Apple will be releasing iOS 12.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch tomorrow as a free software update. Marking the first significant update to iOS 12 which brings a variety of features including Group FaceTime, dual SIM support, real-time Depth Control for Portrait mode and many more. iOS 12.1 is also expected to have a fix for the “beauty-gate” issue that affected the front-facing camera on iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
The iOS 12 redesigned how FaceTime looks for audio and video calling adding new effects like stickers, Memoji and Animoji. iOS 12.1 will take FaceTime to the next level with support for audio and video calling between 32 people.
FaceTime was previously limited to video calls between just two users. The new user interface will show multiple video tiles for other people on the call, and the people who are actively talking will remain in focus while others may get smaller or appear in the background.
Group FaceTime builds on iMessage and lets users easily join and leave video and audio calls without interrupting an ongoing call. Group video calling is currently supported on most recent iPhones, iPads, and Macs. While the older iPhones and iPads that run on iOS 12.1 and other devices like Apple Watches and HomePods are limited to group audio during Group FaceTime calls.
Dual SIM support is a new feature in iOS 12.1 and is already supported on the new iPhone XS, XR, and XS Max. Apple provides a physical SIM card slot for the primary phone number and an embedded eSIM for the secondary phone number. However, in many countries like China, eSIM is unavailable. Therefore, Apple provides versions of the latest iPhones with two physical SIM card slots.
Portrait mode on new iPhones creates an artificial blur to the background of subjects in a photo that creates an appearance of depth this is included in the iOS 12.1 as Real-Time Depth Control. The latest iPhones allow users to edit the amount of blur applied after they take a Portrait mode photo using the Photos app. iOS 12.1 will have the ability to adjust the amount of blur in a Portrait mode photo before users snap the photo.
iOS 12 will add four new Animoji and the all-new Memoji feature which is going to be customizable. It also introduces several new emoji such as redheads, bald people, and many more characters.