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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.


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.

Related Roundup: iOS 12


Top Rated Comments

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3 weeks 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.
Rating: 45 Votes
3 weeks 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.
Rating: 31 Votes
3 weeks ago
Am I the only one who has used FaceTime maybe twice in the past 5 years?
Rating: 25 Votes
3 weeks 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.
Rating: 21 Votes
3 weeks ago
Hoping for LTE fixes as well for XS devices on Verizon!!
Rating: 21 Votes
3 weeks 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?
Rating: 17 Votes
3 weeks ago

Group FaceTime is back, hoorah!
[doublepost=1540845761][/doublepost]

I use it roughly 4-6 hours daily, to conference my wife.
[doublepost=1540845813][/doublepost]

Why not? You can Facetime your wife/husband and high school aged kids or aunts and uncles.


Same here, I love FaceTime, and Group FaceTime is the #1 feature I've been waiting for in iOS 12. Looking forward to using it.
Rating: 14 Votes
3 weeks ago
Will it fix the dreadful usability of flipping the camera with FT? I now just flip the whole phone as the camera-flip option is simply a pain..
Rating: 14 Votes
3 weeks ago
Aaaaaand, nothing regarding LTE issues.

MR, will you reach out again to Apple for comment??
Rating: 11 Votes
3 weeks 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?

It doesn't work that way. Emoji are getting assigned Unicode Code Points (basically a unique number for each "character", where "A" is 65, "B" is 66, and so on) by the Unicode Consortium. In order to support a given release of the Unicode standard, you have to support the new "characters". They're not just stickers that you can opt into.

I'd be happier if we were still back with a less-than-two-dozen non-representational circular yellow faces, and left it at that. But the world has chosen a different path, one where next we'll be worrying about "hey, we're leaving out different eye colors, let's add those". It wasn't supposed to be tiny portraits. Sigh.
Rating: 11 Votes

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