iOS 12 has been in the hand of the community for over a month, giving iPhone and iPad a taste of its new features and changes. In reality, iOS 12 might not be a significant upgrade on the surface, but it comes with a number of things we have been expecting to see for years. One of the most notable additions to iOS 12 lies in Screen Time, which helps users curb smartphone addiction.
Another big feature in iOS 12 is Grouped Notifications. Indeed, Apple is making your notification center cleaner and more visually appealing. Specifically, you now can group your notifications from the same app with a simple tap. Grouped notifications show up in a stack to give you an overview of what’s new on the lock screen. However, we have heard some of the issues iPhone and iPad owners are facing with Apple’s latest iOS version, ranging from issues with connectivity to app crashes. Apple acknowledged those issues and released iOS 12.1 to address them. iOS 12.1 won’t bring a huge upgrade to the operating system as it focuses on performance enhancements and bug fixes.
However, there are a number of new iOS 12.1 features you need to check out. With that in mind, we made a list of the best iOS 12.1 features you don’t want to miss on your iPhone or iPad. Note that iOS 12.1 is now available as a developer beta for testing purposes. If you want to test its new features ahead of its release, then join Apple’s public beta program.
More than 70 new emoji
With iOS 12, Apple introduced Memoji, a handy tool that takes Apple Animoji to a whole new level. Basically, with Memoji, you can create characters that look exactly like you. The coolest part is that you can add skin color, hairstyle, and outfits to your characters.
Memoji serves as Apple’s new steps to dominate the Augmented Reality market following the introduction of the last year’s Animoji. For some background, Animoji was introduced alongside the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, but it was exclusive to the iPhone X. This year, all three iPhones have the same True Depth front-facing camera, so you can create and send your Animoji and Memoji to more people.
In iOS 12.1, Apple added a ton of Memoji characters to the operating system, including new body parts and skin tones. Apple’s move aims to expand AR experience and take on Samsung’s AR Emoji. It seems that Samsung’s AR Emoji is falling behind Apple’s counterpart due to its limited number of avatars.
Group FaceTime is finally here
FaceTime has been part of iOS and macOS for years, allowing users to make video and audio calls from their iOS devices. In reality, Group FaceTime Calls is something that has been demanded since the days of iOS 10. That’s why Group FaceTime stole the spotlight at Apple’s WWDC event back in June.
In September, Apple claimed that the feature was delayed and would not be present in the final version of iOS 12. It would instead launch to the public in a future iOS update. With iOS 12.1, Group FaceTime has finally landed in our shores. In reality, Group calls feature is not something new out there as rival services have offered it for many years. Group FaceTime works on iPhone and iPad, and supports up to 32 people at the same time. Your window will get larger when you are speaking during the session.
Real-time Depth control
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max feature the same True Depth camera from the last year’s iPhone X. However, Apple secretly added the ability to control the depth level when editing your portrait photos. In iOS 12.1, you can adjust the level of blurriness in the background of your portrait images, while snapping them.
To do this, you simply need to hit the F button at the top of the camera viewfinder while you are taking a portrait photo and you now can use the real-time depth control feature. Now just simply adjust the level of blurriness by swiping left or right on the scrubber.
New changes in Watch app
One of the best things when it comes to Apple devices is that they work perfectly together. If you now have an Apple Watch, then you can connect your wearable to your iPhone and get a small change. Specifically, there is a new color under the Face Gallery tab in the Watch app. Besides, you can quickly turn on the speaker during a phone call with a simple tap.
These are the best iOS 12.1 features you need to check out right now. If you have got a favorite, then let us know in the comments below.