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iOS 12 is the twelfth major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc., being the successor to iOS 11. It was announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 4, 2018. It is aesthetically similar to iOS 11 but contains numerous performance and battery life improvements, security updates, and additional functions within native applications. It was released to the public on September 17, 2018.[3]

iOS 12
A version of the iOS operating system
IOS 12 logo.svg
IOS 12 Homescreen iPhone X.png
iOS 12 running on an iPhone X
DeveloperApple Inc.
OS familyIOS
Source modelClosed with open-source components
Initial releaseSeptember 17, 2018; 13 months ago (2018-09-17)
Latest release12.4.3[1] (16G130)[2] (October 28, 2019; 16 days ago (2019-10-28)) [±]
Marketing targetPhones and Tablets
Update methodOTA iTunes
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
LicenseProprietary software with open-source components
Preceded byiOS 11
Succeeded byiOS 13
iPadOS 13
Official websiteiOS 12 - Apple at the Wayback Machine (archived September 9, 2019)
Support status
Third party application support only.

iOS 12 focuses on performance and quality improvements.

It was succeeded by iOS 13 and iPadOS on September 19, 2019 and September 24, 2019.


Introduction and initial releaseEdit

iOS 12 was introduced by Craig Federighi at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address on June 4, 2018.[4] The first developer beta version was released after the keynote presentation,[5] with the first public beta releasing three weeks after on June 25, 2018.[6] The initial release of version 12.0 was on September 17, 2018.



iOS 12.0.1 was released on October 8, 2018, as the first update to iOS 12.[7] It mainly fixed a bug that caused iPhone XS to stop charging using a Lightning cable if the device is in sleep mode.[8]


iOS 12.1 was released on October 30, 2018. The update included new emoji, the Group FaceTime feature, L3/R3 button support for MFi controllers, updates to the Measure app, and the ability to use an eSIM on the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR. [9]


iOS 12.1.1 was released on December 5, 2018. The update added support for HomePod in China and Hong Kong as well as haptic touch for the iPhone XR (works similarly to 3D Touch in the iPhone XS models) and bug fixes.[10]


iOS 12.1.2 was released on December 17, 2018, and is an iPhone-only update that fixed bugs with eSIM activation. iPads and the 6th generation iPod touch continued to use iOS 12.1.1.


iOS 12.1.3 was released on January 22, 2019, and featured important bug fixes patching all known security vulnerabilities.


iOS 12.1.4 was released on February 7, 2019, and featured an important bug fix concerning Group FaceTime.[11]

It also fixed a critical security issue discovered by Google that allowed attackers to install software on the victim's phone and obtain its location, photos, messages, credentials and other personal information.[12]


iOS 12.2 was released on March 25, 2019, and contained an updated News app and 51 security fixes. This update also patched the hyphen bug and added support for the 2nd Generation AirPods.[13]


iOS 12.3 was released on May 13, 2019, and featured the new Apple TV app, which made a modernized improvement to the app itself.


iOS 12.3.1 was released on May 24, 2019, fixed a bug with VoLTE and introduced a fix for iMessage spam messages showing up in Inbox even when turned off.


iOS 12.3.2 was released on June 10, 2019, exclusively for the iPhone 8 Plus due to a bug in the Portrait mode.


iOS 12.4 was released on July 22, 2019. The update introduced security fixes and the ability to wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old to a new iPhone during setup, added new features to Apple News, and included a security fix for the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch. Apple accidentally unpatched a vulnerability that it had originally fixed in iOS 12.3, leading to the release of an iOS 12.4 jailbreak.


iOS 12.4.1 was released on August 26, 2019. It patches the jailbreak vulnerability that was previously unpatched in the previous update.[14]


iOS 12.4.2 was released on September 26, 2019,[15] for devices that don't support iOS 13. The devices that are supported on iOS 12.4.2 are the iPad Air 1st generation, the iPad mini 2nd generation, the iPad mini 3, the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the iPod touch 6th generation, all of which are not compatible with iOS 13.


iOS 12.4.3 was released on October 28, 2019,[16] for devices that don't support iOS 13. The devices that are supported on iOS 12.4.3 are the iPad Air 1st generation, the iPad mini 2nd generation, the iPad mini 3, the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the iPod touch 6th generation, all of which are not compatible with iOS 13.

System featuresEdit


Performance optimizations were made in order to speed up common tasks across all supported iOS devices.[17] Tests done by Apple on an iPhone 6 Plus showed apps launching 40 percent faster, the system keyboard activating 50 percent faster, and the camera opening 70 percent faster.[18]

Screen TimeEdit

The Screen Time usage information screen in iOS 12 on iPhone X

Screen Time is a new feature in iOS 12 that records the amount of time a user spent on the device. The feature also displays the amount of time the user used particular apps,[19] the amount of time the user used particular categories of apps (such as games),[20] and the number of notifications the user received.[21]

Screen Time also provides blocking features to limit usage of apps (with time limits) or set other restrictions such as on purchases or explicit content. It replaces Parental Controls in the iOS Settings app, but can also be used by adults to limit their own usage. These features can be used with or without a passcode. Without setting a passcode, the limits can easily be bypassed but may serve as a useful reminder of usage goals.[22]


A dedicated application in iOS 12 allows users to set up Shortcuts, automated actions that the user can ask Siri to perform.[20] Using the Shortcuts app, a user can create a phrase and type in the action they want Siri to do for them. Once they tell the phrase to Siri, Siri will automatically do the task they set for it in the Shortcuts app. The Shortcuts app replaces the Workflow app[23] that Apple acquired in March 2017.[24][25]

ARKit 2Edit

ARKit now allows users to share their view with other iOS 12-supported devices.[26] ARKit 2 additionally allows full 2D image tracking and incorporates the ability to detect 3D objects.[27]


CarPlay can now run third-party navigation applications.[20] (Waze, Google Maps, etc-)


The Voice Memos and Stocks apps are now available for iPads.[28]

Control Center is separated from the app switcher on iPad and can be opened with a swipe down on the top right corner. In addition, iPhone X-style gestures are introduced across all iPads running iOS 12.[29]


In iOS 12, the trackpad mode (which allows the user to freely move the cursor) is enabled by long-pressing the space bar on devices without 3D Touch.[30]

App SwitcherEdit

For devices with gesture navigation and no home button (iPhone X and later), users can now force quit applications by swiping up from the bottom of the screen (without having to press and hold on them when in the app switcher).[31]

App featuresEdit


Messages in iOS 12 introduces a new type of customizable Animoji called "Memoji" which allows a user to create a 3D character of themselves. Apple also introduced Koala, Tiger, Ghost and T-Rex Animojis.[32] In addition, Apple added new text and GIF effects similar to those found on other social media applications.


FaceTime gains support for Animoji and Memoji, as well as new text and GIF effects similar to those found on other social media applications and in the Messages application.[18]

iOS 12.1, released on October 30, 2018, adds the ability to include up to 32 people in a FaceTime conversation. This feature is only supported with video by devices with the Apple A8X or Apple A9 chip or later; it is only supported for audio on iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, and is not available at all on iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, and iPad Air.[33] Group FaceTime was disabled on January 28, 2019 due to a software bug that allowed calls to be answered by the caller rather than the recipient, allowing video and audio to be transmitted unless the call was declined.[34] The functionality was restored on February 7, 2019 with the release of iOS 12.1.4. Group FaceTime remains disabled on devices running iOS 12 that are affected by the bug.


Measure is a native AR application that allows the user to take measurements of real objects. It also works as a level,[18] a feature that was originally packaged as part of the Compass app.[35]


Apple Photos has been completely redesigned with four new tabs, including "Photos", "For You", "Albums", and "Search". The new "For You" tab replaces the "Memories" tab previously found in iOS 11 and makes sharing recommendations, creates short-length video collages, photo editing suggestions, as well as featured photos from a specific day.[18]

While the "Photos" and "Albums" tabs received only a few cosmetic changes, the "Search" tab includes new Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning features which show the user photos by place and categories (e.g. animals, cars, objects).[36]


Notifications are now grouped by application and have a "manage" button to turn off notifications for that app or to deliver them quietly right from the Notification Center without having to go into the Settings application.[37]

Do Not DisturbEdit

Do Not Disturb gives users more options for automation. Users can hide notifications indefinitely or scheduled like previously, but can also hide notifications for 1 hour, until a time of day, until leaving a location, or until the end of a scheduled event in Calendar.[38]

Voice Memos and StocksEdit

Voice Memos and Stocks are supported on iPad, and have a newer design. Stocks was integrated with Apple News to show financial and other related news.[39]

Apple BooksEdit

iBooks was renamed Apple Books, and the app was redesigned, with five new tabs, including "Reading Now", "Library", "Book Store", "Audio Books", and "Search".[40] The new app design is similar to that of Apple Music, and has been praised for its simplicity in allowing users to easily navigate their book library.[citation needed]


Safari receives an update to Intelligent Tracking Prevention. This includes a feature which allows the user to disable social media "like" and "share" buttons.[41]


Apple Maps had started to be rebuilt from the ground up by relying on first-party map data instead of using map data provided by third parties. This allows for more accurate directions and predictions on the fastest routes. The new maps were rolled out in sections and Apple expected to have the entire US completed by the end of 2019. As of April 2019, Arizona, California, Hawaii and New Mexico are the only states to have completely first-party map data.[42]


Rainbow flag emojiEdit

After a rainbow flag emoji with an interdictory sign over it appeared on Twitter, several users accused Apple of encouraging anti-LGBT attitudes. However, Emojipedia has clarified that this occurs when a user tweets the two emojis together and is not an intended feature. This can be used with other emojis as well.[43][44][45]

FaceTime eavesdropping issueEdit

Earlier in 2019 Apple acknowledged a widespread eavesdropping FaceTime issue impacting several versions of iOS 12 (versions 12.1–12.1.3) that allowed users to call someone via FaceTime and hear the audio coming from their phone before answering the call.[46] That bug was fixed in iOS 12.1.4.[11]

Supported devicesEdit


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External linksEdit