Apple’s next hardware event is going down tomorrow. Just a day ahead of the event, Apple today announced that it will release a new update to iOS 12 tomorrow, introducing new features and enhancements.
With iOS 12.1, the company is upgrading the Depth Control feature for Portrait mode on the iPhone Xs with support for real-time preview. The new cameras on the iPhone Xs allow users to control the depth for Portrait mode pictures after taking the pictures — but with iOS 12.1, you will be able to control the depth of field in real-time when taking pictures, as well as after taking the shot. 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.
The update does bring another feature Apple was originally supposed to ship with iOS 12: Group FaceTime. The update enables the ability to make group video and audio calls on FaceTime with up to 32 people. FaceTime uses on-device intelligence to determine prominent speakers on a call to focus on them over other users on a call, as 32 users on a call can get quite crowded. The feature integrates with iMessage as well, meaning you can easily call your iMessage group from the Messages app anytime you want, and members can join at any time, even after the call has started.
And lastly, iOS 12.1 brings more than 70 new emoji, and you can get a closer look at all the new emoji here. The update also enables support for dual SIM on the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR, allowing users to use a combination of nano-SIM and digital eSIM if their device and region support it.
iOS 12.1 is overall a fairly nice upgrade to iOS 12, which was already a major release that refined a lot of the problems that was introduced with iOS 11. The update is still just as fast as iOS 12, so you really don’t have to worry about performance degradation here. Make sure to give the new features a try and spam your friends with the new emoji tomorrow once the update starts rolling out.