Last month’s iOS 12 update gave us screen time tools, security updates, and a whole heap of new features that make your iPhone feel new again.
Now, with iOS 12.1, you get even more ways to express yourself on your iPhone and iPad. With Group FaceTime, you can chat with up to 32 friends and family. You can also spice up your messaging life with 70 new emoji—including a freezing-cold smiley, a mooncake, and a long-awaited redhead.
Most importantly, unlike the $1,199 MacBook Air announced today, this sweet software update is totally free. Apple says that iOS 12.1 will become available today, October 30, but you may need to wait up to 24 hours for it to show up on your phone. Here’s how you can get it.
Back It Up
First, make sure all of your data is backed up. While iCloud will secure your basic information, like contacts and notes, you’ll probably want more comprehensive backups.
To back up information like Touch ID and Apple Pay settings, use iTunes on your Mac or PC. Connect your device to a computer, open iTunes, and select the device icon in the top bar, or in the sidebar, depending on your version of iTunes. Click “Back Up Now.”
Clear the Way
Since installing a new OS can require more storage space, it’s smart to tidy up your tech before updating. Delete the apps and photos you don’t need. If you’re an iPhone photographer with loads of photos, upload those snapshots to an external hard drive or Google Photos, then delete them from your phone.
Give It a Boost
Your device needs to be charged in order to download and install a new operating system. Plug your device into an outlet and connect to Wi-Fi.
Ready, Set, OS
You’ll probably receive a notification when iOS 12.1 becomes available for download. Don’t see it? The roll-out starts today, but it may take up to 24 hours to show up on your device. If you miss the notification (or instinctively hit “Later” to keep watching that YouTube video), don’t sweat it. Head to Settings > General > Software Update to start downloading those snazzy new hieroglyphs to your device.
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