Apple announced on Monday that iOS 12.1 will be available to the public on Tuesday, October 30. The update will being Group FaceTime and over 70 new emoji to compatible iPhone and iPad models. It also brings Depth Control in real-time preview and Dual SIM support to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR devices.
Group FaceTime will allow video or audio calling with up to 32 people simultaneously. Users will be able to use the same camera effects available to them in Messages, allowing them to add stickers, use filters, or appear to other callers as an Animoji or Memoji.
Additional features coming to FaceTime include:
- Automatic detection of active speakers: FaceTime uses on-device intelligence to display the most prominent speakers on the call, automatically highlighting the current speaker by bringing them to the forefront. It automatically sizes each person’s image depending upon how active they are in the conversation, based on duration of speech, volume and even motion. Participants who are not active will appear at the bottom of the screen until they speak. A simple tap also brings a participant front and center.
- Ringless notification: When calling more than one person, FaceTime displays a notification that lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive.
- Messages integration: Group FaceTime is integrated into the Messages app, making it easy to start a Group FaceTime right from a group iMessage chat. If people in a conversation have already started a FaceTime session, Messages shows the active call in the conversation list and inside your conversations.
- Private: All FaceTime conversations, both one-to-one and multi-person, are encrypted end to end so they remain private and viewable only by the participants.
More than 70 new emoji come to iPhone and iPad with iOS 12.1, including new characters with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces and additional emoji representing animals, sports and food.
New emoji will also be available on Apple Watch and Mac with a free software update.
Depth Control in Camera
Advanced depth segmentation in Portrait mode enables more sophisticated portraits with professional-level bokeh. With iOS 12.1, users can now dynamically adjust the depth of field in real-time preview in addition to post-capture, enabling more control to create portraits with a beautiful background blur. Portrait mode with Depth Control is also available on the TrueDepth camera for selfies, which includes Memoji and faster face tracking support for third-party ARKit apps.
With iOS 12.1, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR gain Dual SIM support, featuring a nano-SIM and digital eSIM. Users can now activate an additional cellular plan from a carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM. For more information about setting up Dual SIM, visit support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044.