iOS 12.2 is now available, adding Apple News+, new Animoji, and a host of interface tweaks

The second major update to iOS 12 adds Apple's new premium subscription service along with a bunch of smaller changes.

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Jason Cross/IDG

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After releasing iOS 12.1.3 with a few minor bugfixes, Apple has has moved on to iOS 12.2. The first beta was released to developers on January 24, 2019, with the first public release following on the 28th.

At its “Show time” event on March 25, Apple mentioned the release of iOS 12.2, which brings with it the company’s new Apple News+ subscription service and a host of smaller features, such as four new Animoji. 

To download the update, open the Settings app, tap General, then Software Update

Updated 03/25/19: After six beta releases lasting two months, iOS 12.2 is now available. 

What’s new in iOS 12.2

Apple News+: Apple’s new premium subscription service is the star feature of iOS 12.2. It provides access to over 300 magazines and several newspapers, including the LA Times and Wall Street Journal. The subscription costs $9.99 a month, and includes family sharing. You’ll see a News+ tab at the bottom of the News app in iOS 12.2. Head there to get started. 

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Head to the News+ tab at the bottom of the News app to get started with Apple’s new premium subscription service.

Support for AirPlay and HomeKit on TVs: Apple recently announced that AirPlay is coming to a bunch of smart TVs this year and iOS 12.2 starts to add support for them. They’re referenced in the Home app, and there’s an updated design to the TV Remote control center tile.

Apple News in Canada: iOS 12.2 brings Apple News to Canada, including Apple News+.

New Animoji: You can now chat with your friends using the new giraffe, shark, owl, and boar Animoji.

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Four new Animoji grace your Messages in iOS 12.2 (starting with Developer Beta 2).

Minor interface tweaks: In addition to TV references in the Home app, iOS 12.2 tweaks a few other minor interface elements. The Wallet gets a cleaned-up “last transaction” details list, and the AirPlay screen mirroring icon is new, for example.

Improved voice Messages: Voice messages in the Messages app have sounded pretty bad for a long time. iOS 12.2 fixes that by replacing the old AMR voice code with the superior Opus codec, and tripling the sample rate from 8,000 Hz to 24,000 Hz. Fredrik Riedel noticed the change and documented the night-and-day difference on Twitter.

Safari changes: Sites that do not use HTTPS are now listed as “Not Secure” in the menu bar. This used to appear only if a non-HTTPS site requested a password or credit card number. There are now blue arrows in the google search suggestions, which will add those terms to the search bar when tapped. Apple has added a new “Motion & Orientation Access” toggle in the the Privacy & Security section of Safari settings.

Weather and AQI in Maps: In Settings > Maps, there’s a new Climate section with toggles for Weather Conditions and Air Quality Index. Previously, there was no way to turn weather conditions off, and AQI is entirely new. The weather and AQI appear in the lower right corner of the Map view.

Support for new devices: iOS 12.2 adds support for the new iPad Air and iPad mini, the second-generation AirPods, and adds Logitech Crayon support to the iPad Pro.

Apple’s complete iOS 12.2 release notes

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+

  • 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

  • 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

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


  • 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

Apple Music

  • 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
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