Apple's iOS 12.2 update is here and it brings some surprise features to your iPhone and iPad, in addition to all of the other iOS 12 changes you should know about.
Chief among the iOS 12.2 changes are the Apple News Plus subscription service and four additional Animoji. You can also ask Siri to play videos from your iOS device to an Apple TV. It's a stopgap between iOS 12 and the iOS 13 update we expect in a little over two months and Apple WWDC 2019.
The iOS 12 updates are generally positive, save for a few iOS 12 problems, like that FaceTime glitch earlier this year. We've seen 70 new emojis, eSIM support and Group FaceTime launch as part of iOS 12.1 at the iPad Pro 11 launch, and that's on top of all of the iOS 12 features launched last September.
Apple's iOS releases have made its mobile operating system stable and, importantly, competitive in the wake of Google's Android Pie update and last year's Google Pixel 3 launch. With falling iPhone sales, that's increasingly important.
Here's everything you need to know about the new iOS 12.2 update and iOS 12 in general, whether you're upgrading an older iPhone (which will be faster), or getting it out of the box with the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max or iPhone XR.
iOS 12.2 update features list
- Apple News+ subscription for 300 magazines and newspapers
- Four new Animoji masks Shark, Giraffe, Owl, and Warthog
- Very minor Control Center design tweaks
Apple gave us something we didn't expect from the iOS 12.2 beta: Apple News+, an enhanced version of the Apple News app that includes magazine and newspapers.
Apple News+ access includes access to over 300 publications, but requires iOS 12.2 and a $9.99 per month fee (good news, you can share it with your entire family). The first month of access is free, so Apple is hoping to lure iPhone, iPad and Mac users in like it did with Apple Music.
The other big change to iOS 12.2 is the addition of four new Animoji:
With these four, there are now a total of 24 Animoji, not counting all of the customizable Memoji characters you can make.
As of iOS 12.2, you can ask Siri to play videos from your iOS device on your Apple TV, according to Apple's official release dates.
Most of the other minor design changes happen within Control Center. For example, you'll notice that the Screen Mirroring button is no longer represented by a triangle with a floating rectangular box on top of it. It now shows two rectangles overlapping each other. It makes a lot more sense.
More useful is the fact that the Apple TV shortcut button in Control Center leads to a virtual remote that takes up the entire length of the screen. That's helpful if you have an Apple TV or Apple TV 4K, or have an AirPlay 2 compatible 4KTV and lost your remote.