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New features in iOS 12.2: Apple News+, new Animoji, new AirPods support, and more [Video]

Apple has released the public version of iOS 12.2, which includes the launch of the company’s brand new Apple News+ subscription service for magazines. The update, which is available for all eligible iPhone, iPads, and the iPod touch, includes a bevy of new changes, features and enhancements.

Needless to say, iOS 12.2 is a massive update, and likely the last big update before iOS 13 launches in beta later this year. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough and we step through all of the new changes and features in iOS 12.2.

New features in iOS 12.2

Now that iOS 12.2 is finally out of beta, we have an official list of changes from Apple that the final public release includes. These updates include the aforementioned Apple News+ subscription service, but also includes changes to Siri, Apple TV remote integration, Apple Music, and so much more.

For instance, there are new Safari improvements that make it easier to find what you’re looking for through search suggestions, and enhancements to AirPlay that make it quick and easy to control your Apple TV via the Lock screen or Control Center. There’s even four new Animoji characters for those of you using devices with the TrueDepth camera, such as the new iPad Pro, iPhone XR, and iPhone XS.

In this post and video, we’ll step through all of the major new changes so that you can understand what’s new.

Video walkthrough of new features in iOS 12.2

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Apple News+

  • Apple News+ is a new subscription service that extends the Apple News experience with hundreds of magazines and top newspapers.
  • Handpicked top articles and magazine issues along with personalized recommendations on the topics most interesting to you.
  • Automatic downloads for magazines for offline reading.
  • Available in Canada, with a free experience that includes handpicked Top Stories, a personalized Today feed, and support for both English and French.
  • Available in the U.S. and in Canada, with dozens of additional Canadian magazines.
  • Free 1-month trial, $9.99 a month thereafter.


  • Four new Animoji characters, including a giraffe, shark, owl, and warthog.


  • Support for new 2nd-generation AirPods.

Apple Music

  • The Browse tab makes it easier to discover new music, playlists, by showing more editorial highlights on a single page.


  • Control Center and the Lock screen now feature dedicated quick-access TV controls.
  • AirPlay multitasking —  browse other apps, as well as play other short form audio and video files locally on your device without interrupting AirPlay.
  • AirPlay destinations now grouped by content type, which makes it faster to find a destination device.

Apple Pay

  • Apple Pay Cash customers can now transfer money to their bank accounts instantly using their Visa debit cards.
  • Wallet app now displays Apple Pay credit and debit transactions right below the card.


  • 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.

Screen Time

  • 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.


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 Spiderman: Enter the SpiderVerse on Office TV.”

Additional bug fixes and improvements

  • 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.

9to5Mac’s take

Indeed, iOS 12.2 is a major new update for iPhones and iPads, and is worth downloading immediately for the new Apple News+ feature alone. But AirPlay, Apple Music, and Safari enhancements are what really make iOS 12.2 an update that everyone will enjoy, even those who aren’t particularly interested in Apple’s new services initiative led off by the launch of Apple News+.

What’s your favorite new feature in iOS 12.2? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts and observations.

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Avatar for Jeff Benjamin Jeff Benjamin

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.