iOS 12.1 arrives tomorrow with Group FaceTime and camera improvements

Looks like Apple’s not saving all of its news for the big event in Brooklyn tomorrow. The company just revealed that the latest version of iOS is arriving tomorrow in time for the iPad reveal.

The biggest addition here is the long-awaited arrival of Group FaceTime, something the company’s been talking up since WWDC. The update to the video chat app lets up to 32 people participate at once.

The system now autodetects speakers, prioritizing them at the top of the list. Everyone drops down to the bottom, though, like other similar chat protocols, you can tap a user to bring them to the front. Group FaceTime is encrypted and can be launched directly from the Messages app.

As noted recently, the new version of the operating system will fix the selfie-softening issues found on the iPhone XS. Referred to as “beauty gate” due to similarities with makeup filters applied by companies like Samsung, Apple denied that this was an intentional feature.

Instead, the company blamed the issue on a bug that lead to shakier/blurrier photos. Along with that fix, 12.1 brings the ability to adjust the Portrait mode depth of field in real time to adjust background blur. The ability to add Dual SIM functionality to the iPhone XS and XR is here, as well. 

Oh, and there are, naturally, a bunch of new emojis here  — 70 in all — including the addition of red hair, gray hair, curly hair and bald heads. There also are a bunch of new animals, sports images and foodstuffs.