Sketchy photo purports to show iOS 12’s new features

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ipad ios 11
iOS 12 could pack a ton of big surprises.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

We’ve seen some incredibly sketchy Apple “leaks” over the years. This one, a photo that purportedly shows an iOS 12 upgrade ready to be installed on an iPhone, is up there with the most ludicrous.

Here’s what the image claims we’ll get when Apple’s big update rolls out this fall.

Apple releases major iOS updates every September to coincide with the launch of its latest iPhone lineup. iOS 12 is next up for 2018, and while we have no doubts it will be a big update, we aren’t expecting a great deal of user-facing changes or new features.

According to recent reports, the biggest changes in iOS 12 will happen under the hood. Apple is said to be focused on improving performance and fixing the many bugs still plaguing its platform, while new features are on hold for now.

But according to a photo posted to Chinese micro-blogging network Weibo, we’re in for a big surprise.

iOS 12 ‘leak’ promises big surprises

Update: The photo is definitely fake. It was originally created for a YouTube video by Zollotech before a Weibo user stole it and put their watermark on it.

“iOS 12 introduces a beautiful new design and contains new features including a dark theme, new notifications, always-on display, a new control center, new Animoji for iPhone X and iPhone SE 2 and more,” reads the release notes.

“The update also includes stability improvements, security updates and bug fixes.”

iOS 12 release notes
iOS 12’s release notes, apparently.
Photo: Weibo

Many of these things were included in our iOS 12 wish-list, so we’d be delighted if they actually made it into Apple’s next upgrade. But we can’t help but think that this photo is little more than an unconvincing fake.

Don’t get your hopes up

Apple hasn’t even previewed iOS 12 yet — that will happen at WWDC next week — so it seems highly unlikely that the update would be popping up on an iPhone out in the wild already. If it did, why did only one person see it? iOS updates roll out to everyone at the same time.

LetemSvetemApplem, which first noticed the photo, suggests the update could have been made available for early testing on an Apple employee’s iPhone. But it’s silly to think that Apple doesn’t have a more secretive process for rolling out unannounced versions of its software for internal testing.

Then there’s the fact the the release notes mention an iPhone SE 2, which hasn’t even been announced yet, that’s compatible with Animoji. That must mean that the next iPhone SE will have Face ID, which again seems unlikely for Apple’s most affordable handset.

It’s definitely fake

But there’s another thing that makes us certain this photo is a fake. It’s not the promise of new features we’re sure we won’t get, or the mention of an iPhone SE 2 with Face ID. It’s the mention of a new “control center” that’s written in lower case.

Apple always capitalizes Control Center because it’s the name of a feature. Just like Notification Center or Slide Over or FaceTime or Siri. Check out the image below, taken from the iOS 11 page on Apple’s website. There’s a whole section on Control Center, and not once is it mentioned in lower case.

iOS 11 Control Center
Apple always capitalizes Control Center wherever it’s mentioned.
Photo: Apple

The creator of this image has clearly gone to great lengths to make it look convincing. They’ve taken the time to ensure the release notes are grammatically correct, since Apple’s always are. But it’s one small oversight that gave them away.

Better luck next time!