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Apple just launched iOS 12: here's how it'll change your iPhone and iPad

iOS 12 news

You can download the iOS 12 update on your iPhone and iPad starting today, with Apple delivering new features to existing devices.

iOS 12 tweaks the operating system with Grouped Notifications, Memoji being added to Animoji, and better speeds for older devices. Even your iPhone 6 will run faster.

Apple announced the official iOS 12 release date at last week's iPhone XS launch, noting the update would land on Monday, September 16. It didn't provide a time.

But you can now get iOS 12 through the Settings menu (the one with the big gray gear icon): Go to Settings -> General -> Software Update and you'll see it.

Why iOS 12 may not download right away

We can already tell you that iOS 12 is better than iOS 11. Just about everyone we had talked to over the last year experienced iOS 11 problems. Nope, you weren't alone.

But one problem Apple users face year and year out is the ability to quickly download new iOS software. We don't expect the iOS 12 launch to be any different in 2018.

With so many old iPhone users clamoring to download the software update at the same time, it may take several hours or even a whole day to get through. At least, that's what we've experienced in the past.

Even when you do get through, you don't find iOS 12 to contain Group FaceTime, a feature first promised at Apple WWDC 2018. That's been delayed, and we have high hopes we'll see it in iOS 12.1 in October, maybe when the iPhone XR launches.

What do you do in the meantime? There are a lot of features to look forward to, so you can always explore them through our iOS 12 explainer below.

Matt Swider

US Editor-in-Chief

Matt Swider is TechRadar's gadget-savvy, globe-trotting US Editor-in-Chief who leads the US team in New York City. He began his tech journalism career all the way back in 1999 at the age of 14, and first started writing for TechRadar in 2012. He's tested over 1,000 phones, tablets and wearables and commands a Twitter account of 777,000+ followers. Matt received his journalism degree from Penn State University and is never seen without his TechRadar headphones.