Apple has begun rolling out the much awaited iOS 12.1 update to all eligible iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch (6th Gen).

Depending on the type of the device, the software varies in size. The new Apple iOS 12.1 is a big incremental update and comes with several new features including Group FaceTime, activ Dual SIM feature in select iPhones with eSIM, new Emoji, camera improvements and more.

Apple, iOS 12.1, update, new Emoji, Dual SIM, Depth Control real-time,
Apple iOS 12.1 comes with lots of new features including 70 plus Emoji, real-time Depth Control for Portrait mode, Dual SIM activation via eSIM for select iPhones and moreKVN Rohit/IBTimes India

Here's how to install Apple iOS 12.1 on your iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch (6th Gen):

Via OTA (Over-The-Air):

  • 1. Settings >> General >> Software update
  • [Tip: Users' who want to install the update directly on the device via OTA, make sure to clear enough device storage space and also make sure the device has more than 50% battery life, before downloading the new OS firmware]

Via iTunes

1. Back up your iPhone or iPad with either iCloud or via iTunes.

2. Launch iTunes on your Mac or PC.

3. Make sure you're on the latest version of iTunes. Go to About and then Check for Updates or visit

4. Plug in your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch if it isn't already.

5. Click on iPhone, iPad, or iPod in the top left navigation.

6. Click on the Check for Update button in the first section that contains information about your device and alternately you can click restore instead if you'd like to do a clean wipe with updated software.

7. An update should be recognised, click on Download and Update in the popup menu and agree to any terms or conditions.

8. Unlock your device with your passcode if prompted in order to continue with the upgrade.

Apple iOS 12.1: Key features you should know

Depth Control preview on Portrait mode:

Prior to the iOS 12.1, the newly launched iPhone XS, XS Max and the XR came with Depth Control feature, but the user could only use it after taking the photo. Now, after upgrading to the iOS 12.1, aforementioned phone owners can adjust the depth control (F16-F1.4) in real-time, before taking the picture. Portrait mode with Depth Control is also available on the TrueDepth camera for selfies, which includes Memoji and faster face tracking support for third-party ARKit apps.

Apple, iOS 12.1, update, new Emoji, real-time depth control
Portrait mode with Depth Control is also available on the TrueDepth camera for selfies, which includes Memoji and faster face tracking support for third-party ARKit apps.Apple India Press Kit

Dual SIM:

With iOS 12.1, the newly launched iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR gain Dual SIM support. They feature a nano-SIM and digital eSIM. Users can now activate an additional cellular plan from a carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM.  

New Emoji:

The new iOS 12.1 brings more than 70 emoji ranging from adorable Llama, swan, racoon to annoying mosquito. It also adds more characters to the keyboard that will better represent global users, including new emoji for moon cake, red gift envelope and Nazar amulet. It also comes new emoji for softball, frisbee and lacrosse, while outdoor adventurers will enjoy new characters for luggage, compass and a hiking boot to accompany the existing climbing emoji.

Apple, iOS 12.1, update, new Emoji
Apple iOS 12.1 update is coming with numerous emoji to make communication on iMessage more fun.Apple India Press Kit

Group FaceTime:

With iOS 12.1, Apple brings video conference mode dubbed as Group FaceTime, which allows close to 32 people in a single video chat session. The interesting thing about the new feature is the iPhone can track facial motion and automatically recognise them active speakers and brings to the forefront of the group chat. It automatically sizes each person's image depending upon how active they are in the conversation, based on the duration of the speech, volume and even motion. Participants who are not active will appear at the bottom of the screen until they speak. A simple tap also brings a participant front and centre. 

Apple, iOS 12,
Apple iOS 12 will now allow Group FaceTime with up to 32 people in the video chat applicationApple India Press Kit

Also, Group FaceTime is integrated into the Messages app, making it easy to start a Group FaceTime right from a group iMessage chat. If people in a conversation have already started a FaceTime session, Messages shows the active call in the conversation list and inside your conversations. Also, when calling more than one person, FaceTime displays a notification without any ringing noise and lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive. 

Most importantly, Apple has confirmed that the Group FaceTime session, be it one-to-one or multi-person, all are fully encrypted end to end so that they remain private and viewable only by the participants. 

Stay tuned. Follow us @IBTimesIN_Tech on Twitter and on Google News for the latest updates on Apple.