iOS 12 beta GM – new features and updates [changelog]

iOS 12 was announced at WWDC 2018, with a number of new features like revamped notifications, Screen Time, Group FaceTime, improved device performance, Memojis, new Animojis and a lot more. However, with every major iOS release, there are always a number of small features that are not announced at WWDC by Apple. These are features that are discovered by users as new iOS 12 beta builds are rolled out.

This is a list of all the announced and unannounced iOS 12 features and changes that are discovered in each new iOS 12 build. The list will be updated with the release of every new beta. Note that the betas listed below are developer betas. Public betas are behind developer betas in terms of number, but they have the same features as the dev releases. So, iOS 12 developer beta 3 and iOS 12 public beta 2 would have the same features.

iOS 12 beta 1

  • Lock Screen
    • If you enabled Bedtime Mode, a new Do Not Disturb feature, it will show a weather widget on the lock screen, along with a greeting
    • Media playback controls are darker and slightly smaller than before
    • Accidental screenshots are now ignored. Screenshots feature only becomes active when the display is awake
  • Notifications
    • New Notification UIs for grouped and individual notifications. Notifications are now grouped by app on the lock screen. Tapping on the notifications group shows all the notifications from the app
    • Notification Grouping can be changed between Automatic, By App and Off
    • New user interface for notification settings
    • You can turn off notifications from an app, right from the lock screen
    • A new option lets you set notifications for an app to ‘Deliver Quietly’. This option does not disable notifications but delivers them to your Notification Center without a banner or lock screen alert
  •  Safari
    • Safari now supports favicons/icons in tabs
    • Safari has a new password management interface. Authentication is required via TouchID, FaceID or PIN before passwords can be autofilled in Safari or third party apps
  • Messages
    • Animoji recording time has been bumped up from 10 to 30 seconds
    • Animojis now support tongue detection. Wiggle your tongue and the Animoji will do the same
    • Memojis can be used with camera effects on iPhone X, like a face mask. Works similar to Snapchat’s filters but with very high quality output thanks to iPhone X’s True Depth camera.
    • Tapbacks work from message notifications
    • Photos selection button has been moved to the stickers/apps drawer
    • Photo capture in Messages now shows a new UI for editing photo using effects and Mark up before sharing with contacts
    • The top section of conversations in Messages has been redesigned with new buttons for FaceTime Video, Audio and contact info
  • Siri
    • Siri Shortcuts app is not part of this release, but Shortcuts are available from Settings > Siri & Search. They already work with third-party apps which had Siri support. These Shortcuts can be setup by adding personalized phrases
    • Siri Suggestions appear in the lock screen and when you tap on Spotlight search. Lock screen suggestions can be disabled from this screen too
    • Hey Siri now works in Low Power Mode
  • Control Center
    • New controls available:
      • Scan QR Code
      • HearingHearing and QR Code controls iOS 12
    • New Live Listen feature, accessible via 3D Touch on Hearing control, lets you use your AirPods to listen to what your iPhone hears
  • Bedtime Mode
    • This is a new mode in Do Not Disturb Settings. Enabling this mode disables notifications from showing in notification center, dims the lock screen and silences callsBedtime mode iOS 12
    • Bedtime Mode is available when you enable Scheduled option in Settings
    • When Bedtime Mode schedule ends, you are greeted with a message on the lock screen, along with the weather. Depending on the time of the day that you set Bedtime Mode for, you will get a good morning, good afternoon or a similar greeting
  • Security
    • New AutoFill Passwords toggle in Passwords & Accounts
    • To counter hacks like GrayKey box, a new ‘USB accessories’ toggle, under ‘Allow access when locked’ in Touch ID & Passcode (FaceID & Passcode on iPhone X) disables connectivity if it has been more than an hour since the iPhone was locked. Disabling this toggle enables the security feature and Apple has disabled it by defaultUSB Accessories iOS 12
    • iPhone X users can now set up an alternate appearance for Face ID
    • Passwords saved in ‘Website and App Passwords’ can now be shared via AirDrop
    • Website and App Passwords now warns you when it detects that the same password is used for multiple websites and apps
  • Performance
    • Noticeable improvement in performance, specially on older devices like iPad Air and iPhone 6
    • Apps launch much faster and animations don’t drop frames anymore
    • Even in Low Power Mode, animations remian smooth
  • Screen Time
    • This new app tracks app and web usage on iOS
    • You can set Downtime so that only selected apps will be work, along with phone calls
    • App limits can be set for apps and complete category of apps, along with time and days. Great addition for parents!Screen Time iOS 12
    • You can also set content restrictions, to block inappropriate content
    • Screen Time can be set for family members in iCloud Family Sharing. Users can get weekly reports for family member usage
    • Screen Time also tracks and syncs usage data across multiple iOS devices
    • You get weekly notifications to track your usage insightsScreen Time weekly insight iOS 12
    • A widget is also available
  • Books
    • iBooks has been renamed to Books
    • App now has a new design with different tab layout and allows you to continue reading from where you left off on other devicesApple Books iOS 12
  • Stocks
    • Stocks app has a new design and focuses heavily on news
  • News
    • News app has some design tweaks but nothing major. It is still limited to a few countries only so you will have to switch to United States as your country to use it
  • Photos
    • App is now divided into the following tabs:
      • Photos
      • For You
      • Albums
      • Search
    • Search is smarter than ever and lets you combine multiple filters including people, location, objects and so on
    • ‘For You’ contains memories, sharing suggestions and shared albums
  • Podcasts
    • The app now supports skipping forward and backwards using Bluetooth headphones
    • Skip duration can be changed from 10 to 15, 30, 45 or 60 seconds
    • App now supports chapters for podcasts
  • Music
    • You can now search songs by their lyrics. So far, this seems to work only for a few countries
    • Artist screen has a design update, with larger artworkMusic App iOS 12
    • A play button lets you play all songs by the artist
  • Activity
    • App has been updated to let you challenge friends as long as both of you are using watchOS 5
    • Awards tab now categorizes awards differently
  • Settings
    • Software Updates can now be set to install automaticallyAutomatic Software Update iOS 12
    • Battery screen now show detailed usageBattery iOS 12
  • Miscellaneous
    • Trackpad feature on keyboard now works on non-3D touch devices too. Press and hold on the spacebar to enable it
    • iPad now supports iPhone X gestures
    • iPhone X now lets users close apps by swiping up on them in the app switcher
    • Portrait mode photos are improved
    • Portrait lightning photos are improved
    • When you connect an SD card to your iOS device, a new photo import feature shows up
    • On iPad status bar, time has been moved to the left side of the screen, while Wifi/cellular icons have been moved to the right side of the screen
    • Reachability now works on lock screen and notification center. Also shows a new arrow when in reachability mode
    • New Measure app lets you measure things using ARKit. Level from Compass app has been moved to the new Measure app
    • In some locations, Weather app now shows air quality index
    • Voice memos now let you change audio quality from Settings to either Compressed or Lossless

iOS 12 beta 2

  • New UI for autofilling passwords
  • Battery statistics have received a redesign
  • SIM passcode interface has changed
  • Favicons now show in Website & App Passwords
  • iPad now shows iPhone 6 sized iPhone apps
  • There’s a new animation when you 3D Touch a notification
  • Splash screens added to Screen Time, Voice Memos and other parts of the OS
  • Status bar location activity icon gets a redesign
  • New Spotlight section in News app

iOS 12 beta 3

  • Apple Maps now show new map data for San Francisco Bay Area
  • Voice memo on iPad now has a new design
  • New animation when you 3D Touch ‘Clear all notifications’ button in Notification Center
  • You can now swipe away a notification
  • Battery stats now highlight Low Power Mode usage in yellow color
  • Memoji gets more personalization options on iPhone X

iOS 12 beta 4

  • New activity stickers for Messages
  • ‘For You’ tab in Photos app now shows ‘suggested photos’ and ‘suggested effects’
  • App Store search now shows Stories and Developers in search suggestions
  • Apps in Settings > Cellular are now sorted by data usage
  • New icons for Workouts in Activity app
  • Updated AirPlay icon design in sharing menu
  • Control Center opening animation now has a bit more bounce to it
  • Toggles now have a bolder outline
  • Users need to enter their passcode when connecting any USB accessory to their iPhone. This fixes the issue where users could bypass the restriction by using Apple’s own dongles.

iOS 12 beta 5

iOS 12 Developer Beta 5

  • Users will need to enter passcode to connect to CarPlay, storage devices, assistive devices and other USB accessories that use the Lightning connector. The only device that will work without a passcode is Apple’s charger.
  • Music app shows a new ‘search by lyrics’ box in searchiOS 12 Search by Lyrics
  • Photos app shows new icons for media typesiOS 12 Photos icons
  • Slight tweaks to Memojis customization
  • Battery Health no longer says ‘Beta’iOS 12 Battery Health
  • Faded colors for Wallpapers have been fixed
  • Photos app shows a ‘What’s new’ splash screeniOS 12 Photos Splash screen whats new
  • Screen Time app shows a guide splash screeniOS 12 Screen Time
  • Screen Time data is reset after update and the app runs users though a new setup
  • iCloud Family members no longer show in Screen Time unless they have child accounts
  • Music playback widget on lockscreen colors are slightly darkeriOS 12 music playback controls
  • Control Center background shade seems a bit darker and overall colors seem more vivid. A bit too vivid on my iPhone X with the above default backgroundiOS 12 vivid colors
  • App switcher seems noticeably slower on iPhone X, Hopefully this is fixed in the next build
  • On iPhone X, there is new haptic feedback when you swipe up to open the app switcher, when there are no apps in it
  • FaceTime has new sounds
  • Stocks widget now shows two stocks at a time in s ‘show less’ stateiOS 12 Stocks widget
  • Music files in Files app now show a new icon
  • News app has new icons in bottom bar
  • ‘Clear all notifications’ button now has a smaller font
  • HomePod Personal Requests can now make phone calls

iOS 12 beta 6

  • Fixes an issue where paired Bluetooth accessories might not function correctly or might be displayed using the device’s address rather than its name
  • New App Store splash screeniOS 12 beta 6 App Store Splash Screen
  • New Apple Music splash screen
  • New Apple Books splash screeniOS 12 beta 6 Apple Books
  • App launching performance seems faster than ever in this new update. Even if you force quit all apps, they open up faster than any previous beta or even iOS 11
  • All wallpapers have been removed from the Home app. It only shows 3 gradients when you go to Choose Wallpaper.iOS 12 beta 6 Home App Gradient wallpapers
  • New AirPlay icon on music widgetiOS 12 beta 6 Output Button
  • New library icon when capture a photo in MessagesiOS 12 beta 6 Messages Camera Library Icon

iOS 12 Beta 7

  • Group FaceTime has been removed from this release. As per release notes, it will be ship later this fall.Group FaceTime delayed
  • From release notes: ‘After updating to iOS 12 beta 7, parents should change the Screen Time passcode to prevent children from signing out of iCloud or changing the system time.’
  • Apple Pay might become unavailable when using this new beta. If this happens, open Wallet and try again. Otherwise, restart device and try.
  • Messages app has also received the splash screen treatment #splashscreenalltheappsMessages app Splash Screen
  • FaceID’s face animation is back
  • Measure app has a new iconiOS 12 Measure App

iOS 12 beta 8

After removing iO 12 beta 7 because of stability issues, Apple released iOS 12 beta 8 to developers.

  • Performance fix for the sluggishness that was in beta 7.
    iOS 12 beta 8 fix

iOS 12 beta 9

  • Release Notes mention new issues:
    • ‘The start and stop times for Downtime might change unexpectedly if they were configured prior to installing iOS 12 beta 9. Solution: Update all devices associated with the iCloud account to iOS 12 beta 9 and reset the start and stop times for Downtime.’
    • Traffic data might not display in Maps. Solution: tap on the ‘i’ button and turn on the traffic toggle.
  • Performance seems to be the best out of all betas released for iOS 12 so far. Tested on iPhone X: swipe down on home screen to open Spotlight search, and it’s smooth as butter. Similarly, control center, app switching, opening/closing apps and other parts of the operating system just seem silky smooth. Scrolling and animations in third-party are faster too.

iOS 12 beta 10

  • There isn’t much new in this release, except for some under-the-hood fixes. However, just like the previous build, this one is also really fast. Can’t say that it’s faster than before, but it feels great to use.

iOS 12 beta 11

  • Just a 78 MB update so don’t expect much new. Even release notes don’t mention anything new.

iOS 12 beta 12

  • This release fixes the ‘an update is now available’ error that beta testers have been seeing on their iOS devices.

iOS 12 GM

  • Apple has finally released iOS 12 GM after yesterday’s event.. The release notes do not mention any changes, however, it is good to see that performance is still good with the final release. This is the same build that will be released as to consumers on September 17, unless a major bug is found in the GM build.