Apple has rolled out iOS 12.1 bringing Group FaceTime and over 70 new emoji to iPhone and iPad. 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 allows you 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.
According to Apple, FaceTime on iOS 12.1 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. Inactive participants will appear at the bottom of the screen until they speak. However, a simple tap will bring a participant front and centre.
When calling more than one person, FaceTime displays a notification that lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive.
Apple has also integrated Group FaceTime 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.
Further, all FaceTime conversations are both one-to-one and multi-person, are encrypted end to end so they remain private and viewable only by the participants.
The iOS 12.1 also brings with it over 70 new emoji come to iPhone and iPad, 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.
The company has also added depth control in the camera’s portrait mode that allows users to dynamically adjust the depth of field both in real-time preview and post-capture.
“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,” added Apple.
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.