The most recent iOS update is here, and version 12.3 of Apple’s mobile operating system introduces several changes to AirPlay and the Apple TV app that are worth checking out. Here’s how to make the most of them:
Apple TV channels and app redesign
The Apple TV app received a UI makeover and now includes several new features, the most notable being a new Apple TV Channels feature that allows users to subscribe to premium third-party services—such as HBO, CBS All Access, or Showtime—without needing to set up any extra accounts or apps. Apple TV subscriptions can also be shared with up to six family members on one account. The services that are available through Apple TV Channels at launch include:
- Acorn TV
- CBS All Access
- Comedy Central Now
- The History Channel Vault
Along with the new channels are a host of new UI updates. The Apple TV app will now provide personalized content recommendations and suggestions for Apple TV devices or AirPlay 2-supported TVs you can watch your shows on. These personalized touches also include dedicated spots for curated content lists, such as kid-friendly and sport-focused sections, and the ability to buy and rent any Apple TV content directly in the app.
Additionally, Apple’s TV app is now the only place (as of when we wrote this article) where you’ll be able to download HBO content for offline viewing. That would have probably been handy a few weeks ago at the start of Games of Thrones season, rather than at the end, but at least you can go back and binge the good episodes without wasting precious data.
All of these changes can be found in the Apple TV app once you’ve updated to iOS 12.3.
New AirPlay 2 features
iOS 12.3 also adds some handy new functions to AirPlay 2. You’ll now be able to automatically play content from your iPhone or iPad on connected AirPlay 2-supported TVs. A new one-touch play feature will also remember the last AirPlay 2 device you streamed to, so you can begin playback without having to select your display device each time. Siri now includes AirPlay as an option when searching for how to watch movies or TV shows.
Other changes in iOS 12.3
As with any OS update, iOS 12.3 fixes a few bugs that have been causing users headaches lately, and they’re worth quickly pointing out. Here are the primary bug fixes from the official release notes:
- You can now follow a magazine from the Apple News+ catalog browsing view
- Apple Music will now update the “For You” tab multiple times a day
- Additional fixes for Apple TV Remote inputs not being received, Wi-Fi calling drops, and song metadata not appearing while listening to a connected car stereo.
How to install iOS 12.3
Compatible iOS devices running iOS 12.2 should automatically update to 12.3, but if you haven’t received the update yet, or don’t have automatic updates enabled, you can go to Settings > General > Software Update > Check for software update to confirm if a new version is available on your device. If there is, the update will download and install in the background, though you’ll need to restart your device once it’s done in order to apply the update.