Today Apple released iOS 12.1 in conjunction with the company’s Special Event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music where a 13.3-inch MacBook Air with Retina Display and Touch ID, a new Mac mini, new iPad Pros with Face ID and USB-C was announced. Prior to the release of iOS 12.1, Apple released a User Guide for iOS 12.1. The new features include depth control in Camera Preview, Dual SIM Support, Group FaceTime, and more than 70 emoji additions.
Here is a breakdown of the iOS 12.1 features that are available today:
Group FaceTime allows you to add between 2 and 32 people to a video chat. And there are simple ways to add another person to a FaceTime video call or join an active FaceTime call. You can also use the same camera effects built into Messages to add stickers and filters. And you can appear on the video chat with Animoji or Memoji. After receiving an invitation, you can decide whether to join using audio or video from iPhone, iPad and Mac.
FaceTime also now features automatic detection of active speakers, meaning the app uses on-device intelligence to display the most prominent speakers on the call by highlighting the current speaker and bringing them to the forefront. And it sizes each person’s image depending on how active they are based on the duration of speech, motion and volume. The participants who are not active appears at the bottom of the screen until they speak. But you can also tap to bring that participant to the front and center.
As you call more than one person, FaceTime will display a notification that lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive. This feature is known as ringless notification.
Plus Group FaceTime is integrated into the Messages app so you can join directly from a group iMessage chat. And if there is a conversation that already started in a FaceTime session, then Messages show the active call in the conversation list and inside your conversations.
FaceTime conversations are encrypted end-to-end so that they will be private and viewable only by the participants. This is the case for one-to-one and multi-person FaceTime chats.
Over 70 new emoji are being added to iPhones and iPads with iOS 12.1. This includes characters with red hair, gray hair, curly hair or who are bald. There are also new emotive smiley faces and emoji representing food like a mango, a cupcake, leafy greens and a bagel. And there are new emoji representing sports like lacrosse and softball. Plus there are new emoji for animals like a raccoon, a llama, a kangaroo, a mosquito, a lobster and a swan. For global users, there are new emoji for moon cake, a red gift envelope and a nazar amulet. Outdoor enthusiasts may appreciate emoji for luggage, hiking boots and a compass.
Depth Control In Camera
The Depth Control feature in Camera allows for advanced depth segmentation in Portrait mode, which enables sharper portraits with professional-level bokeh. The depth of field can be dynamically adjusted in real-time preview and post-capture. This enables more control as you create portraits with background blurs.
Plus Portrait mode with Depth Control also works on the front-facing TrueDepth camera, which includes Memoji and faster face tracking support for third-party ARKit apps.
iOS 12.1 includes support for Dual SIM on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. This means you can simultaneously connect to two cellular companies. Usually, the primary account is connected to an eSIM and a second account can be added to nano-SIM.
But users can now activate an additional cellular plan from a carrier without needing to have a physical nano-SIM. Apple details how this works in a support page.
Breakdown Of The Previous iOS 12 Updates
Apple iOS 12.1 is the second update to iOS 12 following iOS 12.0.1 and iOS 12.
iOS 12.0.1 was released on October 8th and included several bug fixes. Specifically, it fixed an issue where some iPhone XS devices did not charge immediately when it was connected to a Lightning cable. And this software update also resolved a problem that caused iPhone XS devices to rejoin a Wi-Fi network at 2.4GHz instead of 5GHz. Plus iOS 12.0.1 also restored the original position of the “.?123″ key on the iPad keyboard. And it fixed an issue where subtitles may not appear in some video apps and it addressed problems where Bluetooth could become unavailable.
The main iOS 12 update launched on September 17th. iOS 12 brought performance improvements for Apple’s previous iOS devices leading to a 70% faster swipe to Camera, up to a 50% faster keyboard display and the app launch and Share Sheet becoming two times faster under a heavy workload.
Apple also added photo suggestions to the Messages app based on who you are messaging with and what you are talking about. And the App Strip in Messages was redesigned to take up less space as you type. The Memoji feature was built into the Messages app and four new Animoji were also added, including T. rex, ghost, koala and tiger.
A new Screen Time feature was added to provide users with a better understanding of how much time they spend using their devices and apps. The Screen Time feature allows users to set up Downtime, App Limits, and privacy restrictions.
Notifications were grouped in iOS 12 so that they are easier to control. And the notification settings can be controlled when you receive an alert without leaving what you are doing.
An update was made to Do Not Disturb to help you sleep better at night and stay focused. For example, there is a new Do Not Disturb During Bedtime feature that dims the display and silences overnight notifications until you unlock the device when you wake up. Plus Do Not Disturb can be controlled so that it is deactivated based on your time and location.
Apple iOS 12 also included the ARKit 2 augmented reality platform, which included face tracking, 3D object detection and realistic rendering. And augmented reality experiences are also shared across time and can be fixed to real-world locations so AR art can be viewed by someone else at the same place later on. Augmented reality files can be shared using the new USDZ file format.
The Measure app included in iOS 12 highlights some of the technology built into the new augmented reality platform. You can measure boxes, luggage and paintings using the Measure app by simply pointing the camera at the object.
Photos was improved with a new For You tab, sharing suggestions, intelligence search suggestions, event and places search and RAW editing support. The Camera app for iOS 12 also has new effects and filters.
A new Shortcuts app became available with iOS 12. With Shortcuts, you can set up customize an action based on the time and location. For example, the iPhone will be able to automatically order a coffee from Starbucks as you walk out the door. And Siri also supports flashlight controls, Find My iPhone, over 50 language pairs, celebrity facts and Motorsports stats.
Apple redesigned the Books, Stocks, News and Voice Memos apps in iOS 12 with several new features. And a number of privacy and security components were included in iOS 12 such as tracking prevention, password reuse auditing, automatic strong passwords, security code AutoFill and password sharing.
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