Apple's main iOS releases always offer lots of new features, but what about the interim updates? iOS 12.2 is on its way and will offer you several new features for your iPhone and iPad. 

Apple has already released the first public beta of iOS 12.2, allowing anyone in its public beta test to try the software before an official rollout. That means the iOS 12.2 release date is still a little while away. It could be in a couple of months' time, perhaps when we get new AirPods, and a possible new iPad at an Apple Spring event. 

Let's take a look at what's inside iOS 12.2. 

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News subscriptions

We already knew that Apple was considering how it could build subscription services into Apple News, enabling you to subscribe directly to digital versions of newspapers and magazines using your Apple credentials. It seems the service is coming to iOS 12.2 and uses tech Apple bought when it acquired Texture last year. 

Interestingly, 9to5Mac also found mention of a "bundle subscription" which could point the way towards Apple having a subscription service that covers periodicals as well as Music and TV shows - we know that Apple will launch a video streaming service this year. 

Downtime 

There's no doubt that Screen Time was one of the best things about iOS 12. Put simply, it helps you reduce the amount of time you spend messing about on your phone. But it's not that customisable. Apple is beefing up the feature in iOS 12.2 by enabling you to customise particular days of the week. That's handy if you want to lock things down during work days yet not at the weekend.

Or maybe you have a date night every Friday and you need to lock things down then. You'll need to go to Settings > Screen Time > Downtime to use the new feature. 

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"Hey Siri" coming to AirPods

The new AirPods will enable you to use Siri - they'll recognise when you say "Hey Siri" instead of you needing to press a button on your phone.As such the Siri training feature in iOS 12.2 has been broadened to include the ability to train the AirPods to recognise your voice. 

Other iOS 12.2 features

There are a few other titbits around regarding new features in iOS 12.2. Maps will reportedly have a new air quality checker. The AirPlay menu in the Action Center (and on the lock screen) has been slightly redesigned to deal with TVs that will have AirPlay built-in - you'll be able to see what's playing on the TV and directly access the remote control app.

We learned at CES 2019 that Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony will be incorporating AirPlay and HomeKit tech. HomeKit in iOS 12.2 will enable you to control compatible TVs through the Home app - you'll be able to switch input and change volume, for example. 

What does iOS 12.2 say about new hardware? 

As well as the AirPod "Hey Siri" feature pointing towards a smarter pair of AirPods, there are four new iPads referenced in the iOS 12.2 code (actually two new models with Wi-Fi and cellular versions) in addition to a seventh-generation iPod touch. 

The new iPads could be a standard 9.7-inch model in addition to a fifth-generation iPad mini, which has been long expected. Interestingly, there appears to be no mention of the iPod supporting either Face ID or Touch ID (presumably it will have at least the latter), while there's nothing on Face ID for the iPads, either.