Apple to Release iOS 12.1 Tomorrow With Group FaceTime, New Emoji, Dual-SIM and Real-Time Depth Control

Apple today announced that it plans to release iOS 12.1 to the public tomorrow following its Brooklyn event that is expected to see the debut of new iPad Pro models and refreshed Macs.

As we've discovered in the iOS 12.1 betas that have been available since September, iOS 12.1 brings several important new features to the iPhone and the iPad.

groupfacetime
The update brings support for Group FaceTime, the feature designed to let users chat with up to 32 people at one time. Group FaceTime was present in the iOS 12 beta, but it was removed from the iOS 12 launch to provide Apple with additional time to develop the feature.

Other FaceTime features are included in iOS 12.1 as well, such as automatic detection of active speakers to surface the icon of the person who is speaking, ringless notification to let you join a call without being disruptive, and Messages integration for starting a Group FaceTime call right from the Messages app from a group chat.

iOS 12.1 will also bring more than 70 new emoji characters, such as cold face, woozy face, hot face, red hair, white hair, leg, foot, teddy bear, llama, raccoon, kangaroo, mango, cupcake, bagel, and tons more. A full list of all of the new emoji is available here.

On iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, iOS 12.1 introduces real-time Depth Control so you can adjust the amount of background blur before a photo is even captured, and support for the digital eSIM, which will allow two SIMs to be used at one time.

iOS 12.1 should be released alongside new updates for tvOS, watchOS, and macOS right around 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, Apple's typical release time for new software updates.

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
31 months ago
Am I the only one who has used FaceTime maybe twice in the past 5 years?
Yeah I'd say you're in a pretty small minority there.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DrJohnnyN Avatar
31 months ago
Yay Group FaceTime! Said no one ever
I'm genuinely excited about the return of Group FaceTime. My family is scattered throughout the world and it provides a great medium to stay in touch.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DrumApple Avatar
31 months ago
Am I the only one who has used FaceTime maybe twice in the past 5 years?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
timmywa Avatar
31 months ago
Hoping for LTE fixes as well for XS devices on Verizon!!
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DrJohnnyN Avatar
31 months ago
Group FaceTime is back, hoorah!
[doublepost=1540845761][/doublepost]
Am I the only one who has used FaceTime maybe twice in the past 5 years?
I use it roughly 4-6 hours daily, to conference my wife.
[doublepost=1540845813][/doublepost]
can't say i would ever use group facetime
Why not? You can Facetime your wife/husband and high school aged kids or aunts and uncles.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Smearbrick Avatar
31 months ago
Wouldn’t it be sweet if you could opt out of the emoji updates? Maybe make them an add-on in the App Store?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
scott forstall original iphone

Epic Games 'Attempting to Locate' Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall to Testify in Ongoing Legal Battle with Apple

Tuesday February 23, 2021 4:22 am PST by
As part of its ongoing legal battle, Epic Games is now seeking testimony from Apple's former iOS software chief, Scott Forstall. Forstall left Apple in 2013, in what was widely reported at the time to have been a forced exit, largely because of the botched early launch of Apple Maps. Since then, Forstall has kept a very low profile and has only made a few media appearances in the past few...