Apple Releases iOS 12.2 With Apple News+ Service, New Animoji, HomeKit and AirPlay 2 Support for TVs, Safari Changes and More
Apple today released iOS 12.2, the second major update to the iOS 12 operating system that first launched in September 2018. iOS 12.2 comes more than a month after the release of iOS 12.1.4, the last iOS 12 update, and just after Apple's March 25 event that saw the unveiling of new subscription services.
The update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.2 is free to download. It may take some time for iOS 12.2 to propagate to all iOS users.
iOS 12.2 is a significant update to iOS and adds a multitude of new features. First and foremost, the iOS 12.2 update introduces support for the new Apple News+ subscription service, allowing Apple News subscribers unlimited access to news and magazines for a monthly fee.
For Canadians, iOS 12.2 brings Apple News to Canada for the first time, expanding it beyond the United States, the UK, and Australia. Canadians can access news in either French or English.
There are four new Animoji in iOS 12.2, including a boar, a shark, a giraffe, and an owl. The new Animoji are available in the Messages and FaceTime apps.
iOS 12.2 lays the groundwork for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support on third-party TVs from companies like LG, Sony, and Samsung, with these features set to be implemented later this year. These changes include updates to the Home app to add TV access, and a redesigned TV remote in Control Center that takes up the full iPhone screen and has a darker color. Apple has also introduced a new option for "Allow TV Access" to control who can access and send content to your TV.
When paired with tvOS 12.2, iOS 12.2 brings a new feature that lets you ask Siri to play specific TV shows, movies, and music on devices like third-party TV sets and the Apple TV.
For AT&T users, iOS 12.2 introduces a new "5G E" icon for the cellular signal, replacing the standard LTE icon. This is misleading branding from 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.
Apple has streamlined the interface of the Wallet app ahead of upcoming support for an Apple credit card made available through a partnership with Goldman Sachs. The Apple credit card could have unique Wallet features like rewards tracking, access to balance management tools, notifications about spending habits, and options to set spending limits.
There are dozens of smaller changes and tweaks in iOS 12. The Downtime feature can be customized by day, the Apple News, AirPlay, and Control Center Remote icons have been designed, and audio messages in the Messages app are now higher quality thanks to a new codec.
With Apple Pay Cash, there's a new "Add Money" option in Wallet that makes it easier to add funds, and in Safari, there are now search arrows for getting targeted search results more quickly when conducting a Google search. All websites that do not use a secure HTTPS connection are listed as "Not Secure" in the Safari menu bar, and there is a new Air Quality setting in Apple Maps.
Safari privacy is improving in iOS 12.2 with a new Motion & Orientation toggle located under Settings > Safari > Privacy & Security. Turning this on will let websites display content that relies on motion data from the accelerometer and gyroscope. Improvements have also been made to the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature and support for the outdated opt-in Do Not Track option has been eliminated.
Apple has updated the "About" screen in the Settings app to more logically display relevant information, and Siri is now able to suggest Today at Apple sessions based on Safari and app usage if you have the Apple Store app installed. You'll also be able to see warranty information right on your device in the Settings app.
In a recent episode of Vergecast, The Verge's Nilay Patel said that iOS 12.2 will bring iPad Pro support to the Logitech Crayon, an alternative to the Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2. Following the update, the Logitech Crayon will be compatible with iPad Pro models.
Apple's full release notes for the iOS 12.2 update are listed below, with all new features and included bug fixes:
iOS 12.2 provides support for Apple News+, adds the ability for Siri to play videos from your iOS device to Apple TV, and includes four new Animoji. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.
- Apple News+ is a new subscription service that extends the Apple News experience with hundreds of magazines and top newspapers
Our editors handpick top articles and magazine issues, and you also get personalized recommendations on the topics most interesting to you
Automatic downloads make it easy to read magazine issues offline
- Apple News is now available in Canada, with a free experience that includes handpicked Top Stories, a personalized Today feed, and support for both English and French
- Apple News+ is available in the U.S. and in Canada, with dozens of additional Canadian magazines
- Ask Siri on your iPhone or iPad to play any video, show, movie, sports game, or channel on Apple TV. For example, “Hey Siri, play Free Solo on my TV”
- Four new Animoji—owl, boar, giraffe and shark—are included for iPhone X and later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch
- Dedicated TV controls in Control Center and on the Lock Screen give you quick access to TV controls
- AirPlay multitasking for video allows you to browse other apps, as well as play other short form audio and video files locally on your device without interrupting AirPlay
- AirPlay destinations are now grouped by content type making it faster for you to find what device you want to play to
- Apple Pay Cash customers can now transfer money to their bank accounts instantly using their Visa debit cards
- Wallet app now conveniently displays Apple Pay credit and debit transactions right below the card
- Downtime can be configured with a different schedule for each day of the week
- A new toggle enables easily turning app limits on or off temporarily
- Website sign-in now occurs automatically after filling credentials with Password AutoFill
- Warnings now appear when loading unencrypted webpages
- Removes support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable; Intelligent Tracking Prevention now protects against cross-site tracking by default
- Smart Search Field queries can now be modified by tapping the arrow icon next to search suggestions
- The Browse tab shows more editorial highlights on a single page making it easier to discover new music, playlists, and more
- Support for new AirPods (2nd generation)
This update also includes other improvements and bug fixes. This update:
- Supports Air Quality Index in Maps for US, UK, and India
- Includes information in Settings on how much time remains on your device’s warranty period
- Supports real-time text (RTT) for phone calls made through a nearby iPhone on iPad and iPod Touch
- Displays a "5G E" icon for iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) or iPad Pro 11-inch indicating that users are in an area where AT&T’s 5G Evolution network is available
- Improves quality of audio recordings in Messages
- Improves stability and performance of Apple TV Remote on iOS
- Fixes an issue that prevented some missed calls from appearing in Notification Center
- Addresses an issue where a badge notification could appear on Settings even though no action is needed
- Addresses an issue in Settings > General > iPhone Storage where the storage size of some large apps, the System category, and the Other category in the storage bar graph could be incorrect
- Fixes an issue that could cause Voice Memos to automatically play back recordings after connecting to a car Bluetooth device
- Resolves an issue that could cause Voice Memos to temporarily prevent renaming a recording
iOS 12.2 could be one of the last significant updates that we see to the iOS 12 operating system as Apple's focus will shift to iOS 13 after the Worldwide Developers Conference, which is set to take place on June 3.