iOS 12.2 beta 3 brings changes to Apple News, TV remote app and Group FaceTime fix [Updated]

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animoji
The new animoji of iOS 12.2.
Photo: Apple

Update: The latest beta of iOS 12.2 is now available to the public, not just developers.

Apple just released the third beta build of iOS 12.2 to developers this morning, bringing a bunch of fixes and new features to the iPhone and iPad.

iOS 12.2 beta 3 arrived just over two weeks after developers received the last build. There are also new betas out for tvOS 12.2 and watchOS 5.2 to go with the macOS 10.4.4 beta that came out yesterday.

Apple’s 4 new Animoji are now available to public testers

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iOS12
iOS 12.2 is bringing a bunch of new features to iPhone and iPad.
Photo: Apple

The most fun new feature of iOS 12.2 is already available to members of Apple’s public beta testing program.

Apple seeded the second public beta of iOS 12.2 to public testers today, just one day after the new software was pushed out to developers. The new update includes a number of notable new features, including the addition of 4 new Animoji.

Apple adds 4 new Animoji to iOS 12.2

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iPhone X Animoji
Animoji are too much fun!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The latest iOS 12.2 beta Apple seeded to developers today brings four new Animoji options to iPhone X, XS, XR and XS Max owners.

Now iPhone and iPad Pro users can choose between the new giraffe, shark, boar and owl Animoji characters during FaceTime calls and in the effects option for iMessage.

This is what they look like:

Memoji steal the show in bouncy new music video

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Memoji music video
Baby with an Animoji twist.
Screenshot: Scorpio Music/YouTube

Our amazement for great photos and even feature films shot on the iPhone is starting to seem less amazing.

But a French DJ and producer recently took a music video to the next level by animating some of the singing actors with Memoji.

Watch Nickelback get the Memoji treatment

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Memoji Creed
It's like 2001 all over again!
Photo: Danny Kabouni

iOS 12’s Memoji feature lets users create their own custom Animojis. These animated characters use the facial recognition tech from the newer iPhones’ iPhones’ TrueDepth cameras to copy your expressions.

Harnessing these capabilities, Twitter user Danny Kabouni recently recreated the 2001 Nickelback smash hit “How You Remind Me.” The results are, well, they’re pretty glorious.

The 10 best Apple ads of 2018 [Year in Review]

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Year in Review Best Apple ads 2018

Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac Year in Review 2018: best Apple ads of 2018 The past 12 months have been one of the busiest ever for Apple’s video team.

Apple churned out more than 120 ads and other videos in 2018, unleashing some of its most memorable commercials in years.

After hours of watching all of Apple’s 2018 ads, we rounded up the 10 absolute best, some of which you probably haven’t even seen yet. Get ready to relive all the good times!

Apple has an idea to make Animoji even more fun

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animoji
Sound effects could play a bigger role in Animoji.
Image: Apple

Apple is rightly proud of its Animoji and Memoji technology, which uses the front-facing camera on new iPhones to create cartoonish avatars of users — complete with facial expression matching.

But the tech could be about to get even more fun, as described in a recent patent application. Here’s how.

Apple’s Face ID supplier has been acquired for $3.2 billion

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VCSEL
The company that made Face ID possible has been snapped up.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Finisar, supplier of the laser scanners used to enable Face ID in Apple’s latest iOS devices, has been acquired for a reported $3.2 billion.

II-VI Incorporated, a leading producer of optoelectronic systems, announced its purchase on Friday. It expects to close the deal, which is expected to generate $2.5 billion in annual revenue, in mid-2019 following regulatory approval.

How to make a great Memoji

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Memoji are awesome. Here's how to make your own.
Memoji are awesome. Here's how to make your own.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 lets you create Memoji, your own custom Animoji. What’s an Animoji? It’s a little animated character that — thanks to some facial recognition tricks from the latest iPhones’ TrueDepth cameras — copies your expressions live. This turns the cute Animoji critters into little virtual face puppets.

Now you don’t need to rely on a stock Animoji like Apple’s monkey, dog or space alien. You can create your own custom Memoji from scratch. You can make a virtual version of yourself, or you can create an original character. Or, as we’ll do today, you can copy a celebrity. Who? Let’s see …