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iOS 12.1 Includes Addresses Two Major iPhone XS/XR Issues: ‘BeautyGate’ and Cellular Connectivity Problems

Amid product refreshes for the iPad Pro, Mac mini, and new MacBook Air, Apple today released iOS 12.1, a major update that brings features like eSIM support for the new iPhones, Group FaceTime, real-time Depth Control, and new emoji.

iOS 12.1 also a…

Amid product refreshes for the iPad Pro, Mac mini, and new MacBook Air, Apple today released iOS 12.1, a major update that brings features like eSIM support for the new iPhones, Group FaceTime, real-time Depth Control, and new emoji.

iOS 12.1 also addresses a couple of bugs that iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR users have been facing since the new devices were released. We mentioned these new features in our full iOS 12.1 release post, but we didn't want anyone to miss out on the news that Apple has implemented fixes for two key problems.

Image via Reddit

Following the launch of the iPhone XS and XS Max, new iPhone owners began complaining about excessive skin smoothing when taking selfies with the two new devices, an issue dubbed "BeautyGate" after people began speculating that Apple was using some kind of beauty filter for the camera.

As it turns out, the new Smart HDR functionality on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR was to blame. Apple said Smart HDR, which is designed to preserve more detail in highlights and shadows by combining multiple images into one, was picking a base frame that wasn't sharp enough, resulting in excessive blur and noise reduction.

In iOS 12.1, Apple introduced a bug fix that chooses a sharper reference frame that should result in less skin smoothing when taking photos. From Apple's release notes:
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
The second issue addressed in today's update relates to LTE. iPhone XS and XS Max users have been complaining of significant LTE connectivity issues after noticing different cellular reception between iPhone XS and older iPhone models.


According to Apple's release notes, today's update introduces unspecified improvements to LTE connectivity.
Improves cellular connectivity for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
Hopefully customers who were affected with poor cellular connectivity will see some significant improvements following the update to iOS 12.1.

Have you updated? Is your LTE connection better? Do you see less skin smoothing with the front-facing camera? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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2018 iPad Pro With 1TB Storage Has 6GB RAM, Lower Capacities Have 4GB

Following Apple’s event in Brooklyn this morning, more information has come to light about the new iPad Pros, particularly how much RAM is included in each model of the updated tablets. Using Xcode, developer Steve Troughton-Smith has discovered that the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with 1TB of storage have 6GB of RAM, compared to 4GB for previous generation iPad Pros.


The new iPad Pros both have 6GB of RAM, according to Xcode (technically the kCoreThemeMemoryClass enum doesn’t map 1:1 but CoreUI only knows about 6GB devices so the iPad must be 6GB if not any prior value) pic.twitter.com/Oas1nOM5BM

— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) October 30, 2018

This is the first time that any iPad Pro model has supported 1TB of storage, and 6GB is the highest amount of RAM seen on Apple’s pro-level tablets, if the data is accurate. For any storage capacity below 1TB, including 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB, each iPad Pro model retains the previous generation’s 4GB of RAM. RAM isn’t an aspect of the iPad that Apple details to customers, so this information hasn’t been confirmed, but the Xcode test appears largely accurate.

At 1TB, Apple sells the 11-inch iPad Pro for $1,549.00 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for $1,749.00, making them the most expensive iPad models ever sold. Apple has increased the RAM in both iPad and iPhone over the years. The iPhone X, for example, had 3GB RAM, while the iPhone XS and XS Max have 4GB RAM. The lower-cost iPhone XR retains the iPhone X’s 3GB RAM.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Following Apple's event in Brooklyn this morning, more information has come to light about the new iPad Pros, particularly how much RAM is included in each model of the updated tablets. Using Xcode, developer Steve Troughton-Smith has discovered that the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with 1TB of storage have 6GB of RAM, compared to 4GB for previous generation iPad Pros.



This is the first time that any iPad Pro model has supported 1TB of storage, and 6GB is the highest amount of RAM seen on Apple's pro-level tablets, if the data is accurate. For any storage capacity below 1TB, including 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB, each iPad Pro model retains the previous generation's 4GB of RAM. RAM isn't an aspect of the iPad that Apple details to customers, so this information hasn't been confirmed, but the Xcode test appears largely accurate.

At 1TB, Apple sells the 11-inch iPad Pro for $1,549.00 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for $1,749.00, making them the most expensive iPad models ever sold. Apple has increased the RAM in both iPad and iPhone over the years. The iPhone X, for example, had 3GB RAM, while the iPhone XS and XS Max have 4GB RAM. The lower-cost iPhone XR retains the iPhone X's 3GB RAM.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple Pencil 2 Not Compatible With Older iPads and Original Apple Pencil Won’t Work With New Models

The new second-generation Apple Pencil that Apple introduced today alongside new iPad Pro models includes support for tap gestures and inductive charging when attached to an iPad Pro via magnets, a major upgrade from the previous model that had a built-in Lightning port.

Given all of the changes introduced in the Apple Pencil 2, it only works with the new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models and it is not compatible with older iPad Pros or the sixth-generation iPad.


Likewise, the current Apple Pencil will not work with the new iPad Pro models and is limited to older iPad Pro models and the sixth-generation iPad.

That means if you’re upgrading to the new iPad Pro from an older iPad Pro model and already have an Apple Pencil, you’re going to need to buy a new second-generation model if you want an Apple Pencil to use with the upgraded tablets.

The new second-generation Apple Pencil is priced at $129 and can be ordered starting today, with the accessory set to be delivered on November 7.

Apple’s new Apple Pencil is $30 more expensive than the existing Apple Pencil, which is priced at just $99.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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The new second-generation Apple Pencil that Apple introduced today alongside new iPad Pro models includes support for tap gestures and inductive charging when attached to an iPad Pro via magnets, a major upgrade from the previous model that had a built-in Lightning port.

Given all of the changes introduced in the Apple Pencil 2, it only works with the new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models and it is not compatible with older iPad Pros or the sixth-generation iPad.


Likewise, the current Apple Pencil will not work with the new iPad Pro models and is limited to older iPad Pro models and the sixth-generation iPad.

That means if you're upgrading to the new iPad Pro from an older iPad Pro model and already have an Apple Pencil, you're going to need to buy a new second-generation model if you want an Apple Pencil to use with the upgraded tablets.

The new second-generation Apple Pencil is priced at $129 and can be ordered starting today, with the accessory set to be delivered on November 7.

Apple's new Apple Pencil is $30 more expensive than the existing Apple Pencil, which is priced at just $99.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Discuss this article in our forums

2018 MacBook Air and Mac mini Hands-On: Long-Awaited Updates Don’t Disappoint

Apple today announced two new Mac-related device updates, including a new MacBook Air and Mac mini. The refreshed MacBook Air includes an updated keyboard, larger Force Touch trackpad, slimmer display bezels, two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, Retina Display, reduced footprint, Touch ID, and Apple’s T2 security chip. The Mac mini comes in Space Gray with 8th-generation Intel Core processors, flash storage up to 2 TB, Apple’s T2 security chip, and more.

According to The Verge, the new MacBook Air looks a lot like a MacBook Pro, but the tapered design gives away the computer as a MacBook Air device. The site called the MacBook Air’s Retina Display great and essentially on par with the screens on MacBook Pro models.

Image via The Verge

The Verge acknowledged that Apple’s third generation keyboards are still polarizing, with super minimal key travel, but the site didn’t think this is enough of a reason not to upgrade. Ultimately, The Verge enjoyed its first hands-on time with the MacBook Air and said that this is the MacBook most people should get, but wondered if the $1,199 entry price is still too high:

We’ll do a fuller price breakdown and comparison to other laptops soon, but my initial impression is that while I think this machine is worth $1,199, I still wonder if that’s too high of an entry price. But the only real way to know the answer to that question is to wait to see how it sells.

TechCrunch also pointed out that the new MacBook Air looks largely similar to the MacBook Pro, comparing the two in an image (seen below). The site said that the update to the MacBook Air was solid, and they commended Apple for keeping the MacBook Air around and not discontinuing it in favor of the low-cost MacBook.

MacBook Air on top of MacBook Pro, via TechCrunch

Touch ID is now present up top — a great addition — though Apple opted not to include the Touch Bar. That could be for any number of reasons. There’s some speculation that the company will ultimately move away from the feature, but more likely, it was simply a cost cutting measure.

All in all, a solid and long awaited update to Apple’s best loved laptop. It’s nice to see the company keeping the model around, rather than simply doing away with it in favor of the low end MacBook.

Switching over to the Mac mini, numerous sites praised the long-awaited update to Apple’s miniature desktop device, which last saw a refresh in October 2014. The Space Gray Mac mini comes with quad- and 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 4.6GHz, making it 5 times faster than the previous generation, and up to 64GB of 2,666MHz RAM.

SlashGear liked Apple’s boosted internal specs for the Mac mini, and noted the numerous ports on the back of the device, including four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, and an ethernet port. The site argued that there is enough inside of the updated Mac mini to potentially convince iMac owners to switch over to a Mac mini and display setup:

Image via SlashGear

For a compact desktop, the Mac mini always punched above its weight for user upgrades. No, you can’t change the processor – in this case a choice of 4-core or 6-core Intel Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 chips – but Apple has stuck with SO-DIMM memory. If you don’t want to pay Apple for an upgrade to up to 64 GB of RAM from the standard 8 GB, you should be able to do it yourself later on.

It’s little things like that which give the new Mac mini its charm. The $799 starting price, too, is aggressive – especially with the new MacBook Air Retina nudging up to $1,200. If you can do without Apple’s Retina display and provide your own, this first rung on the macOS ladder no longer feels like such a compromise. In fact, there’s plenty here that could sway iMac buyers back to a familiar old form-factor.

More news from Apple’s New York event will be coming out as the day progresses, so be sure to keep an eye on our front page and on our Twitter feed for the latest coverage.

Related Roundups: Mac mini, MacBook Air

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple today announced two new Mac-related device updates, including a new MacBook Air and Mac mini. The refreshed MacBook Air includes an updated keyboard, larger Force Touch trackpad, slimmer display bezels, two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, Retina Display, reduced footprint, Touch ID, and Apple's T2 security chip. The Mac mini comes in Space Gray with 8th-generation Intel Core processors, flash storage up to 2 TB, Apple's T2 security chip, and more.

According to The Verge, the new MacBook Air looks a lot like a MacBook Pro, but the tapered design gives away the computer as a MacBook Air device. The site called the MacBook Air's Retina Display great and essentially on par with the screens on MacBook Pro models.

Image via The Verge

The Verge acknowledged that Apple's third generation keyboards are still polarizing, with super minimal key travel, but the site didn't think this is enough of a reason not to upgrade. Ultimately, The Verge enjoyed its first hands-on time with the MacBook Air and said that this is the MacBook most people should get, but wondered if the $1,199 entry price is still too high:
We’ll do a fuller price breakdown and comparison to other laptops soon, but my initial impression is that while I think this machine is worth $1,199, I still wonder if that’s too high of an entry price. But the only real way to know the answer to that question is to wait to see how it sells.
TechCrunch also pointed out that the new MacBook Air looks largely similar to the MacBook Pro, comparing the two in an image (seen below). The site said that the update to the MacBook Air was solid, and they commended Apple for keeping the MacBook Air around and not discontinuing it in favor of the low-cost MacBook.

MacBook Air on top of MacBook Pro, via TechCrunch
Touch ID is now present up top — a great addition — though Apple opted not to include the Touch Bar. That could be for any number of reasons. There’s some speculation that the company will ultimately move away from the feature, but more likely, it was simply a cost cutting measure.

All in all, a solid and long awaited update to Apple’s best loved laptop. It’s nice to see the company keeping the model around, rather than simply doing away with it in favor of the low end MacBook.
Switching over to the Mac mini, numerous sites praised the long-awaited update to Apple's miniature desktop device, which last saw a refresh in October 2014. The Space Gray Mac mini comes with quad- and 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 4.6GHz, making it 5 times faster than the previous generation, and up to 64GB of 2,666MHz RAM.

SlashGear liked Apple's boosted internal specs for the Mac mini, and noted the numerous ports on the back of the device, including four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, and an ethernet port. The site argued that there is enough inside of the updated Mac mini to potentially convince iMac owners to switch over to a Mac mini and display setup:

Image via SlashGear
For a compact desktop, the Mac mini always punched above its weight for user upgrades. No, you can’t change the processor – in this case a choice of 4-core or 6-core Intel Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 chips – but Apple has stuck with SO-DIMM memory. If you don’t want to pay Apple for an upgrade to up to 64 GB of RAM from the standard 8 GB, you should be able to do it yourself later on.

It’s little things like that which give the new Mac mini its charm. The $799 starting price, too, is aggressive – especially with the new MacBook Air Retina nudging up to $1,200. If you can do without Apple’s Retina display and provide your own, this first rung on the macOS ladder no longer feels like such a compromise. In fact, there’s plenty here that could sway iMac buyers back to a familiar old form-factor.
More news from Apple's New York event will be coming out as the day progresses, so be sure to keep an eye on our front page and on our Twitter feed for the latest coverage.

Related Roundups: Mac mini, MacBook Air

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple’s New MacBook Air Features Impressive Battery Life That Bests MacBook and MacBook Pro

Apple’s newly announced MacBook Air with Retina display and upgraded 8th-generation Intel processors features the best battery life out of any of Apple’s notebooks, MacBook Pro and MacBook included.

The new machine, which features a 50.3 watt-hour lithium polymer battery, offers up to 12 hours of battery life when web browsing, 13 hours when watching iTunes movie playback, and 30 days of standby time.


Comparatively, the MacBook Pro models offer up to 10 hours battery when browsing the web and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, while the MacBook offers 10 hours of battery when browsing the web and 12 hours of iTunes movie playback.

The MacBook Air is going to provide two extra hours of battery life for web browsing compared to other models, and an hour to three hours more when watching movies. Details on Apple’s battery testing procedures are below:

Testing conducted by Apple in October 2018 using preproduction 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-based MacBook Air systems with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The iTunes movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default. Battery life varies by use and configuration.

The MacBook Air is equipped with two USB-C ports and charges over USB-C. It ships with a 30W power adapter, much like the 12-inch MacBook.

You can order the new MacBook Air today, and prices start at $1,199. The first orders will arrive next Wednesday, November 7.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple's newly announced MacBook Air with Retina display and upgraded 8th-generation Intel processors features the best battery life out of any of Apple's notebooks, MacBook Pro and MacBook included.

The new machine, which features a 50.3 watt-hour lithium polymer battery, offers up to 12 hours of battery life when web browsing, 13 hours when watching iTunes movie playback, and 30 days of standby time.


Comparatively, the MacBook Pro models offer up to 10 hours battery when browsing the web and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, while the MacBook offers 10 hours of battery when browsing the web and 12 hours of iTunes movie playback.

The MacBook Air is going to provide two extra hours of battery life for web browsing compared to other models, and an hour to three hours more when watching movies. Details on Apple's battery testing procedures are below:
Testing conducted by Apple in October 2018 using preproduction 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-based MacBook Air systems with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The iTunes movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default. Battery life varies by use and configuration.
The MacBook Air is equipped with two USB-C ports and charges over USB-C. It ships with a 30W power adapter, much like the 12-inch MacBook.

You can order the new MacBook Air today, and prices start at $1,199. The first orders will arrive next Wednesday, November 7.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Updates Shortcuts App With New Weather, Alarm, Conversion and Photos Options

Apple today updated its Shortcuts app for iPhones and iPads to version 2.1, introducing new capabilities that can be used to create various automations and shortcuts using first and third-party apps.

The new 2.1 version of the app brings new options…

Apple today updated its Shortcuts app for iPhones and iPads to version 2.1, introducing new capabilities that can be used to create various automations and shortcuts using first and third-party apps.

The new 2.1 version of the app brings new options for creating weather and forecast shortcuts, setting alarms and timers, converting between units, and importing recent photos.


Apple's full release notes for the update are below:
- Use the latest weather in your shortcuts with the new Get Current Weather and Get Weather Forecast actions
- Set alarms and timers with the new Create Alarm, Toggle Alarm, and Start Timer actions
- Convert between a variety of units with the new Measurement and Convert Measurement actions
- Get the most recent set of imported photos from the Photos app using the Get Last Import action
- When running a shortcut from HomePod using Siri, media will now automatically play back from HomePod using AirPlay
- Bug fixes

Learn more and see the full list of changes at https://support.apple.com/HT209087.
Siri Shortcuts, introduced in iOS 12, is a feature designed to let you create multi-step shortcuts using first and third-party apps that can be activated by Siri voice command.

So, for example, you can create a shortcut to do something like turn on the thermostat at home using the Nest app, text your roommate that you're on the way with Messages, and open up the Maps app with directions home all with a single "I'm going home" Siri command.

Shortcuts are deeply customizable and can be created and found through Apple's Shortcuts app, available from the App Store. [Direct Link]
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Apple Highlights Mac Mini Use in Live Concerts, Theater, and Data Centers

With the Mac mini getting a long-awaited update today, Apple took the opportunity to highlight the use of the tiny computer in a number of unique areas where full-size machines might not quite fit — literally.

In The Secret World of Mac mini, Apple takes a look at country star Dierks Bentley’s live show, the touring production of the Finding Neverland musical, and the Mac mini-focused datacenter provider MacStadium.


When Dierks Bentley performs live, Mac minis travel with the show to monitor the band’s 18 wireless guitar rigs. According to the piece, Dierks’ sound engineer uses a Mac mini to power his equipment — well, actually it appears to be a Mac Pro in the picture, weirdly. Not sure what’s going on there, but there is a Mac mini with a banana sticker on it:


“If Dierks is out in the crowd and this setup alerts me that his guitar’s wireless strength is going down, I can adjust it and avoid an issue,” says Gutierrez. “And I’ve always run this setup on Mac mini — I’ve been using the same Mac mini for five years, and I’ve never had a problem.”

The Finding Neverland performance uses a Mac mini running software to produce sound that can’t be sung or played live, including electronic music and sound effects.

Finding Neverland is the true story of how author J.M. Barrie conceived the fantastic world of Peter Pan. The production takes the audience on a journey that floats between the author’s real life and the make-believe world of his imagination. And bringing that imagination to life requires a lot of sound effects — from ticking clocks and thunder claps, to cannon booms and the sound of Tinkerbell’s…well, Tinkerbelling. All those effects are possible because of Mac mini, triggered throughout the show by the conductor.


Finally there’s the Mac-only datacenter MacStadium, which manages thousands of Mac minis across several data centers for its clients. The firm manages almost 8,000 minis, for a wide range of developers who want Macs for development work and more.

“Candy Crush, Shopify, Day One — so many of your favorite apps and games run on Mac mini. It’s truly the Swiss Army knife of computers,” says Brian Stucki of MacStadium.

The new Mac mini is available for preorder today, shipping on November 7. It starts at $799, but fully loaded, it prices out to a decidedly not-mini $4,199.

Related Roundup: Mac mini
Buyer’s Guide: Mac Mini (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

With the Mac mini getting a long-awaited update today, Apple took the opportunity to highlight the use of the tiny computer in a number of unique areas where full-size machines might not quite fit — literally.

In The Secret World of Mac mini, Apple takes a look at country star Dierks Bentley's live show, the touring production of the Finding Neverland musical, and the Mac mini-focused datacenter provider MacStadium.


When Dierks Bentley performs live, Mac minis travel with the show to monitor the band's 18 wireless guitar rigs. According to the piece, Dierks' sound engineer uses a Mac mini to power his equipment — well, actually it appears to be a Mac Pro in the picture, weirdly. Not sure what's going on there, but there is a Mac mini with a banana sticker on it:

“If Dierks is out in the crowd and this setup alerts me that his guitar’s wireless strength is going down, I can adjust it and avoid an issue,” says Gutierrez. “And I’ve always run this setup on Mac mini — I’ve been using the same Mac mini for five years, and I’ve never had a problem.”
The Finding Neverland performance uses a Mac mini running software to produce sound that can't be sung or played live, including electronic music and sound effects.
Finding Neverland is the true story of how author J.M. Barrie conceived the fantastic world of Peter Pan. The production takes the audience on a journey that floats between the author’s real life and the make-believe world of his imagination. And bringing that imagination to life requires a lot of sound effects — from ticking clocks and thunder claps, to cannon booms and the sound of Tinkerbell’s…well, Tinkerbelling. All those effects are possible because of Mac mini, triggered throughout the show by the conductor.

Finally there's the Mac-only datacenter MacStadium, which manages thousands of Mac minis across several data centers for its clients. The firm manages almost 8,000 minis, for a wide range of developers who want Macs for development work and more.
"Candy Crush, Shopify, Day One — so many of your favorite apps and games run on Mac mini. It’s truly the Swiss Army knife of computers," says Brian Stucki of MacStadium.
The new Mac mini is available for preorder today, shipping on November 7. It starts at $799, but fully loaded, it prices out to a decidedly not-mini $4,199.

Related Roundup: Mac mini
Buyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Releases iOS 12.1 With eSIM Support, Real-Time Depth Control, Group FaceTime, New Emoji and More

Apple today released iOS 12.1, the first major update to the iOS 12 operating system designed for the iPhone and the iPad. iOS 12.1 comes more than a month after the September release of iOS 12 and a few weeks after iOS 12.0.1, a bug fix update.

The…

Apple today released iOS 12.1, the first major update to the iOS 12 operating system designed for the iPhone and the iPad. iOS 12.1 comes more than a month after the September release of iOS 12 and a few weeks after iOS 12.0.1, a bug fix update.

The update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.1 is free to download.


Today's update adds quite a bit of new functionality to iOS devices, especially Apple's newest models, the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.

iOS 12.1 brings support for the eSIM, a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from a carrier without the need to use a physical SIM card.

With eSIM support, dual-SIM functionality is available on the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, enabled through the existing physical SIM slot and the eSIM in all countries with the exception of China. In China, the new iPhones have two SIM card slots.


Carriers will need to implement support for eSIM functionality to work even after it's been turned on in iOS 12.1. In the U.S., AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile plan to support eSIM.

Also for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, the iOS 12.1 update introduces a new real-time Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the depth of field of your Portrait Mode photos before you capture them.


In earlier versions of iOS 12, Depth Control is only available for post-capture editing purposes. To use Depth Control when composing an image, tap on the "F" icon at the top of the screen and then drag the slider to adjust the amount of background blur in the image.

There are also new features that are coming to all iPhones and iPads. iOS 12.1 reintroduces the Group FaceTime feature that was removed from iOS 12 during the beta testing period because Apple needed more time to finish it.

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Group FaceTime is designed to let iPhone, iPad, and Mac users conduct video and audio chats with up to 32 participants at one time, with new camera effect features like filters, stickers, Animoji, and Memoji included.


Group FaceTime will be limited on older Apple devices. On iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it will be available in an audio-only capacity with no video. Group FaceTime is not available on iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPad Air. Group FaceTime with video works on all other devices with an A8X processor or later.

Other FaceTime features are included in iOS 12.1 as well, such as automatic detection of active speakers to surface the icon of the person who is speaking, ringless notification to let you join a call without being disruptive, and Messages integration for starting a Group FaceTime call right from the Messages app from a group chat.

iOS 12.1 brings support for Unicode 11, adding more than 70 new emoji to iPhones and iPads. Options include face with hearts, woozy face, pleading face, red hair, white hair, superhero, raccoon, llama, peacock, mango, cupcake, bagel, and more.




We have a full list of all of the new emoji coming in the iOS 12.1 update available here.




Apple told iPhone XR reviewers that the iOS 12.1 update will also introduce camera tweaks to address complaints of excessive skin-smoothing by the front and rear-facing cameras in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

These phones use a "Smart HDR" feature combine multiple images at different exposure levels, which can result in excessive noise reduction that creates a smoothing effect over the image, which is noticeable on skin. Apple is addressing this issue by using a shaper base frame for Smart HDR, as outlined in the release notes.

iOS 12.1 also addresses several bugs and improves performance. Notably, iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR users will be pleased to hear that the update improves cellular connectivity. Apple's full release notes, complete with bug fixes included in the update, are below:
iOS 12.1 introduces Group FaceTime, adds over 70 new emoji, and includes support for Dual SIM with eSIM for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

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

Emoji
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

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
For more information on all of the new features that were introduced in Apple's iOS 12 update that preceded iOS 12.1, make sure to check out our iOS 12 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Apple Releases watchOS 5.1 With New Color Watch Faces and Updated Emoji

Apple today released watchOS 5.1, the first major update to the watchOS 5 operating system that runs on modern Apple Watch models. watchOS 5.1 comes more than a month after the release of watchOS 5 and a few weeks after the launch of watchOS 5.0.1, a minor bug fix update.

watchOS 5.1 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update.


To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the iPhone.

watchOS 5.1 introduces support for the Group FaceTime feature also coming in iOS 12.1 and macOS 10.14.1, but in an audio-only capacity on the wrist. You can answer Group FaceTime calls using FaceTime Audio, and switch over to the iPhone for video. Group FaceTime is designed to let you chat with up to 32 people at one time.

Today’s update introduces a new full-screen “Color” watch face option for the Apple Watch Series 4 models, with users able to choose between dozens of shades. There’s also a filled-in circular option for older Apple Watch models that joins the standard Color clock face.


Alongside iOS 12.1 and macOS 10.14.1, watchOS 5.1 introduces support for more than 70 new emoji characters, like face with hearts, red hair, gray hair, curly hair, super heroes, kangaroo, peacock, parrot, lobster, cupcake, mango, and more.


The watchOS 5.1 update also includes several bug fixes, as outlined in Apple’s release notes:

This update includes improvements and bug fixes:

– Apple Watch Series 4 automatically contacts emergency services if you are immobile for about a minute after detecting a hard fall. The watch will also now play a message that informs the responder that the Apple Watch has detected a fall and shares your location coordinates when possible.

– Fixes an issue that could cause an incomplete installation of the Walkie-Talkie app for some users.

– Resolves an issue that prevented some users from being able to send or receive invitations on Walkie-Talkie

– Addresses an issue where some previously warned Activity awards were not showing in the Awards tab of the Activity app for some users.

For a full look at all the emoji available in the new software updates, make sure to check out our dedicated emoji article. For more information on watchOS 5, our watchOS 5 roundup has all of the details you need to know.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Apple today released watchOS 5.1, the first major update to the watchOS 5 operating system that runs on modern Apple Watch models. watchOS 5.1 comes more than a month after the release of watchOS 5 and a few weeks after the launch of watchOS 5.0.1, a minor bug fix update.

watchOS 5.1 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software Update.


To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the iPhone.

watchOS 5.1 introduces support for the Group FaceTime feature also coming in iOS 12.1 and macOS 10.14.1, but in an audio-only capacity on the wrist. You can answer Group FaceTime calls using FaceTime Audio, and switch over to the iPhone for video. Group FaceTime is designed to let you chat with up to 32 people at one time.

Today's update introduces a new full-screen "Color" watch face option for the Apple Watch Series 4 models, with users able to choose between dozens of shades. There's also a filled-in circular option for older Apple Watch models that joins the standard Color clock face.


Alongside iOS 12.1 and macOS 10.14.1, watchOS 5.1 introduces support for more than 70 new emoji characters, like face with hearts, red hair, gray hair, curly hair, super heroes, kangaroo, peacock, parrot, lobster, cupcake, mango, and more.


The watchOS 5.1 update also includes several bug fixes, as outlined in Apple's release notes:
This update includes improvements and bug fixes:

- Apple Watch Series 4 automatically contacts emergency services if you are immobile for about a minute after detecting a hard fall. The watch will also now play a message that informs the responder that the Apple Watch has detected a fall and shares your location coordinates when possible.
- Fixes an issue that could cause an incomplete installation of the Walkie-Talkie app for some users.
- Resolves an issue that prevented some users from being able to send or receive invitations on Walkie-Talkie
- Addresses an issue where some previously warned Activity awards were not showing in the Awards tab of the Activity app for some users.
For a full look at all the emoji available in the new software updates, make sure to check out our dedicated emoji article. For more information on watchOS 5, our watchOS 5 roundup has all of the details you need to know.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

2018 iPad Pro Hands-On Impressions: ‘Might Be the Truest Embodiment of a Tablet Yet’

Members of the media have now had a chance to get their hands on Apple’s latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro following today’s event in New York. The new iPad Pro includes an updated Liquid Retina LCD display, slimmer bezels, Face ID, a thinner body, and A12X Bionic chip.

Image via Dan Seifert/The Verge

So far, it appears that initial impressions of the new tablet are largely positive, with The Verge describing the iPad Pro as “just a giant, beautiful screen” thanks to the reduced bezel size. The edges of the iPad are now flat instead of rounded, which reminded The Verge of the iPhone 4 through 5S design, and the overall feel of the tablet was “much denser and pro” than previous generations of the iPad Pro.

The transition to Face ID allowed Apple to make the iPad’s side bezels slimmer than ever before, and the result might be the truest embodiment of a “tablet” yet. This thing is just a giant, beautiful screen. The 11-inch display is housed in a device similar to the size of the previous 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the 12.9-inch model is physically smaller than its predecessor. The rounded edges of the last few iPads have switched over to flat edges reminiscent of the very original (or the iPhone 4 through 5S).

The overall feel of the thing is way more squared off than I was expecting — it feels much denser and pro than before. The LTE version has large antenna lines on the back, you’ll definitely notice them.

Engadget says the iPad Pro is starting to feel more like a proper computer, thanks to the angular “no-nonsense design” and the A12X Bionic chip. The site says the iPad Pro is shockingly comfortable to hold, far more comfortable for long sessions of drawing with Apple Pencil than the previous 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Image via Chris Velazco/Engadget

At the risk of sound a little repetitive though, this design still feels like a huge step forward. That’s thanks in large part to the edge-to-edge display Apple adopted this year — it’s a Liquid Retina panel like the ones we recently saw in the iPhone XR, but it retains the same high resolution as last year’s big Pros. That was a very long-winded way of saying that the iPad Pro’s screen looks amazing, but that’s hardly anything new here — I never really had an issue with earlier Pros, and Apple’s ProMotion screen tech still allows for a super-slick, 120Hz refresh rate.

Despite liking the overall design and performance of the iPad Pro, Engadget did question Apple’s removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack:

Much as I like this new design, there is one thing that rubs me the wrong way, and it has a lot to do with the mixed messages Apple is sending. In its presentation, Apple made it clear that music professional like DJs have been fans of the iPad for a while, and that the new power afforded to them by the A12X Bionic chipset would help them spice up their performances. That’s cool and all, but I wonder how those DJs feel about the iPad Pro lacking a headphone jack. Seems kind of important, no?

SlashGear agrees that the new iPad Pros feel easier and more comfortable to hold, and the tablet’s palm detection means that you won’t accidentally interact with the touchscreen as you handle the device. For the site, the biggest downside of the new iPad Pro was Apple’s pricing:

Image via SlashGear

Therein lies the new iPad Pro’s downside: the price. The range kicks off at $799 for the 11-inch and $999 for the 12.9-inch. Those numbers spiral up dramatically as you add more storage and cellular connectivity. Want the new Apple Pencil 2? That’ll cost you another $129. The fancy new Smart Keyboard Folio – which hooks to to relocated connectors now on the rear of the tablet, not the edge – is $179 for the 11-inch model, or $199 for the 12.9-inch.

All in all, you’re looking at MacBook Air pricing at least, or easily MacBook Pro levels if you go crazy with the options. Apple’s argument is that, for creative professionals, the arrival of apps like true Photoshop in 2019 will make this not only a replacement for your notebook but the better choice.

We’re going hands-on with the new iPad Pro at Apple’s event in New York, so be sure to keep an eye out for more coverage about the new tablets, MacBook Air, and Mac mini on our front page and by following @MacRumors on Twitter.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Discuss this article in our forums

Members of the media have now had a chance to get their hands on Apple's latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro following today's event in New York. The new iPad Pro includes an updated Liquid Retina LCD display, slimmer bezels, Face ID, a thinner body, and A12X Bionic chip.

Image via Dan Seifert/The Verge

So far, it appears that initial impressions of the new tablet are largely positive, with The Verge describing the iPad Pro as "just a giant, beautiful screen" thanks to the reduced bezel size. The edges of the iPad are now flat instead of rounded, which reminded The Verge of the iPhone 4 through 5S design, and the overall feel of the tablet was "much denser and pro" than previous generations of the iPad Pro.
The transition to Face ID allowed Apple to make the iPad’s side bezels slimmer than ever before, and the result might be the truest embodiment of a “tablet” yet. This thing is just a giant, beautiful screen. The 11-inch display is housed in a device similar to the size of the previous 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the 12.9-inch model is physically smaller than its predecessor. The rounded edges of the last few iPads have switched over to flat edges reminiscent of the very original (or the iPhone 4 through 5S).

The overall feel of the thing is way more squared off than I was expecting — it feels much denser and pro than before. The LTE version has large antenna lines on the back, you’ll definitely notice them.
Engadget says the iPad Pro is starting to feel more like a proper computer, thanks to the angular "no-nonsense design" and the A12X Bionic chip. The site says the iPad Pro is shockingly comfortable to hold, far more comfortable for long sessions of drawing with Apple Pencil than the previous 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Image via Chris Velazco/Engadget
At the risk of sound a little repetitive though, this design still feels like a huge step forward. That's thanks in large part to the edge-to-edge display Apple adopted this year — it's a Liquid Retina panel like the ones we recently saw in the iPhone XR, but it retains the same high resolution as last year's big Pros. That was a very long-winded way of saying that the iPad Pro's screen looks amazing, but that's hardly anything new here — I never really had an issue with earlier Pros, and Apple's ProMotion screen tech still allows for a super-slick, 120Hz refresh rate.
Despite liking the overall design and performance of the iPad Pro, Engadget did question Apple's removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack:
Much as I like this new design, there is one thing that rubs me the wrong way, and it has a lot to do with the mixed messages Apple is sending. In its presentation, Apple made it clear that music professional like DJs have been fans of the iPad for a while, and that the new power afforded to them by the A12X Bionic chipset would help them spice up their performances. That's cool and all, but I wonder how those DJs feel about the iPad Pro lacking a headphone jack. Seems kind of important, no?
SlashGear agrees that the new iPad Pros feel easier and more comfortable to hold, and the tablet's palm detection means that you won't accidentally interact with the touchscreen as you handle the device. For the site, the biggest downside of the new iPad Pro was Apple's pricing:

Image via SlashGear
Therein lies the new iPad Pro’s downside: the price. The range kicks off at $799 for the 11-inch and $999 for the 12.9-inch. Those numbers spiral up dramatically as you add more storage and cellular connectivity. Want the new Apple Pencil 2? That’ll cost you another $129. The fancy new Smart Keyboard Folio – which hooks to to relocated connectors now on the rear of the tablet, not the edge – is $179 for the 11-inch model, or $199 for the 12.9-inch.

All in all, you’re looking at MacBook Air pricing at least, or easily MacBook Pro levels if you go crazy with the options. Apple’s argument is that, for creative professionals, the arrival of apps like true Photoshop in 2019 will make this not only a replacement for your notebook but the better choice.
We're going hands-on with the new iPad Pro at Apple's event in New York, so be sure to keep an eye out for more coverage about the new tablets, MacBook Air, and Mac mini on our front page and by following @MacRumors on Twitter.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Discuss this article in our forums