Right on schedule, the update to iOS 12.1 has launched.
Apple today released iOS 12.1 for the iPhone and iPad. This includes the iPhone 5s and later, iPad mini 2 and later, iPad Air and iPad Air 2, iPad 5th and 6th generation models, 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and both generations of 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The iPod touch 6th generation is included as well.
The update to iOS 12.1 brings with it several new features. There are more than 70 new emoji, including a bagel, a raccoon, a ball of yarn, a cupcake, a skateboard, a salt shaker, more emotive smiley faces, and new characters with red hair, gray hair, and curly hair, as well as a new emoji for bald people.
Also included is Group FaceTime. This feature will let you FaceTime with up to 32 people at once, and the speaker will be automatically placed front and center. Ringless notification will use a silent alert that participants can tap to join, and Messages integration will let you start a Group FaceTime from a group Messages conversation.
iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR users are also getting real-time depth control for Portrait Mode photos. This lets you adjust the depth of field in real-time rather than waiting to change it after you capture a photo.
Rounding out this update's major features is dual SIM support and a Beautygate bug fix. The dual SIM support feature uses eSIM, letting you activate an additional cellular plan without needing a SIM card. For example, you could have both a business phone number and a personal number on a single device. The Beautygate bug that was resulting in overly smoothed photos from the iPhone XS's front-facing camera has been fixed as well.
To update to iOS 12.1, grab your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and go into Settings > General > Software update.
An update to watchOS 5.1 is also available today, bringing Apple Watch owners new features like Group FaceTime audio calls, new emoji, and a full-screen "Color" watch face. To update to watchOS 5.1, launch the Watch app on your iPhone and go into General > Software Update.