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:
Password Autofill finally works with the major password managers like 1Password, LastPass and Dashlane; that is HUGE for most of us; and
CarPlay now lets you use Google maps (our fave) instead of Apple Maps — although not Waze.
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.
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.