IOS 12.1 Lands Tomorrow With Real-Time Depth Control, Group FaceTime

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Apple is making it possible to video chat with up to 32 people at once through this new feature. Earlier today, Apple rolled out iOS 12.1, the first major update to iOS 12 since its release a few weeks back.

The update does bring another feature Apple was originally supposed to ship with iOS 12: Group FaceTime. FaceTime will automatically detect who the most prominent speakers are using "on-device intelligence". One can tap a specific person's tile and bring them to center as well. Apple didn't explain why this planned feature had been delayed, but promised it would appear "in a future software update later this fall".

Apple's October 30th event is expected to see the debut of new iPad Pro and Mac devices, with the long-ignored Mac mini set to get some much-needed love.

More than 70 new emoji have come to iPhone and iPad with iOS 12.1.

When calling more than one person, FaceTime displays a notification that lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive.

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iOS 12.1 also brings Depth Control in real-time preview and dual-SIM support to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR customers. 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.

A tentpole feature of Apple's latest smartphones, dual-SIM support allows iPhone users to utilise two cellular plans on a single device without constant SIM card swapping. In addition to the built-in physical SIM, as of iOS 12.1 you can add a second line to your phone via an eSIM. Even though iPhone's Portrait mode still struggles to work accurately with curly hair, etc., I feel like this is probably the biggest feature for me in iOS 12.1.

Apple also introduced depth control for portrait photos for the new iPhones, at the launch.

While iOS 12 is still fairly fresh, the first point release will be rolling out starting today.

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