iOS 12.1 brings Group FaceTime and new emoji to iPhone and iPad

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Depth Control in Camera Preview and Dual SIM Support Comes to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.  iOS 12.1 is now available to download, bringing Group FaceTime and more than 70 new emoji to iPhone and iPad. FaceTime changed the way people communicate and share important moments, and now with Group FaceTime, it’s easy to chat with more people than ever before — from 2 to 32 people. iOS 12.1 also brings Depth Control in real-time preview and Dual SIM support to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR customers.

Group FaceTime

With iOS 12.1, FaceTime is more fun and flexible, with simple ways to add another person, join an active FaceTime call, or use the same camera effects available in Messages to add stickers, filters or appear to friends and family as an Animoji or Memoji. When an invitation is received, people can choose to join using audio or video from iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Additional features coming to FaceTime:

  • 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 centre. 
  • 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. 

New Emoji

More than 70 new emoji come to iPhone and iPad with iOS 12.1, including new characters with red hair, grey hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces and additional emoji representing animals, sports and food. New emoji will also be available on Apple Watch and Mac with a free software update.

Emoji are used by people all over the world to communicate and iOS 12.1 brings even more characters to the keyboard that better represent global users, including new emoji for moon cake, red gift envelope and nazar amulet. Sports fans will celebrate the addition of new emoji for softball and lacrosse, while outdoor adventurers will enjoy new characters for luggage, compass and a hiking boot. Beautifully designed characters for the llama, mosquito, kangaroo and lobster, and new food emoji, including a bagel, salt, cupcake, leafy greens and mango, are now available.

Depth Control in Camera

Advanced depth segmentation in Portrait mode enables more sophisticated portraits with professional-level bokeh. With iOS 12.1, 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.

Dual SIM

With iOS 12.1, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR gain Dual SIM support, featuring a nano-SIM and digital eSIM. Users can now activate an additional cellular plan from a carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM.

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