Apple Releases iOS 12.3, macOS 10.14.5, and WatchOS 5.2.1 Updates

Apple has released versions of iOS 12.3 for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and HomePod today, bringing a mix of several new features as well as the standard bug and security fixes that dot releases are known for. iOS 12.3 supports all of the same devices that were included with the original iOS 12 release, meaning devices all the way back to the iPhone 5s and the original iPad Air are supported. For participants in Apple’s iOS beta programs, there does seem to be an issue surrounding the release notes provided, as users have been reporting that the notes for 12.3 are actually listed as the original iOS 12 release notes.

Perhaps the most notable new feature comes in the form of a revamped Apple TV App making its debut on iPhones and iPads, as well as the Apple TV. The updated TV App adds the ability for customers to subscribe to select networks, such as HBO, with just a few taps. Once a subscription is established, customers can then watch shows that are presented by the network directly from within the TV App, creating a consistent experience with less jumping around from App to App. Customers are also able to download shows and movies for playback offline and works similar to movie rentals, with an expiration date established once the download is completed. Other addition to the TV app include a dedicated “Kids” tab for quick and easy access to family friendly content, and more personalized recommendations.

Speaking of TV’s, iOS 12.3 also provides support for AirPlay 2 on select Samsung TV’s released in 2018 and 2019. Samsung TV’s also get a slightly different version of the Apple TV App, with The Verge reporting that integrations from 3rd party video services, like Hulu, not being supported. It also should be noted, that the AirPlay 2 functionality for Samsung TV’s does not include HomeKit compatibility, which is a strange omission, as competitors Vizio and LG do feature the ability to be controlled by Apple’s smart home platform.

Rounding out the rest of the updates, WatchOS 5.2.1 expands support for health features such as ECG and irregular heartbeat notifications to 5 additional countries. For HomePod, the ability to “join enterprise networks that require unique credentials” has been added. macOS 10.14.5 has added AirPlay 2 support, and “bug fixes including audio latency improvements” for owners of 2018 MacBook Pros. Finally, for owners still clinging on to the 3rd Generation Apple TV, an unexpected update to version 7.3 is also available, although exact changes were not provided.

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