News: iOS 12.3 Features You Don't Want to Miss, Including Apple TV Channels, AirPlay 2-Enabled TVs & Apple Pay in Apple Apps

iOS 12.3 Features You Don't Want to Miss, Including Apple TV Channels, AirPlay 2-Enabled TVs & Apple Pay in Apple Apps

Apple released iOS 12.3, the latest version iOS 12 for iPhone, on May 13. Great features to know about include Apple TV Channels such as HBO and Showtime that you can subscribe to in the TV app, support for audio, image, and video streaming to AirPlay 2-enabled TVs, and the ability to use Apple Pay to pay for content and subscriptions inside Apple's own apps.

The software spent nearly seven weeks in beta testing before going live for everyone. Apple released 12.3 beta 6, the final beta, on Friday, May 13, days after beta 5. While iOS 12.3 doesn't have as many new features as iOS 12.2 did, there are some big ones you need to know about for iPhone.

1. Subscribe to Premium Channels in Apple TV

By far, the most important feature of iOS 12.3 is Apple TV Channels. First introduced back in March during Apple's big subscription presentation, the feature makes it easy to subscribe and watch participating premium TV channels and networks in one convenient location. That location: the updated Apple TV app.

When subscribing to a premium channel inside Apple TV, you don't even need to install each service's app since everything is done right in the Apple TV app. Current premium channels you can subscribe to at launch include Acorn TV, Cinemax, Comedy Central Now, CuriosityStream, Epix, HBO, Lifetime Movie Club, MTV Hits, PBS Living, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, Sundance Now, Tastemade, and Urban Movie Channel.

As an example of its potential, Apple TV Channels is currently the only way you can download HBO content for offline playback. If you're an HBO GO or HBO Now user, you know that the bane of every Game of Thrones fan is the lack of downloadable content. This change alone might be enough to get HBO subscribers to sign up through Apple TV Channels instead of their cable provider or via the service directly.

2. Apple TV Received a Huge Makeover

While the new Apple TV Channels feature is definitely the hot ticket item in the Apple TV app, it's not the only new feature to be found. The app has a new icon, the menu bar was simplified, there are new tabs in the "Watch Now" section, movies and TV show listings are streamlined with a new look, cover art in the "Library" section has been slimmed down to fit more on the screen, and it can even suggest what TVs to AirPlay content to. For all the details on these features and more, we've got a full roundup on iOS 12.3's new TV app.

Images by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

3. You Can Use Apple Pay in Apple Apps

While it didn't release when iOS 12.3, the new update also makes it possible to use Apple Pay to make purchases in the App Store, iTunes, Apple TV, and Apple Books apps, along with subscriptions for Apple Music, Apple News+, and iCloud storage. What that means is that you can finally use other payment cards aside from the one attached to your Apple ID, including Apple Cash.

In order to use Apple Pay in the apps mentioned, you need to add your Apple Pay cards as payment options for your Apple ID. To do so, open Settings, tap "iTunes & App Store," then select your Apple ID email address. Next, tap "View Apple ID," followed by "Manage Payments."

If your primary Apple ID payment method is already used for Apple Pay, you can link them together. To add more, tap "Add Payment Method, then tap on the Apple Pay cards you want to add under the Found in Wallet section. It's a server-side update, so if you don't see it yet, be patient and try again later.

(1) Opening "Manage Payment" settings. (2) Linking default card with Apple Pay. (3) Linking another Apple Pay card.

4. There's AirPlay 2 Support for Third-Party TVs

While AirPlay 2 isn't new, AirPlay 2 support for third-party TVs is. It's been long teased by Apple and it's finally here so you can share videos, photos, music and more from your iPhone directly to a supported TV.

Right now, only 2019 Sony smart TVs and some 2018 models are supported with a firmware update from Sony. These televisions also have the Apple TV app itself, a nice additional perk.

Other manufacturers that will support AirPlay 2 streaming soon include LG, Sony, and VIZIO, and more may follow suit if we're lucky.

5. There Are More AirPlay 2 Features

Aside from third-party TV support, Apple listed the following as extra features for AirPlay 2 in its iOS 12.3 release notes.

  • One-tap playback automatically plays your chosen TV show or movie on the last screen you used based on time and location.
  • Siri Suggestions to watch movies and TV shows now include an option to AirPlay.
  • Intelligent suggestions are all done on-device so your personal information stays private.

6. Apple Music's 'For You' Suggestions Update More Often

If you subscribe to Apple Music, in the "For You" tab, you know that there are suggestions for music based on themes, including various genres, artists, and moods you often listen to. Now, in iOS 12.3, those recommendations are updated multiple times a day instead of just once.

7. It's Faster to Follow Magazines in Apple News+

For those of you who subscribe to Apple News+ in the News app, it's now easier to follow magazines since you can do it right from the catalog browsing view. Before, you'd have to tap a magazine first to see the option to follow it, but now you can do it right away.

8. A Few Bugs Are Fixed

Apple's release notes state the following fixes related to the Apple TV Remote, Wi-Fi calling, and metadata not showing up on stereo displays when connected in a car.

  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Apple TV Remote from pausing video, controlling video, or changing volume on supported receivers.
  • Addresses an issue that could cause calls made using Wi-Fi calling to drop.
  • Fixes an issue where song information from a connected iPhone may not appear in a car's display.

9. Some Serious Security Updates Were Patched

You can view security updates on its site, but one big one to point out is that Apple fixed a vulnerability that allowed someone with access to your iPhone to view your iTunes email address. We assume that's from the lock screen, but it doesn't specify. Another important one to mention is that your iPhone could previously be tracked via its Wi-Fi Mac address, but Apple removed the broadcasted MAC address for privacy.

Update to iOS 12.3 if You Haven't Already

To download and update your iPhone to iOS 12.3, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update. Once your iOS 12.3 update loads, follow the instructions on the screen to download and install the new software.

Apple's Official Release Notes for iOS 12.3

iOS 12.3 includes support for AirPlay 2-enabled TVs and features a redesigned Apple TV app. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

AirPlay 2

  • AirPlay 2 now supports sharing videos, photos, music and more from your iPhone and iPad directly to your AirPlay 2-enabled smart TV.
  • One-tap playback automatically plays your chosen TV show or movie on the last screen you used based on time and location.
  • Siri Suggestions to watch movies and TV shows now include an option to AirPlay.
  • Intelligent suggestions are all done on-device so your personal information stays private.

Apple TV app

  • The Apple TV app features an all-new design that highlights expertly curated collections and personalized recommendations.
  • Apple TV channels offer subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, Starz, and more, available to watch directly in the Apple TV app, online or off.
  • Subscriptions to Apple TV channels can be shared with up to six family members, with no new apps, accounts, or passwords needed.
  • New release movies are available to buy or rent in the Apple TV app, including the full catalog of over 100,000 movies and the largest selection of 4K HDR titles.
  • A new dedicated kids section helps you discover editorially-handpicked shows and movies safe for kids of all ages.
  • The Apple TV app can now intelligently suggest playing to the most likely Apple TVs or AirPlay 2-enabled TVs nearby.

This update also includes bug fixes and improvements. This update:

  • Adds the ability to follow a magazine from the Apple News+ catalog browsing view.
  • Apple Music's For You tab now updates multiple times a day suggestion music based on themes like genres, artists, and moods you love.
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Apple TV Remote from pausing video, controlling video, or changing volume on supported receivers.
  • Addresses an issue that could cause calls made using Wi-Fi calling to drop.
  • Fixes an issue where song information from a connected iPhone may not appear in a car's display.
Cover image, screenshots, and GIFs by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks (unless otherwise noted)

Master Your iPhone

Fresh tips & tricks every week.

Be the First to Comment

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest