints about Mac apps, Cook maintained that he doesn’t think a merger is what users want.

With the Bloomberg report suggesting a merger and Cook disavowing it, the project could go either way.

22/03/18: Apple will switch to a two-year development cycle for future iOS iterations from the release of iOS 12 according to reports, meaning some major features may be held back as the company perfects them.

According to Bloomberg, iOS boss Craig Federighi told software enginners at Apple about the changes, saying that they will no longer need to deliver a raft of new features every year. Instead, they will be expected to focus on refinements of the operating system, taking some pressure off the comapny.

It’s not a hugely surprising move as recently, the mobile platform has experienced a lot of bugs and has come under fire for allegedly slowing down the performance of older devices in the hope people will upgrade their devices. Apple also wants to take the pressure off developers so they’re not under such stress to get major updates and feature showcases ready for the annual WWDC conference.

“This change is Apple beginning to realize that schedules are not being hit, stuff is being released with bugs – which previously would not have happened,” someone “familiar with the company” said.

With the previous system, “inevitably, some things will be late because you underestimated how long it would take. Some things have to be cut, some things have to be rushed. It’s the result of having thousands of people working on the same schedule,” the source explained.

“Apple OS Upgrades Guide” helps you with everything you need to roll out the latest OS upgrades to your workplace without disrupting workflows or slowing productivity.

31/02/2018: Apple will make sure enterprise security is a key feature of iOS 12, which is expected to launch at the end of year alongside a new range of iPhones.

According to Axios, Apple the upcoming operating system will focus will be on improving the reliability and performance of its platform, including improving the security of devices and addressing battery life problems experienced on older devices, as well as improvements to augmented reality and digital health features.

However, some planned iOS features a refresh of the home screen and in-car UI, as well as improvements to core apps like mail and photos, will be held back until 2019, Axios said, claiming Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, told employees of the plans earlier in January.

In a separate report, Bloomberg suggested macOS and iOS will become more of a close-knit platform, with third-party apps being “merged” across the platforms, although there’s no further details on what that means in practice. The outlet also seemed to back up Axios’ claims about iOS 12’s delayed features through its own sources, once again citing AR improvements as one of the changes definitely on the menu for this year, with changes to the home screen being held back.

Typically, Apple releases a new version of iOS with its new range of handsets in September, which means users have at least seven months to wait until they see any sign of iOS 12 at all. In the meantime, however, an update of the company’s existing mobile operating system, iOS 11, is coming this spring.

iOS 11.3, as the update is called, was released to developers just over a week ago and includes changes such as the ability to turn off a feature that slows down older iPhones and iPads in order to preserve battery life, new Animojis for the iPhone X and new features for Apple Music.

iOS 12 release date

Apple is a creature of habit, so we can confidently predict the world will get its first glimpse of iOS at the company’s annual WWDC developer conference in early June. It will likely be released in beta form the same day, with the finished product being released in September, alongside the company’s newest iPhone range at a “special event”.

iOS 12 availability

iOS is only available on Apple mobile devices, which is to say iPhones and iPads, and some older models won’t receive the update, although which ones we can’t yet predict.

Unlike Android, however, all eligible mobile devices will be able to download iOS 12 at the same time.

iOS 12 price

Apple has never previously charged for an operating system update on its mobile devices and it’s unlikely to start doing so now. Therefore, iOS 12 will be free to download as an upgrade for eligible devices.

Image credit: Apple


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