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iOS 10.2 Adds TV App, HomeKit Notifications, New Emojis

Apple has released iOS 10.2, which includes the new TV app, new emojis, a smattering of new and enhanced features, and a plethora of bug fixes. You can install the roughly 360 MB update via Settings > General > Software Update or through iTunes.


The marquee new feature, at least for U.S. users, is the TV app, which replaces the Videos app (see “Apple’s TV App Seeks to Unify the Apple TV Experience” 27 October 2016). TV integrates video content from multiple apps, such as iTunes, HBO NOW, and Starz, so you have one place to access all of your shows — except those in Netflix, which doesn’t yet support the TV app. You can add shows to an Up Next list, which keeps track of the programs you’re following and syncs between your Apple devices. The TV app is also available in tvOS 10.1 — see “tvOS 10.1 Unifies the Apple TV Experience with “TV” App” (12 December 2016). If you sign into iTunes with an Apple ID account based outside the United States, you won’t get the TV app and the Videos app will remain.


For people who prefer communicating with pictures, iOS 10.2 adds over 100 new emoji, including bacon, clowns, and whiskey. These additions come just in time for my 2016 year in review.

Those who are dipping into home automation will appreciate iOS 10.2’s HomeKit improvements — notably the addition of notifications. Now, HomeKit devices like motion detectors, door and window sensors, and water leak sensors can send you notifications. Also, HomeKit vendors can send you notifications when your HomeKit accessories have software updates available.

Plus, iOS 10.2 reportedly improves Bluetooth performance and connectivity with third-party devices. That should help with both HomeKit sensors and a whole range of other accessories.

Apple focused attention on Photos in iOS 10.2, improving stabilization and frame rates for Live Photos, beefing up the accuracy of photo grouping in the People album, supporting more raw image formats, and fixing some bugs.

Messages features two new screen effects — Love and Celebration — which you can access by entering your message to an iMessage user, pressing and holding the blue arrow icon to access effects, tapping the Screen tab, and then swiping from right to left. Messages also fixes an issue that sometimes prevented the keyboard from showing.


In the Music app, Shuffle, Repeat, and Up Next are now easier to access from the Now Playing screen in iOS 10.2 — just swipe up. You can also now choose how to sort Albums, Playlists, and Songs in Music’s Library screen.

The News app sports a few improvements, including an icon in stories that lets you jump to the next story. Plus, articles from paid sources will now be featured under For You.

Mail receives fixes for an issue that caused the Move sheet to persist after filing a message, problems with long presses activating copy and paste, and a bug that would select the wrong message after you deleted a conversation.

Those who rely on iOS’s accessibility capabilities may appreciate the addition of BraillePen14 to VoiceOver and fixes for the Braille table switching unexpectedly with VoiceOver, Siri’s enhanced voices sometimes not being available, and Switch Control being unable to delete voicemail messages.

iOS 10.2 also includes fixes for issues that would show FaceTime participants out of focus, prevent Visual Voicemail from playing, cause Safari Reader articles to open as empty pages, and crash Safari after you marked a Reading List item as read. Finally, iOS 10.2 also includes fixes for 12 security issues.

The changes in iOS 10.2 are sufficiently widespread that we encourage some level of caution — wait a few days and check the online discussions before installing to make sure the update doesn’t cause other problems.

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Quickly master new (and existing) features in iOS 10 on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch! TidBITS Managing Editor Josh Centers helps you come up to speed with extensive coverage of iOS 10's key enhancements, including the new Lock screen, Widget screen, and Home app, plus changes to the keyboard, Messages, Control Center, Mail, Maps, Photos, Safari, and more.

 

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Comments about iOS 10.2 Adds TV App, HomeKit Notifications, New Emojis
(Comments are closed.)

Michel Hedley  2016-12-12 18:40
Wow! new Emojis! How earth shattering. How amazing. What clever software development.
Scott M.  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2016-12-12 19:47
Don't forget the new screen effects, "Love" and "Celebration"! 😉

Who needs things like Mac hardware updates when we get new emojis and screen effects!
gastropod  2016-12-12 23:40
Does the update still support 32-bit apps? Does it get even more annoying when opening them? I have a bunch of old apps that still work just fine, I don't care if they 'might slow down' my phone, and a few are much used and irreplaceble (american heritage dictionary, an hp-11 emulator, news rack...), so I can't update until I'm sure that they don't break.

Thanks.
iPhone 5S update possible only with iTunes.
Simon  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2016-12-15 08:30
Has anybody else here observed this bug?

On my iPhone 6 whenever I select update for an installed app in the App Store app's update section, the download starts but when the circle is almost complete, it appears to start over from the beginning. This happens to me with any app update and on wifi as well as 3G.

Is this just some weirdness here or is this an actual bug others have noticed as well?
David Emme  2016-12-15 16:42
I've seen this more than a few times on my iPod Touch 6G running 10.0.2. After apparently "trying" several times it sometimes indicates success and sometimes just seems to quit. In the latter case, occasionally the app has been updated in spite of the circle not changing to an "Open" button.
G. Douglas Eddy  2016-12-27 11:34
What happened to my DVD chapters? I loaded a number of DVD's and purchased a bunch that were concert videos - would use specific chapters (song performances) for things like working out or just seeking a selective video experience. NOW THEY ARE GONE! Please Apple - stop dumbing down your software! I'm getting ready to switch after 31 years. First bookmarks gone from Pages and now this!
Jason Williams  2017-02-07 04:19
The new emijis are awesome but does it still support 32bit apps?
By the way you can also check iOS 11 emojis