iOS 12.1: Group FaceTime, emojis and throttling for newer iPhones


iOS 12

iOS 12.1 delivers group FaceTime.

(Image: Apple)

With the update, Apple delivers promised features for iPhone and iPad – and now throttles iPhone X and iPhone 8 if needed.

iOS 12.1 is now available for download. With the intended for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch update Apple submits several already announced features, including group FaceTime. For the first time, users will be able to conduct video chats and telephone calls with several people via Apple's integrated VoIP service in the operating system.

iOS 12.1 supports FaceTime conference calls with up to 32 people, but only on newer iPhones and iPads, the person who is currently speaking should be automatically highlighted in video calls.

Apple has integrated Group FaceTime into the News app to directly initiate a joint video conference from text conversations with multiple attendees. The people called in this way should be silently informed about the video chat. The end-to-end encryption of FaceTime calls is also true for the new group calls, Apple emphasized in a message.

iOS 12.1 also extends the features of the newly introduced models iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR: The update unlocks Apple's dual-SIM support, ie the parallel use of two mobile phone connections. In addition to the freely accessible Nano-SIM, there is a permanently integrated eSIM in these devices. Mobile service providers have to support the eSIM specifically, Apple's partners in Germany are initially Telekom and Vodafone. O2 also wants to offer customers the eSIM option at a later date.

Apple relies on the technology "Dual-SIM-Dual-Standby": Both mobile phone connections are available at their respective phone number. If one of the two phone numbers is being used, incoming calls to the other party will be forwarded to the voice mailbox. Optionally, the secondary SIM can be configured exclusively for data transmission. Abroad, a cheap data plan from a local provider can be used, and at the same time you can be reached under the usual phone number.

In portrait shots with iPhone XS, XS Max and XR users can already adjust the blur of the background with iOS 12.1 in the live view via the slider – so even before recording. So far, the bokeh effect on the new iPhones could only be changed later.

iOS 12.1 also extends the Emoji palette of the operating system. Among the new additions – they are still part of the Unicode Standard 11.0 – include ideograms that allow "people with red, gray and curly hair or even bald to show," as Apple announced. There are also other smileys and emojis from the areas of animals, sports and food. The Emoji new additions Apple delivers by software update on Mac and Apple Watch. Unicode 12 and Emoji 12 will not follow until 2019, to better take people with disabilities into account.

The update is also a problem called "Beautygate" on iPhone XS and XR clear, which could lead to excessive blurring in portraits with the front camera. Apple should also tackle problems with the new screen function in iOS 12, but whether they have been completely eliminated, must first be seen.

The new version should also eliminate weak points of the lock screen, which could be accessed with the help of Siri with some effort on certain data such as photos. More details on the eliminated vulnerabilities Apple should submit shortly.

Apple's package leaflet states that iOS 12.1 introduces a "performance management feature" to iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. Under certain circumstances, these newer models are therefore also throttled by the system as previously iPhone 6, 6s and 7. The user should receive a notification when the throttling – such as cold or bad battery – attacks and can then in the settings again switch off. Until the end of Apple offers the replacement of the battery for 29 euros, from 2019, the iPhone battery change is more expensive.

The update also eliminates a problem in the "descriptions of air quality," as Apple notes – there could be a "false labeling" come. The irritating iOS clues about "unhealthy air quality" and "unhealthy air for sensitive groups" should (largely) disappear.

In addition to iOS 12.1, Apple has also released macOS 10.14.1 (group FaceTime, new emojis) as well as watchOS 5.1, tvOS 12.1 and a new HomePod software for download.




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