Today has seen another round of software updates from Apple. In addition to iOS 12.3, Apple has released macOS Mojave 10.14.5, watchOS 5.2.1, and tvOS 12.3.
The macOS Mojave 10.14.5 update appears to focus on under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements, with the only notable change being adding support for the Reiwa era of the Japanese calendar.
tvOS 12.3 includes the revamped Apple TV app that Apple debuted at its services-focused event in March.
The upgraded TV app offers better integration of bundle providers including Spectrum and PlayStation Vue, and streaming apps like Hulu, and, as a result, a much improved user experience.
A new feature of the TV app is what Apple calls Channels, which are third-party video services that you can sign up for and watch content from without needing to leave the TV app. The channels available include CBS All Access, Starz, Showtime, HBO, Nickelodeon, Mubi, The History Channel Vault, and Comedy Central Now.
MacStories explains how channels differ from how integrated services worked previously in the TV app:
Channels work differently from how TV app-integrated services currently operate. Today, for example, if you find an HBO show in the TV app that you want to watch, you have to download the HBO app and sign up for HBO Now inside that app, then you can launch HBO content from the TV app and it will play inside HBO's own app – the TV app's only benefits are initiating playback and tracking your shows via the Up Next queue. When Channels launch, things will be much simpler for Channels-partnering services: when you find that HBO content you want to watch, you'll be able to sign up for HBO Now quickly and easily from inside the TV app and the video will play right from TV. There's no need to download or use a separate app at all.
The upgraded TV app uses curation and machine learning to recommend new shows and movies to you. It also includes a new tab that provides access to content appropriate for kids.
A Mac version of the TV app is coming this fall. It will also launch this year on Roku; Amazon video hardware; and selected televisions from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio.
MacRumors previously reported that no changes were found in the early watchOS 5.2.1 beta releases, suggesting that as a double dot release the focus is on bug fixes and other under-the-hood performance improvements.
9to5Mac has since reported that watchOS 5.2.1 gives the Pride watch face introduced last year a new design. There's also a new Pride Analog watch face, with full screen and circular versions.
At the time of posting, the only accessibility-related change that we are aware of in these releases is the removal of the Accessibility Events switch introduced with macOS Mojave 10.14.4, with Apple saying that this is because “related aspects of the W3C AOM effort are no longer applicable.” It is unknown at this time whether the removal of this setting is permanent or temporary to allow Apple to put more in place to support this functionality.
If you identify any fixes, regressions or enhancements in your own use of today's releases, please do let us know by posting a comment below.
How to Update
To install macOS 10.14.5, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, then click the Software Update preference pane to check for updates. If any updates are available, click the Update Now button to install them. Or click ”More info” to see details about each update and select specific updates to install.
watchOS 5.2.1 is available by going to the Watch app on your iPhone and navigating to General> Software Update. To install the update, your Watch must be connected to its charger and have at least 50% battery power.
To install tvOS 12.3 on Apple TV 4K or Apple TV (4th generation), go to Settings > System > Software Updates and Select Update Software. If there's an update, select Download and Install. Wait for your Apple TV to download the update. Don't disconnect or unplug your Apple TV until the update completes.