Apple releases iOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1 and tvOS 12.1 to the public

Apple has released iOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1, and tvOS 12.1 to the public. The updates arrive on the same day as Apple’s “There’s more in the making” event, which saw the arrivals of a new MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iPad Pro

Incremental updates

As you can see in the video above, Apple’s iOS 12.1 update brings four main features to iOS devices: Group FaceTime, new emojis, and for 2018 iPhones, real-time Depth Control in the Camera app, and Dual SIM.

The iOS 12.1 general release is available over-the-air (OTA) under the Settings app on your device. Go to General > Software Update to get started. You can also get the new firmware over on our Downloads webpage.

Here’s the changelog for iOS 12.1, per Apple:

  • Group FaceTime
  • Adds support for video and audio calls with up to 32 participants simultaneously
  • Encrypted end-to-end so your conversations remain private
  • Start Group FaceTime right from a group Messages conversation, or join an active call at any time
  • Over 70 new emoji, including new characters with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces and additional emoji representing animals, sports and food
  • Dual SIM support
  • Introduces Dual SIM with eSIM which allows two numbers in one device for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

Other improvements and fixes:

  • Introduces Depth Control in Camera preview for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
  • Improves cellular connectivity for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
  • Adds the ability to change or reset your child’s Screen Time passcode using Face ID or Touch ID
  • Fixes an issue where the sharpest reference frame was not always selected in front-facing photos for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
  • Resolves an issue that caused messages to be merged into one thread when two users were signed in with the same Apple ID on multiple iPhones
  • Addresses an issue that prevented some voicemails from appearing in the Phone app
  • Resolves an issue in the Phone app that could cause phone numbers to appear without their corresponding contact name
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Screen Time from reporting specific websites in the activity report
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent adding or removing family members from Family Sharing
  • Adds a performance management feature to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down, including the option to disable this feature if an unexpected shutdown occurs, for iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
  • Adds the ability for Battery Health to inform users that it is unable to verify if a genuine Apple battery is in iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
  • Improves reliability of VoiceOver in Camera, Siri, and Safari
  • Fixes an issue that could cause MDM Device Enrollment to report an Invalid Profile error for some enterprise users

The update is compatible with the following devices:

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad 6th generation
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch 6th generation

Both watchOS 5.1 and tvOS 12.1 provide bug fixes only.

Build numbers

The new updates have the following build numbers:

  • iOS 12.1: 16B92 | 16B93
  • watchOS 5.1: 16R591
  • tvOS 12.1: 16J602

With the iOS 12.1 beta season now over, it will be interesting to see when Apple releases something new for developers.