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iOS 12.1 released with eSIM support, Group FaceTime, more

If you have an iPhone or iPad capable of running iOS 12, you can now download iOS 12.1, the first significant update to the operating system. The update brings eSIM support to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, while other features – including Group FaceTime – are offered for all iOS 12 devices.

An eSIM allows users of the XS, XS Max and XR to activate a carrier’s cellular plan without needing to use a physical SIM card. This technology also enables dual-SIM functionality, whereby each user can effectively have two separate phone numbers on the same device.

iOS 12.1 also gives the 2018 iPhone models a new real-time Depth Control feature. This was demonstrated at the Apple keynote in September and means that, when preparing to take a Portrait mode photo, the user can adjust the image’s depth of field before hitting the shutter.

Group FaceTime lets iPhone and iPad users chat over video and audio. As many as 32 participants can simultaneously converse over Group FaceTime, but only the audio element is supported with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 and 3.

iOS 12.1 also adds over 70 new emoji – including face with hearts, pleading face, red hair, llama, cupcake and bagel – as well as fixes for several bugs. On the XS, XS Max and XR, the update enhances cellular connectivity and rectifies excessive skin smoothing in selfies.

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