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Apple Releases iOS 12.1.1 With Expanded eSIM Support, Redesigned FaceTime With Live Photos, Haptic Touch for Notifications on iPhone XR, and More

Apple today released iOS 12.1.1, the third update to the iOS 12 operating system since its September launch. iOS 12.1.1 is a minor update that follows iOS 12.1, a more significant release that brought features like Group FaceTime, initial eSIM support, and new emoji.

The iOS 12.1.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.1.1 is free to download.


iOS 12.1.1 reintroduces a feature that's designed to let you take a Live Photo while on a FaceTime call so you can capture favorite moments and save them indefinitely. Taking a Live Photo on a FaceTime call requires the person you're video chatting with to have the "FaceTime Live Photos" setting toggled on, which can be accessed by going to Settings > FaceTime > FaceTime Live Photos. If this setting is disabled, people you chat with won't be able to take a Live Photo during the call.

FaceTime also includes a reworked bottom bar that offers up quick access buttons for muting a call and flipping the camera. Sliding up on the bottom bar brings up additional options with conversation participants.

Prior to today's update, FaceTime users were required to tap on three dots to access a secondary menu with these features, so this greatly streamlines often used options.

eSIM support on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR has expanded to additional carriers across Europe in iOS 12.1.1, including Swisscom in Switzerland, Orange in Spain, and Three in Sweden and Denmark. We're checking to see if Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have added support for this feature.


On the iPhone XR, the iOS 12.1.1 update introduces support for Haptic Touch with notifications. Haptic Touch can now be used to expand notifications on the Lock screen through a long press to see additional content. This is identical to the 3D Touch option on notifications on other iPhones.

For owners of Apple Watch Series 4 models, the iOS 12.1.1 update introduces support for the the ECG feature that will be included in the watchOS 5.1.2 update for Apple Watch Series 4 models. A single-lead ECG reading, which detects your heart rhythm, can be taken on an Apple Watch Series 4 by placing a finger on the Digital Crown after updating to watchOS 5.1.2.

ECG mention in Health app on iOS 12.1.1 via MacRumors forums

iOS 12.1.1 also adds a new option in Apple News to hide the side bar on the iPad when using the app in landscape mode, it introduces an option to turn off the physical SIM in the device in favor of the eSIM, and it tweaks the icon of the Apple Watch app so it looks like the Apple Watch Series 4.

iOS 12.1.1 release notes:
iOS 12.1.1 adds features and fixes bugs for your iPhone and iPad. Features and improvements include:

- Notification preview using haptic touch on iPhone XR
- Dual SIM with eSIM for additional carriers on iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max
- One tap to flip between the rear and front-facing camera during a FaceTime call
- Live Photo capture during one-to-one FaceTime calls
- The option to hide the sidebar in News on iPad in landscape orientation
- Real-time text (RTT) when using Wi-Fi calling on iPad and iPod touch
- Stability improvements for dictation along with VoiceOver

Bug fixes include:

- Fixes an issue where Face ID may temporarily become unavailable
- Addresses an issue that prevented visual voicemail from downloading for some customers
- Fixes an issue in Messages that could prevent predictive text suggestions when typing on the Chinese or Japanese keyboards
- Addresses an issue that could prevent Voice Memos recordings from uploading to iCloud
- Fixes an issue where time zones may not have updated automatically

This release also adds features and fixes bugs for HomePod including:

- Support in Mainland China and Hong Kong
- HomePod LEDs illuminate during Group FaceTime calls

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
macOS Mojave 10.14.2, tvOS 12.1.1, and a HomePod 12.1.1 software update were also released today, but there is no sign of watchOS 5.1.2 at this time.

Related Roundup: iOS 12


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

6 days ago at 10:03 am
MacRumors readers .000345 seconds after this article: "I DON'T SEE ITTTTTT :mad:"
Rating: 20 Votes
6 days ago at 09:59 am
The update everyone without a heart issue has been waiting for.... Moan about no ECG support, now perform an ECG, and then never do it again.
Rating: 19 Votes
6 days ago at 10:07 am

Why is the Haptic Touch notification limited to the iPhone XR?

Because every other phone has 3D touch instead.
Rating: 14 Votes
6 days ago at 10:02 am
Thank God they fixed flipping the camera, that was seriously annoying.
Rating: 13 Votes
6 days ago at 10:12 am
Anyone interested in whether the update is showing up on my devices, whether I am downloading, and the download progress? If you beg me I will let you know. /s
Rating: 8 Votes
6 days ago at 10:24 am

Haptic Touch for Notifications on iPhone XR


You know, if Apple provided an API for the haptic motor, we could race the XR around like a little remote control car.



Rating: 8 Votes
6 days ago at 12:31 pm

“ECG support”. Cardiologists are queuing up to find out how to do a 12 lead diagnostic via a watch strap. Good luck with that! “Ooh no. Really it is a ECG. There’s no logical or physical proof but it really is. I read it in the specs”. Really? Good luck with that!


Where the Apple Watch works from personal experience, raw data. Not feeling the best at times. Had the ECG 12 wires and all. Results nothing wrong. Showed Dr. Apple Watch history data, not even ECG just heart rate over time. Dr. response need to have an extended, 24 hr. ECG. Well what do you know, Apple Watch was spot on. Something was not right and fixable. No Apple Watch data, doubt another test would have been ordered.

Apple Watch not for diagnosis, gathers raw data that in my case worked as designed. Please do not confuse raw data with diagnosis, that needs to be left for the medical professionals. Gotta love today’s technology. :)
Rating: 7 Votes
6 days ago at 11:25 am
Any fixes for my Xs' lousy reception?
Rating: 6 Votes
6 days ago at 10:23 am

“ECG support”. Cardiologists are queuing up to find out how to do a 12 lead diagnostic via a watch strap. Good luck with that! “Ooh no. Really it is a ECG. There’s no logical or physical proof but it really is. I read it in the specs”. Really? Good luck with that!


Apple have specifically stated that they provide a lead 1 ECG only targeted at a very specific and limited subset of heart problems and positioned for pre-diagnostic usage only, not to be treated as a full fledged medical device.
Rating: 6 Votes
6 days ago at 10:24 am

Apple have specifically stated that they provide a lead 1 ECG only targeted at a very specific and limited subset of heart problems and positioned for pre-diagnostic usage only, not to be treated as a full fledged medical device.

It's more of a tool to say "hey, something "might" be wrong. go get it checked out asap!"
Rating: 4 Votes

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