iOS 12.1 software update for iPhone, iPad brings Group FaceTime, eSIM Support, Real-Time Depth Control and more
Apple on Tuesday released iOS 12.1, the first major update to the iOS 12 operating system, for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (sixth generation) users. iOS 12. 1 brings new features like Group Facetime, dual SIM support, camera improvements, over 70 new emoji, and more.
With iOS 12.1, Group FaceTime is easy to use. Chat with more people than ever before. It adds support for video and audio calls with up to 32 participants at one time, with new camera effect features like filters, stickers, Animoji, and Memoji included.
- Start Group FaceTime right from a group Messages conversation, or join an active call at any time.
- FaceTime uses on-device intelligence to display the most prominent speakers on the call, automatically highlighting the current speaker by bringing them to the forefront.
- All FaceTime conversations are encrypted end-to-end so that your conversations remain private and viewable only by the participants.
- When calling more than one person, FaceTime displays a notification that lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive.
However, Group FaceTime has some limitations. It is not available in all regions and secondly, older devices, specifically the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, will only support the Group FaceTime feature in audio only. Further, devices like iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPad Air will also not support video Group FaceTime calls. Group FaceTime with video works on all other devices with an A8X processor or later.
Dual SIM support
With iOS 12.1, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR are the first iPhones to get Dual SIM support, featuring a nano-SIM and digital eSIM. eSIM is a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from a carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM. For more information about setting up Dual SIM, you can visit support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044.
Depth Control in Camera
Depth Control in earlier versions of iOS 12 was only available for post-capture editing purposes. The iOS update introduces a new real-time Depth Control feature, for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR that allows you to dynamically adjust the depth of field in real-time preview allowing more control to create portraits with a beautiful background blur.
Portrait mode with Depth Control is also available on the TrueDepth camera for selfies, which includes Memoji and faster face tracking support for third-party ARKit apps.
iOS 12.1 brings over more than 70 new emojis to iPhones and iPads that can be instantly used in messages, emails, and even social media compositions. These include new characters with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces like woozy face, pleading face, and additional emoji representing animals, food to sports and real-life representations.
Other Improvements and Fixes
iOS 12.1 also addresses several bugs and improves performance, which is given below.
- Introduces Depth Control in Camera preview for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
- Improves cellular connectivity for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
- Adds the ability to change or reset your child’s Screen Time passcode using Face ID or Touch ID.
- Fixes an issue where the sharpest reference frame was not always selected in front-facing photos for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
- Resolves an issue that caused messages to be merged into one thread when two users were signed in with the same Apple ID on multiple iPhones.
- Addresses an issue that prevented some voicemails from appearing in the Phone app.
- Resolves an issue in the Phone app that could cause phone numbers to appear without their corresponding contact name.
- Fixes an issue that could prevent Screen Time from reporting specific websites in the activity report.
- Addresses an issue that could prevent adding or removing family members from Family Sharing.
- Adds a performance management feature to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down, including the option to disable this feature if an unexpected shutdown occurs, for iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
- Adds the ability for Battery Health to inform users that it is unable to verify if a genuine Apple battery is in iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
- Improves reliability of VoiceOver in Camera, Siri, and Safari.
- Fixes an issue that could cause MDM Device Enrollment to report an Invalid Profile error for some enterprise users.
iOS 12.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air (OTA) in the Settings. To get the update, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update. The iOS 12.1 update is free to download.