iOS 12.1 is available now – these are the most important features

If you use an iPhone, then you might be interested to know that Apple’s latest version of iOS has been parceled up and delivered neatly to your little slab of glass and metal.

The gigantic tech company launched it alongside several new bits of hardware at an event yesterday.

But while the shiny new gadgets will cost you a pretty penny, the update is free.

An Apple iPhone Xs Max (R) and iPhone Xs (Image: Getty)

So, what do you get?

Essentially it means your iPhone can now support Depth Control, Dual SIM Support, Group FaceTime and 70 new emoji.

Let’s break each of those down.

Depth Control

Depth control lets you shift the background blur (Image: Apple)

This basically means you can now make your portraits look all sophisticated and professional thanks to extra depth segmentation in Portrait mode on the camera.

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 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 support

If you’ve always wanted to have two different numbers on the same iPhone then today is your lucky day.

With iOS 12.1, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR gain Dual SIM support, featuring a nano-SIM and digital eSIM.

It means you can now activate an additional cellular plan from a carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM. You’ll have to have a word with your network provider and, obviously, stump up some more money each month for a separate plan.

Group FaceTime

Time to invite all your mates to join the chat (Image: Apple)

We’ve known about this one for a little while as Apple gave us a taste of it earlier in the year.

You’ll now be able to host FaceTime video chats with between 2 and 32 people in the same conversation.

Apple has made sure that FaceTime has automatic detection of active speakers, meaning the app uses on-device intelligence to display the most prominent speakers on the call by highlighting the current speaker and bringing them to the forefront.

And it sizes each person’s image depending on how active they are based on the duration of speech, motion and volume. The participants who are not active appears at the bottom of the screen until they speak. But you can also tap to bring that participant to the front and center.

You can still use all the usual FaceTime extras – like stickers and animojis – even with more people in the chat.

70 new emoji

This should be pretty self-explanatory. Your iPhone just got a load of extra new emojis for you to use in the chat.

This includes characters with red hair, gray hair, curly hair or who are bald.

There are also new emotive smiley faces and emoji representing food like a mango, a cupcake, leafy greens and a bagel.

Plus there are new emoji for animals like a raccoon, a llama, a kangaroo, a mosquito, a lobster and a swan.

Go wild.


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