Apple has released the first public beta versions of iOS 12.1 and tvOS 12.1 for testing. The release comes two days after the first developer releases of both betas. The iOS 12.1 beta marks the return of Group FaceTime to the mobile operating system.
The new public beta releases should be essentially the same in content as the developer betas, released on Monday. The public beta can be downloaded to iOS and Apple TV devices owned by users enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program.
The public beta of iOS 12.1 should include the return of Group FaceTime calling, which had been part of the early iOS 12 beta releases, but was removed from iOS 12 before its public release. The feature allows up to 32 folks to take part in a video or audio call.
Apple strongly warns against installing beta software on daily drive devices, and instead recommend only installing betas on devices designated for testing purposes only. Plus, backup, backup, backup. (DUH!)
Plus, you do not want to install the iOS 12.1 beta on your current device if you are expecting a new iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max to be delivered on Friday. Apple has not yet made an iOS 12.1 beta available for the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, making it impossible to restore an iOS 12.1 backup to either device, which should be running iOS 12 out of the box. You have been warned on all counts.