Say Yes to iOS (12)

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The latest update for iPhones and iPads, iOS 12, is looking really worthwhile. It makes compatible devices (see below) faster and more stable, doesn’t make a lot of upsetting changes to the way things work, and includes a bunch of minor improvements, including better notifications, Screen Time management, Siri Shortcuts, parental controls and syncing Voice Memos.

I am most excited about two things:

Here’s how to get iOS 12

Make sure your device is compatible

The new update should work with everything AFTER the iPhone 5:

  • iPhone 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X

  • iPad Air, Air 2;  Mini 2, 3, and 4;  9.7 inch, and all Pro models

  • iPod Touch (sixth generation)


Back up (just in case) and then install the update

Before you install any update, always back up the device so you have a fallback plan just in case something goes wrong.

You can do both the backup and the update two ways: directly on the device, or by connecting to  iTunes on a computer. Here’s how:

Option 1:  Directly on the iPhone or iPad

First, back up to iCloud:

  • Connect to a Wi-Fi network (and power).

  • Open Settings, select your name, and tap iCloud. (If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, you’ll have to scroll down and tap iCloud).

  • Tap iCloud Backup. (For those on iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Backup). Also, make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.

  • Tap Back Up Now.

  • Wait for the backup to complete.

Then install the update:

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update.

  • A notification about iOS 12 should appear and you can tap Download and Install.

  • It can take a while, during which time you won’t be able to use your device, so tap Install Tonight or Remind Me Later if you want to postpone for a more convenient time.

Option 2: Using iTunes on a computer

First, back up to your computer:

  • Open iTunes on your computer and update it if you get a notification that an update is available. 

  • Plug your device in to your computer with a cable

  • Follow the onscreen steps if a message asks for your device password or to Trust This Computer.

  • Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch when it appears in iTunes. In iTunes 12, you click the device’s icon in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window.

  • You can save Health and Activity data from your iOS device or Apple Watch by selecting Encrypt and creating a pass code. If you don’t want to save your Health and Activity data, you can just click Back Up Now.

  • Wait for the backup to complete.

Install the update in iTunes:

  • select your device as above.

  • Click Summary > Check for Update.

  • Click Download and Update.

Finishing up

Once the device is updated, you finish the process by responding to a couple of questions. Decide if you want to allow updates to happen automatically; this is a personal preference. If you are diligent about doing updates yourself, you can say no; if you don’t always follow through, might be a good idea. Then go ahead and turn on Screen Time reports; you can always turn it off later, and you may find it interesting.

Finally, note that quick access to the settings has moved: it’s no longer a swipe up from the bottom, now it’s a swipe down from the upper right corner.