iOS 12 may have only just landed in the hands of iPhone and iPad users worldwide, but already the beta version of iOS 12.1 is available to developers – and some of the code found in the upcoming release reveals some choice tidbits about Apple’s future plans…
Eagle-eyed developer Steve Troughton-Smith has delved into some of the behind-the-scenes code and found references to a “2018 fall” iPad in the setup instructions app. This looks to solidify the rumor that Apple is planning to release a fresh batch of iPad Pros before the end of the year.
These are said to follow in the footsteps of the ‘X’ series of iPhones, with smaller bezels, larger screens, no Home button, and Face ID. Presumably there will be the usual performance upgrades, too. Apple often hosts a smaller event to launch products in October or November, so hopefully we’ll find out for sure about these new devices before long.
Also discovered is code that implies Face ID will work in both landscape and portrait mode on the new iPads; current iPhones with Face ID, even the newly-announced ones, can only register faces when held in portrait orientation. This limitation would be more annoying on the iPad so it’s certainly good news if Apple has found a way around it.
There’s also a hint that Apple is planning something big regarding external displays – no surprise, considering iPad Pros are more powerful than most consumer laptops these days. Perhaps we’ll see a future where an iPad can perform double duty as a more conventional computer.
As for what’s coming in this update for the rest of us? Well, alongside some generic bug fixes the big addition in iOS 12.1 is Group Facetime. This is the ability to conference call with up to 32 people for a huge video or audio chat through Facetime. Originally slated for release this week with iOS 12, the feature was pushed back as it wasn’t quite ready in time. There’s no release date for iOS 12.1, but it usually comes around a month after the zero-point update we just got.