Apple plans to release iOS 12 to everyone on September 17, but if you are a bit excited and don’t want to wait until then, you can download and install iOS 12 now. All you need to do is join the Apple beta program if you haven’t already joined.
Why iOS 12 Golden Master was issued
Apple issued the Golden Master (GM) build of iOS 12 to developers and public beta testers on Sept. 12, the day of its Gather Round event. The same iOS version will be released publicly on Sept. 17. iOS 12 went through a record-breaking 12 developer betas and 10 public betas.
This GM beta version is issued to public beta testers to fully ensure that it is bug-free and there are no stability issues. It also helps ensure that the final version runs smoothly on all devices. The GM version is issued to developers so they can adjust their apps to support the new version of the OS and take advantage of any new features. Going by past iOS releases, it is likely that the GM build is the same one that will be rolled out to users later in the week, so if you want to download and install iOS 12 now, you should be able to get the GM version of it.
With iOS 12, you will get improved notifications, Memoji, Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts and many other new features. Apple’s primary objective with iOS 12 is to improve the performance and responsiveness of both old and new iPhones.
“iOS 12 brings performance improvements and exciting new features to iPhone and iPad,” says the release notes for the iOS 12 GM version.
How to download and install iOS 12 early
You can easily download and install iOS 12 early via Apple’s beta program. All you need to do is visit Apple’s beta website on your iPhone or iPad and then sign up and log in with your Apple ID. Next, you must agree to the usual terms and conditions. After that, click on the iOS tab, which will give you the option to download the beta profile onto your handset.
Next, select “install,” and then you will be prompted to enter your iOS device’s passcode. Then you will have to tap through a few screens until your iPhone restarts. After that, head to the Settings and check for the update. You will see the iOS 12 update there. All you have to do then is download and install iOS 12 like any other iOS release.
In addition to joining the beta program, there is one more way to download and install iOS 12 early. Though developer and public beta programs are the easiest way to get the iOS 12 GM build, you can also get the latest build by downloading the IPSW file of the iOS 12 GM to your Mac or Windows PC. After downloading the IPSW file, you can use iTunes to install it on your iPhone by updating your iPhone’s firmware to iOS 12 GM.
Updating the firmware shouldn’t lead to data loss on your device. However, before you start the download process, it is always advisable to back up your device just in case. The best way to back up your device is via iTunes.
iOS 12 supported devices
Users willing to wait a few more days to get the final iOS version will get a notification when the update is available. It’s still a good idea to back up your data in case something goes wrong. After you get the update notification, just head to Settings > General > Software Update. Then select the option to install iOS 12.
If you don’t see any update option, restart your device to try again, and also check if your device is supported. Apple’s iOS 12 is compatible with: the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and, of course, the latest models: the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr.
iOS 12 is also compatible with: the iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, fifth-generation iPad, second- and first-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pros, and the sixth-generation iPod Touch.