Apple iOS 9.2 is out: What are the new features?

Alex Kidman 9 December 2015

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Apple has updated the operating system for iPhones and iPads. Here’s what to expect when you upgrade.

Apple has released iOS 9.2 for compatible devices overnight. Any device which can run iOS9 can update. That means it’s available for the iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, as well as the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini, iPod Touch 6th Generation and finally iPod Touch 5th Generation.

Point releases like this are never awash with large quantities of absolutely new features, but often concentrate on fixing bugs and errors in existing code. iOS 9.2 promised improved Safari and Podcasts stability, as well as bug fixes for Contacts, Health, Find my iPhone and Live Photos, amongst others.

The update to iOS 9.2 is relatively large. An iPhone 6s running iOS 9.1 updated in the finder office required a 271MB download, but if you’re on other devices or upgrading from an older iOS version the update could be larger. Unlike a "full number" release, however, the point upgrade focus on bug fixes usually brings with it better stability, so if you're already running iOS 9, it's wise to upgrade.

Here is Apple’s full rundown of the full updates and fixes in iOS 9.2:

  • Apple Music improvements
    You can now create a new playlist when adding a song to a playlist
    Your most recently changed playlist is now listed at the top when adding songs to playlists
    Download albums or playlists from your iCloud Music Library by tapping the iCloud download button
    See which songs have been downloaded with the new download indicator next to each song in My Music and Playlists
    See works, composers, and performers while browsing Classical music in the Apple Music catalog
  • A new Top Stories section in News so you can stay up to date with the most important news of the day (available in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia)
  • Mail Drop in Mail for sending large attachments
  • iBooks now supports 3D Touch to peek and pop pages from the table of contents, your notes and bookmarks, or from search results inside a book
  • iBooks now supports listening to an audiobook while you browse your library, read other books, or explore the iBooks Store
  • iPhone support for the USB Camera Adapter to import photos and videos
  • Improved stability of Safari
  • Improved stability of Podcasts
  • Fixing an issue that caused mail attachments to be inaccessible for some users with POP email accounts
  • Resolving an issue for some users that caused attachments to overlap text in mail
  • Fixing an issue where Live Photos could have turned off after restoring from a previous iCloud backup
  • Addressing an issue that could cause search in Contacts to display no results
  • Resolving an issue that could have prevented Calendar from displaying all seven days in week view
  • Fixing an issue where Camera screen on iPad could be black when attempting to capture video
  • Addressing an issue that could cause instability in the Activity app when viewing the day of Daylight Savings Time transition
  • Fixing an issue that could prevent data from appearing in Health
  • Fixing an issue that could prevent Wallet updates and Lock screen alerts from displaying
  • Addressing an issue where updating iOS could prevent an alarm from going off
  • Fixing an issue where some users were unable to login to Find my iPhone
  • Fixing an issue that prevented some manual iCloud Backups from completing
  • Addressing an issue where using the iPad keyboard could unintentionally trigger text selection mode
  • Improved keyboard responsiveness when using Quick Reply
  • Improved punctuation input on the 10-key Chinese (Pinyin & Stroke) keyboards with new expanded view of punctuation symbols and better predictions
  • Fixing an issue on Cyrillic keyboards where caps lock would be enabled when typing in URL or email fields
  • Accessibility improvements
    • Fixing issues with VoiceOver when using Camera face detection
    • Adding support for VoiceOver to wake up the screen
    • Adding support for VoiceOver to invoke app switcher with 3D Touch gesture
    • Fixing an issue with Guided Access when trying to end phone calls
    • Improved functionality for Switch Control users when using 3D Touch
    • Fixing an issue with speech rate of Speak Screen
  • Siri support for Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates)

On the security side, iOS 9.2 fixes bugs related to media playback, file compression and even Apple’s own iBooks application. A full list of security updates contained within iOS 9.2 can be found here.

If you’re heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, there are also updates available today for Apple Watch, Mac OS X El Capitan and tvOS, which runs on Apple’s fourth generation Apple TV only, adding compatibility for Apple’s iOS-based remote app.

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