Even if you typically shy away from rushing to update to the latest version of iOS, you’re probably going to want to install iOS 12 when it launches.
Aside from a slew of new features, upgrades and functionalities, iOS 12 actually boosts the performance and stability of iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. While that’s a boon for users of newer devices, Apple has specifically said that iOS 12 will significantly bump up the speed for older devices.
In other words, we recommend that you go ahead and download it when it comes out.
That being said, there are a few things you need to do before installing iOS 12 — or any new major software, for that matter. Here’s everything you need to know to get your iOS device ready for the big update.
Make Your iOS Device is Compatible
Before you can update to iOS 12, you need to make sure that your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is compatible.
Luckily, iOS 12 will be released on the same lineup of devices that were supported on iOS 11 — as well as Apple’s 2018 iPhone and iPad lineup.
That means it’ll be Apple’s largest release in terms of how many devices can install it. With that being said, depending on how old your iPhone or iPad is, it could not be supported.
Here’s a list of the compatible devices.
- iPhone 5s and newer.
- All iPad Pro devices.
- iPad 5th generation and newer.
- iPad mini 2 and newer.
- iPad Air and newer.
- iPod touch 6th generation and newer.
Clean Up Your iPhone or iPad
The time right before a major software update is the perfect opportunity to clean up your iPhone.
This will ensure that you have plenty of space to download and install iOS 12 when it drops. But it also means that you’ll just generally have a cleaner and more clutter-free device.
Get rid of the apps you don’t use, delete duplicate or unneeded photos, and do away with those years-old message threads.
Even if you’re good on storage, you’ll be glad you did. You can check out our guides to cleaning up your device below.
- Tips to a Clutter-Free iPhone & Pad
- Free Up iPhone Storage with iOS 11 Tools, Recommendations & iCloud
- Quickly Free Up iPhone and iPad Storage in iOS Settings
- iPhone Storage Full? Tips Managing iOS iMessage Data
Update Your Apps
iOS 11 represented a big change when it came to apps. Basically, it did away with support for 32-bit apps — meaning that those older apps would no longer work on the new software update.
Luckily, iOS 12 does not make that significant of a change to the app infrastructure.
But still, it’s a good idea to go through and update your apps to the latest version to mitigate any potential issues that could come up in the next operating system.
- iOS 12, A Comprehensive Troubleshooting Guide
- Error Installing iOS 12? A Detailed Guide to Understanding and Fixing iOS Install Issues
Back Up Your iPhone
This is something you should be doing regularly, anyway. But it’s also incredibly important before any type of software update.
Put simply: fully back up your device before even attempting to download or install iOS 12. The exact method you use is up to you, however.
An archived iTunes backup can help ensure that you have a recoverable version of your phone in the case of issues down the road.
If you opt to use iTunes’ encryption, you’ll also be able to backup certain thighs that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to — like health and other sensitive data.
With that being said, there’s certainly nothing wrong with just using iCloud to backup your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It’s better than nothing.
By and far, the most important thing about backing up your device is that you do.
- Backup iPhone Photos Using iCloud Photo Library
- How To Back Up iPhone to an External Drive Using iTunes and Terminal
- Q&A: Upgrading To a New iPhone, Should I Encrypt Backups?
Update Your iPhone
Once you’ve completed all the above steps, there’s nothing left to do except update your phone.
One last step is to make sure that your iTunes is working and updated on your PC or Mac. This is important because if you end up with errors trying to install iOS 12 on your idevice using OTA, you are going to need iTunes to help you out.
iOS 12 will be available as a free over-the-air update when it officially launches. You can find it in Settings —> General —> Software Update.
Watch out for the new Automatic Update message when you update your device to iOS 12.
Keep in mind that the update process could take some time, depending on device and which version of iOS you’re updating from. Make sure to allot a certain period of time when you don’t need your smartphone or tablet.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.