Apple Releases Sixth Developer Beta of iOS 12.2 [Update: Public Beta Available]
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 12.2 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fifth beta of iOS 12.2 and two months after the release of iOS 12.1.4.
Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.2 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.
iOS 12.2 will see the launch of a new subscription service within Apple News, which Apple is planning to unveil at an upcoming March 25 event. Apple plans to offer unlimited access to magazines and paywalled news services for a single monthly fee, with all of the content available through the News app.
iOS 12.2 expands Apple News to Canada for the first time, with Canadian iPhone and iPad users able to read news stories in English, French, or both. Apple says that during the beta, content will be more limited than it will be when the update is released.
There are four new Animoji included the iOS 12.2 beta, including a boar, a shark, a giraffe, and an owl. Animoji can be used within the Messages and FaceTime apps.
The software introduces initial support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on third-party TVs in light of recent AirPlay 2 announcements, with a new option for limiting TV access joining the speaker access option in the Home app. There's also a redesigned TV remote in Control Center, and when paired with tvOS 12.2, you can ask Siri to play specific TV shows, movies, and music on your HomeKit devices like the Apple TV.
For some AT&T users, there's a new "5G E" icon for the cellular signal, replacing the standard LTE icon. This is a bit misleading of AT&T, because the iPhone does not support 5G, nor is the network AT&T calls 5G E actual 5G. Instead, it's an upgraded version of LTE, with more info available here.
The Wallet app's interface has been streamlined and tweaked because Apple is planning to introduce support for an Apple credit card that will be made available through a partnership with Goldman Sachs. The credit card could have unique features like rewards tracking, access to balance management tools, notifications about spending habits, and options to set spending limits.
The Downtime feature in Screen Time can be customized by day in iOS 12.2, Apple has made minor changes to some icons (including Apple News, AirPlay, and Remote in Control Center), audio messages are now better quality, and there are new Safari features, with a full list of changes introduced throughout the beta testing period available in our iOS 12.2 tidbits post.
Apple is improving Safari's privacy in iOS 12.2 through a new Motion & Orientation toggle located under Settings > Safari > Privacy >Security, which is disabled by default. The setting needs to be enabled on to allow websites to display content that relies on motion data from the accelerometer and gyroscope in the iPhone and iPad.
iOS 12.2 confirms that Apple is planning to release second-generation AirPods with "Hey Siri" support, thanks to a hidden "Hey Siri" AirPods setup screen in the beta. The inclusion of the AirPods setup option in the beta indicates that Apple could perhaps be planning to release new AirPods when iOS 12.2 is released. There have also been hints of additional work on AirPower, suggesting that product is still coming.
Apple plans to introduce the Apple News service at an event that will take place on March 25, and it's likely the company plans to release iOS 12.2 shortly afterwards to provide iOS users with access to the new subscription options.
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