Apple announced today that it has released iOS 12 publicly to owners of compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.
“iOS 12 … is designed to make everyday tasks on iPhone and iPad faster and more responsive,” the Apple announcement notes. “Available today as a free software update, iOS 12 introduces new AR experiences, fun new features like Memoij, Siri Shortcuts that open up a world of apps to work with Siri and new tools to help people reduce interruptions and manage screen time for themselves and their families.”
Apple announced iOS 12 at its Worldwide Developers Conference 2018 back in early June. By many measures, iOS 12 is a fairly minor upgrade. But I think Apple’s work to renew the focus of iOS on quality—which was rumored as long ago as February–is important. And will have a fundamental and positive impact on the platform and the devices on which it runs.
On that note, I’ve been using iOS 12 in various beta forms since the very first external release on my two current iOS devices, an iPad mini 4 and a 10.5-inch iPad Pro. I’m not seeing the battery life or performance improvements that Apple claims—in fact, the battery in my iPad mini seems to be dying—but then I don’t sit on top of them all day long as I do with my phone.
If you do use an iOS device, I strongly recommend checking out the new digital wellbeing features, which include Screen Time, and improvements to notifications and the Do Not Disturb mode. The rest of the functional improvements are indeed minor at best. But that’s fine: Like its competitors, iOS is a mature platform and this is exactly the kind of update it needed.