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iOS 12.1 released: Group FaceTime, Depth Control, New Emoji

Apple’s first big software update since iOS 12 dropped in early September is here: iOS 12.1.

This update includes a host of new features, some of which are related to Apple’s latest devices. As such, the timing of this release coincides with the unveiling of new iPad Pros earlier today.

So what’s new in iOS 12.1? Perhaps the biggest feature is one that was announced way back in June but suspiciously missing until now: Group FaceTime. This feature will allow for video conference calls in FaceTime with up with 32 people simultaneously. To help keep track of everyone, each caller’s video window will shrink or grow as they speak so you don’t lose focus of whoever is currently talking.

Fans of emoji will be interested to hear that iOS 12.1 also marks the addition of over 70 new icons to the classic set. We wrote about the additions earlier this year, but have had to wait until today for them to become available.

Emoij are now more diverse than over, catering to some never-before-included hair colors and styles

Besides that, there are some notable features aimed at the latest iPhones. If you’re lucky enough to have an XS, XS Max, or XR, you’ll be interested to know that iOS 12.1 adds more depth control functions to allow for focus adjustments to be made to Portrait mode shots even as you line them up in the viewfinder.

Those devices will also benefit from E-SIM and Dual SIM capabilities in iOS 12.1, which can be super handy if you’re traveling abroad and want to pick up a local SIM in addition to your regular one.

Remember that all iOS updates are free, and can be quickly and easily delivered “over the air” from SettingsGeneralSoftware Update.