Apple released their much-anticipated iOS 12 just last month. Less than 24 hours later, they released the beta for iOS 12.1. After over a month of testing and updates, iOS 12.1 has been released to the public for download this week. To download the newest iOS go to the Settings > General > Software Update. Here you’ll see if iOS 12.1 is available and ready for download.

This newest update brings several features to life that Apple announced during the September Keynote.

Group FaceTime

FaceTime now supports group video calls for up to 32 participants at once. Apple’s making it easier for users to stay in touch and share big moments with friends and family. Only users on 12.1 can use the Group FaceTime, so make sure your friends and family update! Other FaceTime updates are including in this update.

Automatic Detection

Apple technology will bring the current speaker on the call to the front of the screen. This will make it easy to keep track of who’s speaking. Other participants will be sized automatically based on their activity as well. Those on the call that are not active will appear on the bottom of the screen until they speak. Want to bring a participant front and center? Just tap their screen, and they’ll be resized.

Ringless Notifications

If you’re calling multiple people, FaceTime will display a notification that lets you join the call without being disruptive to others.

Message Integration

Have a current group chat that you want to implement a Group FaceTime in? You can start a Group FaceTime right from the iMessage chat now. When FaceTime sessions take place, Messages will display the call list inside the conversations.


All FaceTime conversations (both group and one-on-one) are encrypted end to end so only the intended viewers can see them.

New Emojis

Redheads rejoice! After much talk, there are officially options for all your red-headed friends in the Apple emojis. Over 70 new emojis were released and include everything from new sports, animals, and food options. Characters also now include options for gray hair, curly hair, and even bald characters. It shouldn’t be difficult to find the perfect emoji to accompany your latest text.

eSIM Support

Fingers crossed, gone are the days of having to carry two separate phone. Apple has now added Dual SIM support for the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Some users may never use this feature, but for those who carry a work and a personal phone, it’s an anticipated update. This is possible via a combination of a physical SIM card and an embedded SIM, or “eSIM,” for the other. eSIM also requires carrier support, but all four of the major U.S. carriers have announced plans to support this new feature.

Depth Control

Portrait  Mode fans rejoice. With iOS 12.1, the previously announced Depth Control camera feature for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR is now available. Users can now adjust the depth of photos in both real-time and post-capture. You can now create portraits with a professional grade background blur on your phone. When taking a Portrait Mode photo, you’ll see an “f” appear in the top right-hand side of your controls. Press it, and a dial will appear that allows you to control the background blur. If you have an older iPhone and still want a similar effect, you need to download a separate an app such as Focos to gain this control.