The update brings support for Group FaceTime, the feature designed to let users chat with up to 23 people at one time. Group FaceTime was present in the iOS 12 beta, but it was removed from the iOS 12 launch to provide Apple with additional time to develop the feature.
Other FaceTime features are included in iOS 12.1 as well, such as automatic detection of active speakers to surface the icon of the person who is speaking, ringless notification to let you join a call without being disruptive, and Messages integration for starting a Group FaceTime call right from the Messages app from a group chat.
iOS 12.1 will also bring more than 70 new emoji characters, such as cold face, woozy face, hot face, red hair, white hair, leg, foot, teddy bear, llama, raccoon, kangaroo, mango, cupcake, bagel, and tons more. A full list of all of the new emoji is available here.
On iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, iOS 12.1 introduces real-time Depth Control so you can adjust the amount of background blur before a photo is even captured, and support for the eSOM, which will allow two SIMs to be used at one time.
iOS 12.1 should be released alongside new updates for tvOS, watchOS, and macOS right around 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, Apple’s typical release time for new software updates.
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