Tuesday, 18 September 2018 11:32

iOS 12, HomePod iOS 12, tvOS 12 and watchOS 5 now available for all to download Featured


If you have a compatible iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch, Apple TV or a HomePod, then today is upgrade day to get the latest and greatest features.

Ok, so if you're paranoid or wary, you might want to wait a week, two or more before jumping in to the latest OS updates for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, HomePod, Apple TV or Apple Watch.

This way, if there are any major bugs that have yet to be uncovered, you won't be affected, but for those who have a sense of spirit and adventure, there's no time to update like right now.

Of course, those people updated to the iOS 12 public beta long ago, with developers having had a couple of weeks earlier access, but the vast bulk of the iOS using population — over a billion people — are yet to update and can now do so.

I personally updated to the iOS 12 public beta the day you could do it, but waited for watchOS 5 to launch because no public beta was available, presumably because Apple feels people rely on their Apple Watches even more than their phones.

I'm also very excited to try iOS 12 on the HomePod, which will now allow you to make phone calls, set multiple named timers, music search by lyrics (in the US, UK, Australia and Canada), Find My iPhone, Calendar support for additional languages, and Siri shortcuts.

So, now the updates are available, what do they enable you to do, what are the cool new features?

Here's Apple's official iOS 12 page, with lots and lots of must-read info.

One cool tip for anyone without a 3D Touch screen, meaning older iPhones that are still compatible with iOS 12, is the ability to bring up a mouse cursor.

On 3D Touch iPhones, you just press down on the keyboard with a finger until the keyboard goes white, and you can use the entire surface of your iPhone screen like a trackpad.

But on older iPhones which don't have 3D Touch, but do have iOS 12, you can just press and hold the spacebar, and you'll get the same white keyboard effect and the ability to use the entire surface of the phone's screen as a touch pad!

iPad users have been able to press with two fingers on the keyboard to bring up the same feature, as iPads haven't had 3D Touch. But this new feature to just press and hold the keyboard with a finger also now works on iPad, which as Cult of Mac which wrote about this, note can be easier in some situations that needing two fingers.

iMore also has its iOS 12 FAQ here, and the Independent in the UK also has some tips and tricks for you to try. 

There are millions of other articles out there, please check them out and learn all the cool things you can now do, many of which plenty of people who have absolutely no idea about.

Below are Apple's own list of updates for iOS 12, but now, let's move on to the Apple Watch and watch OS 5.

Here's Apple's official watchOS 5 page, with plenty of features uncovered and explained.

Then we have some great screenshots of what's new in watchOS 5 from 9to5Mac, followed by great new watchOS 5 features from idownloadblog, and finishing up with Cnet's tips and tricks you need to know for watchOS 5.

There's also the HomePod update, which you can also read about at this News18 article, as well as at Apple's official HomePod page.

We finish with tvOS 12, the latest version of the OS for the Apple TV - see the last part of this article for those details. 

Let's start with the HomePod update text, as it is the shortest of all, and then the iPhone, followed by the Apple Watch update text:

Apple's update text for iOS 12 on HomePod:

  • iOS 12 includes support for multiple timers, music search by lyrics, telephony and Find My iPhone.
  • Conveniently search for a song using the lyrics if you can’t remember the title (English only)
  • Create multiple named timers
  • Make and receive phone calls directly on HomePod or simply ask Siri who is calling
  • Similar to Apple Watch, Find My iPhone on HomePod allows you to quickly locate any of your
    iOS or macOS devices with an audible ping
  • Calendar support to include all languages
  • View the network name in Settings

Apple's update text for iOS 12:

iOS 12 brings performance improvements and exciting new features to iPhone and iPad.

Photos introduces new features to help you rediscover and share the photos in your library; Memoji —a new, more customisable Animoji— make Messages more expressive and fun; Screen Time helps you and your family understand and make the most of the time spent on devices; Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri; augmented reality becomes even more engaging with the ability for developers to create shared AR experiences; and new privacy features help protect you from being tracked on the web. This update introduces new features and improvements to:


  • iOS has been enhanced for a faster and more responsive experience across the system
  • All supported devices see improved performance, going back to iPhone 5s and iPad Air
  • Camera launches up to 70 per cent faster, the keyboard appears up to 50 per cent faster and typing is more responsive
  • Apps launch up to twice as fast when your device is under heavy workload*

* Testing conducted by Apple in May 2018 using iPhone 6 Plus supporting normal peak performance, prerelease iOS 11.4 and prerelease iOS 12. Keyboard tested using Safari; Camera tested by swiping from the Lock screen. Performance varies based on specific configuration, content, battery health, usage, software versions and other factors.


  • New For You tab helps you discover great photos in your library with Featured Photos, Effect Suggestions and more
  • Sharing Suggestions proactively recommend sharing photos taken at events with the people who are in them
  • Search enhancements make it easier to find your photos with intelligent suggestions and multiple keyword support
  • Search for photos based on the place, business name or event where you were when you took them
  • Improved camera import with faster performance and a new large preview mode
  • RAW support for editing images


  • Portrait mode improvements preserve fine detail between subject and background when using Stage Light and Stage Light Mono effects
  • QR codes are highlighted in the camera frame, making them easier to scan


  • Memoji, a new, more customisable Animoji, make Messages more expressive with personalised characters that are diverse and fun
  • Animoji now also include T. rex, ghost, koala, and tiger
  • Make Memoji and Animoji wink and stick out their tongues
  • New camera effects bring Animoji, filters, text effects, iMessage sticker packs and shapes
  • to the photos and videos you capture in Messages
  • Animoji recordings can now capture up to 30 seconds

Screen Time

  • Screen Time provides detailed information and tools to help you and your family find the right balance of time spent with apps and websites
  • See the time spent in apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received and how often devices are picked up
  • App limits help you set the amount of time you or your child can spend in apps and on websites
  • Screen Time for kids lets parents manage how their child uses iPhone and iPad directly from their own iOS devices

Do Not Disturb

  • Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location or calendar event
  • Do Not Disturb during Bedtime hides all notifications from your lock screen while you sleep


  • Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
  • Instant Tuning gives you control over your notification settings directly from the lock screen
  • New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Centre without interrupting you


  • Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri
  • Add shortcuts using the “Add to Siri” button in supported apps or in Settings > Siri and Search
  • Siri suggests shortcuts on the Lock screen and in Search
  • Get motorsports results, schedules, stats and standings for Formula 1, Nascar, Indy 500 and MotoGP
  • Search for photos by time, location, people, topic or recent trips to find relevant photos and Memories in Photos
  • Translate phrases in more languages, with support for over 40 language pairs
  • Check facts about celebrities, such as when they were born and ask questions about food, including calories and nutrient content
  • Turn torch on or off
  • More natural and expressive voice now available in Irish English, South African English, Danish, Norwegian, Cantonese and Mandarin (Taiwan) 

Augmented Reality

  • Shared experiences in ARKit 2 let developers create innovative AR apps you can experience together with friends
  • Persistence enables developers to save and reload experiences directly from where you left off
  • Object detection and image tracking gives developers new tools to recognise real world objects and track images while they move through space
  • AR Quick Look extends AR throughout iOS, letting you view AR objects with built-in apps like News, Safari and Files and share them with friends with iMessage and Mail


  • New augmented reality app to measure objects and spaces
  • Draw lines across surfaces or in free space to measure and tap on a line’s label to see more information
  • Automatically measure rectangular objects
  • Capture, share and mark-up screenshots of your measurements

Privacy and Security

  • Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
  • Suppresses ad retargeting by reducing advertisers’ ability to identify iOS devices uniquely
  • Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
  • Reused passwords are flagged in Settings > Passwords and Accounts
  • Security code AutoFill presents one-time security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
  • Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords and
    Accounts in Settings
  • Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device 

Apple Books

  • All-new design that makes discovering and enjoying books and audiobooks easy and fun
  • Reading Now makes it simple to get back to the book you’re currently reading or find great recommendations on what to read next
  • Add books to the new Want to Read collection to keep track of what you’d like to read next
  • The Book Store makes it easy to find your next favourite read with new and popular selections from our Apple Books editors and recommendations chosen just for you
  • The new Audiobooks store helps you find immersive stories and informative nonfiction books narrated by your favourite authors, actors, and celebrities 

Apple Music

  • Search now supports lyrics so you can use a few of the words to find a song
  • Artist pages have an easier to browse design with a personalised station of any artist's music
  • The new Friends Mix is a playlist of songs you’ll love from everything your friends are listening to
  • New charts to show you the daily top 100 songs in countries around the world 

Apple News

  • Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics
  • The new sidebar on iPad and Channels tab on iPhone make it easy to jump straight to your favourite publications and discover new ones


  • All-new design lets you easily view stock quotes, interactive graphs and top news on iPhone and iPad
  • Top Stories section includes articles selected by Apple News editors to highlight the latest news driving the market
  • Read Apple News stories directly in the app, formatted to look great on iPhone and iPad
  • Watchlist includes colour-coded line graphs that let you see daily performance at a glance
  • See an interactive graph for every ticker symbol, plus key details including after-hours price, trading volume and more 

Voice Memos

  • All-new design with improved ease of use
  • iCloud keeps your recordings and edits in sync across all your devices
  • Available on iPad with support for both portrait and landscape orientation


  • Get notified when movies and TV shows are available to watch in Up Next
  • Share your favourite movies, TV shows, and sporting events with universal links

Apple Podcasts

  • Now supports chapters for shows that include them
  • Skip 30 seconds or to the next chapter with forward and back buttons in your car or on your headphones
  • Easily manage new episode notifications from the Listen Now screen 


  • Live Listen now works with AirPods to help you hear more clearly
  • RTT phone calling now works with AT&T
  • Speak Selection now supports using the Siri voice to speak text that you have selected

Other features and improvements

  • Camera effects in FaceTime transform your look in real time
  • CarPlay adds support for third-party navigation apps
  • On supported campuses, use contactless student ID cards in Wallet to access buildings and pay with Apple Pay
  • Website icons can appear in tabs on iPad by enabling them in Settings > Safari
  • Weather includes air quality index in supported regions
  • Quickly swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go home on iPad
  • Swipe down from the top right to access Control Centre on iPad
  • Markup includes a palette of additional colours and options to change line width and opacity for each tool
  • Battery usage chart in Settings now shows your usage for the last 24 hours or 10 days and you can tap a bar to see app use for that period of time
  • On devices without 3D Touch, touch and hold the keyboard Space bar to turn your keyboard into a trackpad
  • Maps adds support for indoor maps for airports and shopping centres with indoor positioning in China
  • New definition dictionary in Hebrew and bilingual dictionaries in Arabic and English, and Hindi and English
  • New English thesaurus
  • Automatic software updates allow iOS updates to be installed automatically overnight

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit:

https://www.apple.com/au/ios/feature-availability and https://www.apple.com/au/ios/whats-new

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:



Apple's update text for the Apple Watch watchOS 5

watchOS 5 brings you new ways to be more active, stay connected, and monitor your health with your Apple Watch including Activity competitions, automatic workout detection, Yoga and Hiking workouts, Podcasts, Walkie-Talkie, new watch faces, an updated Siri watch face, and enhancements to notifications and the Heart Rate app.

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:



  • Challenge any of your Activity sharing friends to a one-on-one, seven-day competition
  • Earn points by filling your Activity rings, one point for every percent added to the rings each day
  • View active competitions in the sharing tab of the Activity app
  • Receive intelligent and personalised notifications throughout the competitions
  • Earn awards at the end of the competition, and view in the redesigned Awards tab in the Activity app on iPhone


  • Automatic workout detection sends alerts to start the Workout app for many workouts, giving you retroactive credit for exercise already started, and end alerts reminding you to end your workout
  • Yoga and Hiking workout types for accurate tracking of relevant metrics
  • Set target pace during outdoor run workouts and receive alerts if you fall behind or move ahead of that target pace
  • Track cadence, or steps per minute, as you run and see average cadence in running Workout summaries
  • Rolling mile (or km) metric for running workouts measures pace for the immediately preceding mile (or km)

Apple Podcasts

  • Sync subscribed shows on Apple Podcasts to Apple Watch for local playback with Bluetooth headphones
  • New episodes are automatically refreshed as they are added to subscribed shows
  • Stream any available episode or show on Apple Podcasts with Siri when connected to Wi-Fi or cellular
  • New Podcasts complication for watch faces


  • Invite friends with Apple Watch to communicate with Walkie-Talkie
  • Press to talk and release to listen
  • Supports one-to-one interactions between Apple Watch users
  • Special sounds and haptics distinguish Walkie-Talkie from other notifications on Apple Watch
  • Set your availability for Walkie-Talkie
  • Walkie-Talkie works through Wi-Fi or cellular on Apple Watch or with paired iPhone

Watch Faces

  • Breathe face with three animation styles to choose from: Classic, Calm, and Focus
  • Three new motion faces—Fire & Water, Vapor, and Liquid Metal—that animate when you raise your wrist or tap the display
  • Display curated moments from your photo library using the Memories option on the Photos watch face
  • New complications for Podcasts and Walkie-Talkie


  • Updated Siri watch face intelligently surfaces predictive and proactive Shortcuts based on routines and inputs like location and time of day
  • Integration with Maps on the Siri watch face shows turn-by-turn directions and estimated arrival times to your next calendar event location
  • Heart Rate measurements surfaced on the Siri watch face including resting rate, walking average, and recovery rate
  • Live sports scores and upcoming games for your favourite teams in the TV app appear on the Siri watch face
  • Support for third-party app shortcuts on the Siri watch face
  • Access to Siri with Raise to Speak, by raising your wrist to your mouth and speaking your request into the watch (Series 3 and later)
  • Support for customised voice commands for Siri Shortcuts that are created and managed on iPhone


  • Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
  • Ability to modify notifications preferences for an app by swiping left on an app notification in Notification Center
  • New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Center without interrupting you
  • Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location or calendar event

Heart Rate

  • Option to be notified if your heart rate falls below a specified threshold while you appeared to be inactive for a 10-minute period
  • Heart Rate measurements including resting rate, walking average, and recovery rate shown on the Siri watch face

Other features and improvements

  • View website content optimised for Apple Watch when receiving links in Mail or Messages
  • Add cities to Weather app on Apple Watch
  • See new metrics like UV Index, wind speed, and air quality index in supported regions in Weather app
  • Add new stocks to track in the Stocks app on Apple Watch
  • Customise arrangement of Control Center icons
  • Choose Wi-Fi networks in Settings app and enter password if prompted
  • Answer FaceTime video calls as audio on Apple Watch
  • Option to install software updates overnight
  • Add cities to World Clock app on Apple Watch
  • Use redesigned categories to scroll through and choose emoji in Mail and Messages
  • Adds support for system language in Hindi

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. For more information visit:


For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:


Here are the details for the Apple TV and its new tvOS 12:

  • tvOS 12 delivers Dolby Atmos support to Apple TV 4K. With tvOS 12, Apple TV 4K is the only streaming player both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certified, delivering the highest quality cinematic experience of stunning 4K HDR visuals and immersive sound that flows all around in three-dimensional space.tvOS 12 delivers Dolby Atmos support to Apple TV 4K. With tvOS 12, Apple TV 4K is the only streaming player both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certified, delivering the highest quality cinematic experience of stunning 4K HDR visuals and immersive sound that flows all around in three-dimensional space.
  • tvOS 12 also offers a new Zero Sign-on feature that gives you access to your account simply by detecting the broadband network. Zero sign-on begins with Charter later this year and will expand to other providers over time.
  • Apple, in collaboration with the International Space Station National Lab and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, delivers brand new aerials shot from space by NASA astronauts, so Apple TV customers running tvOS 12 can enjoy even more stunning scenes filmed in 4K HDR. Aerial screensavers will also be more interactive, allowing viewers to see the location information and swipe between dozens of beautiful aerials.
  • Home control systems like Control4, Crestron and Savant can be used to control Apple TV, including using Siri for voice search and control.
  • tvOS 12 also supports AutoFill passwords saved on iOS 12 and brings Apple TV remote to the Control Center on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
  • tvOS 12 requires Apple TV 4K or Apple TV 4th generation.
  • To manually update your Apple TV with the latest update, you need to open the Settings app on your TV and then navigate to Settings > Systems > Software Update.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.





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