You don’t have to wait until Sept. 17.
After detailing all that iOS 12 has to offer in early June, Apple is ready to release the final version of its new software. iOS 12 officially launches Sept. 17, at which point compatible iOS devices will be notified of the available update. The new update includes features like Memoji, Siri shortcuts and better notifications. But if you can’t wait to play with the new features, there’s a way to install it now.
Rick Broida detailed which devices support iOS 12, but the cheat sheet for compatibility is if your device runs iOS 11, it will run iOS 12.
How to download iOS 12
Technically, you’ll be downloading the beta version of iOS 12 that Apple released earlier this summer. At this point — just a few days before the final release — the beta version is actually the “Gold Master” build. Meaning, it is effectively the same software that will be released on Monday, Sept. 17.
To sign up for the public beta, you will need to visit beta.apple.com on your iOS device, and log in with your iCloud account. Select the iOS tab, then follow the instructions.
You will need to install a provisioning profile, restart your device, and then go to Settings > General > Software update to complete the process.
But first, back up your device
Before you even think about installing iOS 12, especially while it’s in beta, do your future self a favor and create a backup right now. Don’t rely on iCloud, but preferably use iTunes on a computer. Using iCloud could result in iOS 12 overriding the iOS 11 backup, which won’t be helpful in case things go wrong.
With your iOS device connected to iTunes, select “Backup to this computer” and check the box to create an encrypted backup. Set a password, and let iTunes do its thing.
Creating an encrypted backup saves all of your account and app passwords. If you should need to restore your iOS device, you can use this backup and not have to enter passwords.