iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5 are now available

Apple just released the latest operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Here's how to get them.

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Following months of beta testing, Apple has released its latest operating systems for mobile, TV, and Apple Watch to the general public. Get ready for an afternoon of downloading and device restarts as you update your gear to iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5.

The latest Mac operating system, macOS Mojave, is scheduled for release on Monday, September 24.

iOS 12

iOS 12 adds a host of new features, but the best is probably that it runs a lot faster on older devices. Some of the other features include:

  • Grouped notifications and better notifications management
  • Redesigned Maps
  • Screen Time
  • Improved battery use info
  • New gestures on iPad
  • Memoji
  • Better password management
  • Photos improvements
  • Portrait Mode improvements
  • Do Not Disturb at Bedtime
  • ARKit 2.0 and the Measure app
  • ...and lots more

To get iOS 12 on your iPhone or iPad: iOS 12 supports every Apple product that could run iOS 11, all the way back to the iPhone 5s and iPad Air. 

The easiest way to update is to simply do it on your device. You’ll get a notification when iOS 12 is available, but that sometimes takes a while. If you’re impatient, you can check manually by going to Settings > General > Software Update. The update is typically available around 10:00 a.m. Pacific on release day.

If you want to use iTunes, plug in your device your Mac or PC, select the device when it appears in the menu, and then select Summary in the left pane and click the Check for Updates button. If an update is available, you’ll receive a prompt to download it, so press “Download and Update” to proceed.

Looking for a really fresh start? Back up your iPhone and then erase it. Our guide will show you how.

iOS 12 on HomePod

HomePod runs a special version of iOS 12, which is getting an update along with Apple’s mobile products. It adds the following improvements:

  • Song search by lyrics
  • Support for starting phone calls
  • Siri Shortcuts
  • Multiple timers
  • Find My iPhone

By default, your HomePod should update automatically. If you want to update it manually, follow our guide.

tvOS 12

Your Apple TV (4th generation or 4K) gets a bit of a boost with the tvOS 12 update today, too. The biggest change is the addition of Dolby Atmos support, but you’ll also see new “Arials” screen savers and, depending on your TV provider or carrier, maybe even Zero Sign-on.

To update your Apple TV, go to Settings > System > Software Updates and Select Update Software.

watchOS 5

The Apple Watch Series 4 sure is neat, but even existing Apple Watch owners get a substantial upgrade with watchOS 5. That is, unless you have the original Apple Watch (now called Series 0): watchOS 5 is not supported on that model.

When you upgrade to watchOS 5, you’ll get the following new features:

  • Walkie-Talkie
  • Auto workout detection
  • Yoga and Hiking workouts
  • Siri watch face improvements
  • New watch faces
  • Podcasts
  • Background audio from third-party apps
  • Grouped notifications
  • More interactive notifications
  • Siri raise-to-speak (Series 3 and 4 only)

To update your Apple Watch, open the Watch app on the iPhone you have paired with it. Then tap on General, and then Software Update. You’ll have to put your Watch on its charger to complete the update. It can take awhile, so be prepared.

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