Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of iOS 12.1 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 12.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta and a month after releasing iOS 12, a major new version of the iOS software.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.1 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

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iOS 12.1 includes several new features that Apple promised would come to the iPhone XS and XS Max. The beta introduces support for the eSIM, which is a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from a carrier without the need to use a physical SIM card.

Carriers will need to implement support for eSIM, which is likely to happen after iOS 12.1 launches. In the U.S., AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile will support eSIM.

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The iOS 12.1 update brings a new real-time Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the depth of field of your Portrait Mode photos before you capture them. Right now, in iOS 12, Depth Control is only available for post-capture editing.

If you tap on the "F" icon at the top of the screen while capturing a photo you use Depth Control to adjust the amount of background blur in an image.

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In addition to these iPhone XS and XS Max features, iOS 12.1 reintroduces the Group FaceTime feature that was removed from iOS 12 during the beta testing period. Group FaceTime was present in many early betas but was ultimately removed because Apple needed more time to test it.

Group FaceTime is designed to let iPhone and Mac users conduct video and audio chats with up to 32 participants at one time, with new camera effects features included.

The update also adds more than 70 new emoji to iPhones and iPads, with options that include red hair, gray hair, curly hair, cold face, party face, face with hearts, mango, kangaroo, peacock, lobster, cupcake, and tons more.

As for bug fixes, iOS 12.1 addresses a charging problem that could cause iPhone and iPad models running iOS 12 to fail to charge when connected to a Lightning cable while the screen is off and it fixes a bug that caused iPhone XS and XS Max models to prefer 2.4GHz WiFi networks to 5GHz networks, resulting in perceived slower WiFi speeds. Both of these bugs have also been addressed in the iOS 12.0.1 update, released last week.

If any additional new features are found in the fourth iOS 12.1 beta, we'll update this post with details.

Update: Apple has also seeded a new public beta of iOS 12.1 to its public beta testing group.

Update 2: As noted by Emojipedia, Apple tweaked the design of the bagel emoji in iOS 12.1 beta 4 to add cream cheese and more texture to the bread.

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Top Rated Comments

Cankoda Avatar
30 months ago


Update 2:
As noted by Emojipedia, Apple tweaked the design of the bagel emoji in iOS 12.1 beta 4 to add cream cheese and more texture to the bread.


What a time to be alive
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
30 months ago

Haven’t had a chance to try FaceTime till last night, now I know what everyone’s complaining about. How can they mess up an app so badly? Hoping the group version fixes the interface.

Yeah gotta wonder whose idea it was to make multiple steps what used to be single steps. Switching cameras is something people do a lot of with Facetime.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aardwolf Avatar
30 months ago

12.0.1 was not released yesterday. I assume that’s a copy/paste error. :)

Yes, they have to copy/paste the exact same thing for all 11 builds... in case we forgot since last time. Apparently they have stopped reviewing it for accuracy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btrach144 Avatar
30 months ago

Why hasn't there been another public beta yet?

? Serious? I bet you the public beta 4 is released within 6 hours. chill out
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
class77 Avatar
30 months ago
What if your slow wifi is NOT caused by connecting to the 2.4 range? What about addressing the poor LTE speeds? Anything done to address these problems
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brian3uk Avatar
30 months ago

Why hasn't there been another public beta yet?

it typically comes later in the day. just be patient.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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