Apple Seeds iOS 12 Golden Master to Developers and Public Beta Testers Ahead of September 17 Launch Date
Apple today seeded the golden master (GM) version of iOS 12 to developers. The golden master represents the final version of iOS 12 that will be released to the public, and it comes after a beta testing period that saw Apple release 12 betas over the course of the beta testing period.
Registered developers can download the iOS 12 golden master from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed, while public beta testers can download the update over-the-air.
iOS 12 is a significant update for the operating system designed for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It introduces multiple new features, with with Apple revamping the operating system from top to bottom to make iPhones and iPads, especially the older models, faster and more responsive.
On the iPhone X, there are new Animoji characters (Ghost, Koala, Tiger, and T-Rex) along with "Memoji," which are customizable, personalized, humanoid Animoji that can be used both in Messages and in FaceTime, plus there are fun new camera effects in both of those apps.
Apple originally planned to introduce Group FaceTime support in iOS 12, but the feature was removed in iOS 12 beta 7 and will not be reintroduced until later this fall in a future iOS 12 update.
Siri is smarter than ever in iOS 12 with a new Shortcuts feature designed to let you create multi-step customized automations using first and third-party apps that can be activated with Siri voice commands. Shortcuts can be created through the Shortcuts app, which will be released alongside iOS 12, and Siri will offer up Shortcuts suggestions.
Apple built comprehensive time management and monitoring tools into iOS 12 with Screen Time, allowing you to keep track of how much time you're spending in apps on your iPhone and iPad. App limits can help you cut back on iOS device usage, and robust parental controls are included for families.
Updated Do Not Disturb options make activating Do Not Disturb more intuitive and simple, and a new Do Not Disturb at Bedtime feature cuts down on nighttime distractions and sleep interruptions by hiding notifications at night.
Grouped Notifications make incoming notifications easier to view and manage, while a new Instant Tuning feature lets you tweak your notification settings right on the Lock screen on a notification-by-notification basis to cut down on the number of notifications you receive.
Apple News has a new Browse feature, the Stocks app has been redesigned and brought to the iPad, iBooks has been overhauled with a new look and a new name - Apple Books - and Voice Memos has been revamped with iCloud support and an iPad app.
ARKit 2.0 introduces new capabilities like shared experiences that let two people see the same AR environment on separate devices, and persistence, which allows AR experiences to be saved across multiple sessions. There's also a new Apple-built Measure app for measuring objects using AR functionality.
iOS 12 includes a revamped and rebuilt Maps app that uses a new Apple-designed Maps engine that displays foliage, pools, buildings, pedestrian pathways, and other map elements more accurately. The new Maps also includes significant improvements to traffic, real-time road conditions, construction, and more, plus it lets Apple push out changes and fixes more quickly.
The updated Maps app is available in the Northern California area during beta testing and at launch. Following iOS 12's public release, Apple plans to continue rolling out the new Maps app to additional U.S. locations.
iOS 12 will be released to the public on Monday, September 17, four days ahead of the official launch date of the new 2018 iPhones. For more details on all of the new features included in iOS 12, make sure to check out our iOS 12 roundup.