On Monday, Apple pushed out iOS 12.2, the second major update to iOS 12. It’s a crucial update for iOS users, considering it comes just after Apple’s March 25 event, where the company unveiled several new subscription services.
Support for new services
Apple’s iOS 12.2 update comes more than six months after the first major update to iOS 12 in September and a month after the last minor update, which was iOS 12.1.4. It’s likely that iOS 12.2 will be the last major update to version 12 because Apple will now be focusing on iOS 13, which will be showcased at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 3.
Apple’s over-the-air update for iOS 12.2 is available on all eligible devices. To update to the latest version, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
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With iOS 12.2, Apple is adding several new features while making subtle changes to the user interface and icons. The biggest addition in the new update is support for the new Apple News subscription service. This new service will give subscribers unlimited access to news and magazines. Apple’s news service, called Apple News Plus, will cost $9.99 per month.
iOS 12.2 also brings Apple News to Canada. This is the first time Apple is expanding its news service beyond the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Users in Canada will have the option to access the news in either French or English.
Apple also introduced four new Animoji: a boar, a shark, a giraffe, and an owl. These new Animoji will be available in the Messages and FaceTime apps.
Apple has updated the Wallet app’s interface as well. Yesterday the company launched an Apple credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs. The Apple Card offers unique Wallet features, such as the ability to set spending limits, notifications about spending habits, reward tracking and more. However, support for the new credit card will come to iOS later, so the latest Wallet app update may have nothing to do with it yet.
Other major updates with iOS 12.2
The latest iOS update also adds support for Apple’s second-generation AirPods, and the iPad Pro will now support the Logitech Crayon, which previously was limited to the sixth-generation iPad.
The iOS 12.2 update also includes AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support on third-party TVs from brands such as Samsung, Sony and LG. These features are not available now, but they will arrive some time later this year. Apple has also updated the Home app to add TV access and a redesigned TV remote in the Control Center. There is a new option called “Allow TV Access,” which will enable users to grant access to their TV.
Apple is expanding the use of Siri with the latest update as well. You can now ask Siri via your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to play certain TV shows, movies and music on the Apple TV and some third-party TV sets. This feature works when paired with tvOS 12.2.
Safari-related changes and more
There are a couple of Safari-related changes as well. Apple has added search arrows in Safari to help users get results more quickly when doing a Google search. Safari will also now list websites that don’t use a secure HTTPS connection as “Not Secure.”
Apple has also enhanced privacy on Safari with a new Motion & Orientation toggle. This new option is located under Settings > Safari > Privacy & Security. When enabled, it will allow websites to display content based on motion data from the device’s gyroscope and accelerometer.
In addition to these bigger changes, the new iOS update adds several small but useful tweaks as well. Users will now be able to customize the Downtime feature by day. The quality of audio messages in the Messages app has also been improved. Apple has also redesigned the icons for Apple News, AirPlay, and the Control Center Remote.
Apple Pay Cash will also have a new “Add Money” option in the Wallet. This new option will make it easier to add funds. Apple Maps will have a new Air Quality setting. The “About” screen in the Settings app has also been updated to show more relevant information.
Additionally, AT&T users will now see a “5G E” icon for the cellular signal. This new icon will replace the standard LTE icon. However, it does seem to be another case of false marketing because iPhones don’t support 5G, and AT&T’s “5G E” network is not actually 5G. In reality, 5G E is an updated version of LTE.
To learn more about the update, you can view Apple’s in-depth release notes and changelog here.