News: Apple Releases iOS 12.2 Public Beta 4 to Software Testers Early, Includes New Icons & Other Small Tweaks

Apple Releases iOS 12.2 Public Beta 4 to Software Testers Early, Includes New Icons & Other Small Tweaks

Apple released iOS 12.2 beta 4 to developers on Monday, March 4, then shortly thereafter also pushed it out to everyone on the iOS 12.2 public beta program. All previous public beta updates for iOS 12.2 were released the following day, but this one changes course. In the iOS 12.2 public beta 4, there are new icons, an updated "About" page, and better Now Playing tile.

Thanks to our sneak peek with the developer version and its included release notes, we know exactly what makes iOS 12.2 public beta 4 tick. Notably, there are new icons for the News app, which matches the new icon that was added inside the app previously, as well as the Apple TV remote that appears as its own tile in Control Center as well as in the Now Playing video tile seen system-wide.

The "About" page also has a slight face-lift, as storage information is grouped into one convenient section. It was previously updated to group information together better for a more organized layout, but now it's even more so with storage info separated from Wi-Fi address, Bluetooth address, modem firmware, etc.

Other than these changes, beta 4 simply includes minor bug fixes to make iOS 12.2 more stable in general. In fact, the release notes for beta 4 are identical to beta 3. That tells you this update seems strictly focused on under-the-hood issues with a few small UI tweaks.

App Store - Promoting Your Subscriptions with New Offers

StoreKit now supports subscription offers in addition to introductory offers, so apps with auto-renewable subscriptions will soon be able to provide a discounted price for a specific duration for existing and previously subscribed customers. You will be able to use subscription offers to help win back subscribers who have canceled their subscriptions or promote an upgrade to another subscription at a special price. Customers can accept the offer even if they've already completed an introductory offer.

StoreKit introduces a new array of SKProductDiscount objects within the SKProduct class to display offers within your app to eligible customers. Add a new SKPaymentDiscount object within the SKPayment class to allow these offers to be accepted by the customer.

Apple Pay - Known Issues

  • You might be unable to authenticate within Wallet after selecting a card. (44919900) Workaround: On an iPhone with Touch ID, double-click the Home button when your iPhone is locked then select the desired card in Wallet and authenticate before holding your iPhone near the reader. On iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, double-click the side button, select the desired card in Wallet, and authenticate with Face ID before holding your iPhone near the reader.

Cellular - Resolved Issues

  • Resolved an issue that prevented prepaid data plan purchases while using cellular data. (47272516)

HealthKit - New Features

  • High and low heart rate notifications and irregular heart rhythm notifications are now available as read-only category sample types. (46422154)

iCloud Photos - Resolved Issues

  • Photos shared using Sharing Suggestions now load correctly. (47401696)

Lock Screen - Resolved Issues

  • The device charge level no longer remains on the lock screen after removing the device from a charger. (47363913)

News - New Features

  • Apple News will be available in Canada with iOS 12.2, and is now available for Canadian users on the developer beta. Apple News in Canada supports both English and French. Readers can access a bilingual experience when they follow a channel in a second language. Note: Publications in the beta do not reflect all content that will be available. Top Stories and Digests are not updated as frequently as they will be in the shipping product.

Siri - Resolved Issues

  • Siri works in iOS simulators. (46681836)

To update your iPhone to iOS 12.2 public beta 4, sign up for the beta program to get a valid configuration profile, if you haven't already. If you have iOS 12's new "Automatic Updates" enabled, you can let the software update overnight. Otherwise, launch Settings, select "General," then "Software Update." Tap "Download and Install," then follow the prompts.

Beta 3 brought with it a slew of new bug fixes and features, including 12.1.4's fix for the Group FaceTime bug, a redesigned Apple TV remote and News app header, and a fix for the "Charged" lock screen issue. These changes are just a few of the many coming to 12.2 as a whole, with each beta update making for a more exciting overall release.

However, some have doubts that a public release of 12.2 is imminent. Users point to the internal name of the build (beta 4 is noted as "F-build") as evidence that beta testing 12.2 is far from finished, claiming that this beta has been sent back six times for issues. However, that could just indicate commits by different teams members, not necessarily issues with iOS 12.2 altogether. Will 12.2 see the public anytime soon? We can't know for sure. Until then, the only way to experience all these new features is to jump on the beta yourself.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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