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Apple announces iOS 12.1 with Group FaceTime and more coming Tuesday

Published Oct 29th, 2018 5:42PM EDT
Apple releasing iOS 12.1 Tuesday
Image: Apple

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Apple announced today that the next version of iOS, 12.1, will be released to the public on Tuesday, Oct. 30, following the company’s event in Brooklyn at which it’s expected to show off new Mac and iPad Pro models, among other announcements.

The update is expected to be released around 10 a.m. Pacific Time, along with updates for tvOS, watchOS and macOS devices. Features coming to the iPhone and iPad as a result of the update include support for Group FaceTime, which will let you chat with up to 32 people now, as well as the release of 70 new emoji. iPhone XS, XS Max and XR customers will also get Dual SIM support.

Don’t Miss: Apple’s latest iOS version iOS 17 has been announced.

From Apple’s announcement, other features 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.”

Among the new emoji characters are teddy bear, raccoon, cupcake, bagel and more. A full list is available here. The new update, meanwhile, is also bringing advance depth segmentation in Portrait mode, to enable you to take even more sophisticated photos. “With iOS 12.1,” Apple says, “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.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.