The wait must have felt like an eternity for all the Apple fans out there who chose not to install Apple’s iOS 12 public beta on their iPhones. Thankfully, it has finally come to an end. Apple on Monday released its new iOS 12 software to the public, giving any an Apple users with compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models access to the latest and greatest features Apple has to offer. But what exactly are the best new features of iOS 12? We’re glad you asked, because in this post we’ve rounded up the five best things about iOS 12 so you know exactly what to expect while it’s being installed on your iPhone.

Compatibility

First and foremost, the biggest news is actually the fact that iOS 12 is available on every single device that currently supports iOS 11. In other words, not a single Apple product is made obsolete by Apple’s just-released iOS 12 update. In a world where many Android users have trouble getting access to new updates after just two years, Apple is releasing iOS 12 for devices that were released as far back as 2013!

Here’s the full list of devices that are compatible with iOS 12:

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch 6th generation

To install iOS 12 on any of the devices listed above, simply go to Settings > General > Software Update and follow the instructions on the screen. Alternatively, you can download iOS 12 and install it through iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC. In either case, ensure that you back up all of your data to iCloud or your computer before you update.

Performance and battery life

Just as impressive as the list of compatible devices above is the fact that every single device that updates to iOS 12 will see improvements where performance and battery life are concerned. This is a huge, huge deal.

iOS 11 has been a rocky road for Apple, to say the least. The software has been plagued with bugs, security holes, and other issues ever since it was first released last year. In fact, iOS 11’s performance issues have been so bad that several Android flagships have actually managed to outperform Apple’s latest iPhones in real-life speed tests despite the fact that the A11 Bionic SoC is so much more powerful that anything available in Android phones.

With iOS 12, all of the biggest issues have finally been taken care of. In fact, Apple reportedly delayed several new features so that its engineers could focus on performance improvements. Well, they’ve done a tremendous job because iOS 12 is so much smoother and faster than even the latest releases of iOS 11.

All iPhone models will see performance improvements thanks to iOS 12, including newer iPhones and devices that are years old. In fact, the older your iPhone is, the better! Apple says older device models running iOS 12 will see speed boosts of up to 70% with key functions. On top of that, there are many behind-the-scenes changes and improvements that will help increase battery life — which is obviously a huge deal.

Remember, iOS has a bit of work to do in the background when you first install a big update, such as reindexing and more. On top of that, you’re going to be spending plenty of time over the next few hours checking out all the new features in iOS 12. For those reasons, battery life over the next day or so is going to take a hit. After that, however, you’re going to notice a serious improvement.

Notifications

This is a big one. Maybe not as big as improved battery life and faster performance, but big nonetheless.

In iOS 12, Apple has made several big changes to notifications — but the biggest and most appreciated is definitely going to be iOS’s new grouped notifications. That’s right, iOS 12 will automatically group notifications by app… fiiiiiiiiiiiinally! There’s also a new “Instant Tuning” feature in iOS 12 that allows you to set specific apps to deliver notifications silently. They’ll still show up on your display, but they won’t be accompanied by the constant vibrations or audio alerts that drive you crazy.

All of the new notifications settings available in iOS 12 can be found in Settings > Notifications.

Siri Shortcuts

A new Shortcuts app supported by iOS 12 lets third-party apps add shortcuts that are supported by Siri. For example, you can create a shortcut so when you say “I lost my keys” it’ll open the Tile app and help you locate a specific Tile tracker that’s attached to your keys. Apple’s own apps support the new Siri Shortcuts feature, and third-party app developers can make shortcuts for their own apps as well. Additionally, users can create their own personalized shortcuts that involve multiple apps. The new feature is based on the Workflow app Apple acquired last year. Anyone familiar with that app knows that the possibilities are endless.

One important note: the new Siri Shortcuts feature isn’t built into iOS 12 by default — you’ll have to download Apple’s new “Shortcuts” app from the iOS App Store to start using it. Shortcuts has been in beta for a while now, but the final version is scheduled to be released today.

Screen Time

Last but certainly not least, Apple introduced a collection of new features design to… stop you from using your iPhone.

Huh?

Smartphone overuse is a real problem for people around the world, so Apple and Google are both building new features into their mobile platforms. Apple’s new “Screen Time” feature is designed to do two things. First, it shows you exactly how much you’re using your phone in general, as well as how long you spend using individual apps. Second, it helps you limit overuse by allowing you to set alerts that notify you when you’ve been overusing a certain app. Parents can also create allowances for apps to limit the amount of time children can use a specific app, or create downtime at certain time so all nonessential apps are blocked during the specified hours.

To access Screen Time in iOS 12, go to Settings > Screen Time and you can check out all these new features.

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