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

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 12.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and more than 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.


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.


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.


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.

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

Related Roundup: iOS 12


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

3 weeks ago

I really doubt the XRs will come with 12.1. They start shipping anytime for delivery Friday. I would think they would be in their boxes and all sealed up by now.

They may come with 12.0.1.

Apple updates the phones IN the boxes.. It's covered by one of their patents.

They build the phones, then, they're packaged, but left turned on and connected to a service network inside the factory. At some point, the latest build is pushed to the phones. They install iOS, probably do some self-tests while they're at it, then power down.

So, your phone might be in a box for a while before it actually gets updated with the latest iOS -- and it also means that they can update the phones to whatever the latest iOS is with a very short window of time before they're shipped.
Rating: 18 Votes
3 weeks ago
Does it do anything to fix crappy cellular reception ?
Rating: 13 Votes
3 weeks ago
Please just fix the RIDICULOUS camera flip in FaceTime!
Rating: 12 Votes
3 weeks ago

Does it do anything to fix crappy cellular reception ?


I’m not a 100% sure but I think so. I’m seeing significant speed increases at my office where normally it’s unusable. I’ll suppress my excitement until I do more test.
Rating: 6 Votes
3 weeks ago
I wish they would quit worrying about emojis and cameras and FIX THE CONNECTION PROBLEMS both cellular and wifi! If those don't work the phone is useless
Rating: 6 Votes
3 weeks ago
iPhone 8+ 194mb (from B4)
UK OTA as we speak.
[doublepost=1540230438][/doublepost]

Apple updates the phones IN the boxes.. It's covered by one of their patents.

They build the phones, then, they're packaged, but left turned on and connected to a service network inside the factory. At some point, the latest build is pushed to the phones. They install iOS, probably do some self-tests while they're at it, then power down.

So, your phone might be in a box for a while before it actually gets updated with the latest iOS -- and it also means that they can update the phones to whatever the latest iOS is with a very short window of time before they're shipped.


I haven't heard that before, if it is true then that is pretty cool.
Rating: 6 Votes
3 weeks ago

They're coming quicker and quicker.

My best guess is a release with whatever's coming at next week's event.
Rating: 4 Votes
3 weeks ago

Please just fix the RIDICULOUS camera flip in FaceTime!

Seriously, so annoying!
Rating: 4 Votes
3 weeks ago
They're coming quicker and quicker.
Rating: 4 Votes
3 weeks ago

I don't think that you can fix bad hardware

I find it amusing how the masses always point to a hardware issue with every new release of an apple product and beyond. Yet as always a software update ultimately solves the issue. It has ended up actually being a hardware fault, almost never.

It’s naive to think a phone signal can’t be remedied with software. It does usually take a month or 2 to fix issues like these. Be patient.
Rating: 4 Votes

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