Apple’s confirmed the first major update for iOS 12 and the iOS 12.1 update is currently in beta testing ahead of a release later this year.
iOS 12.1 will serve as the first milestone upgrade for iOS 12 users. Milestone upgrades always come with more than just bug fix and security patches and the iOS 12.1 update will deliver a new set of features for all devices capable of running iOS 12.
In this guide to iOS 12.1 we’ll take you through the most important things to know about the update in October. Our walkthrough includes a quick look at iOS 12.1’s known changes, the iOS 12.1 release date and release time, the iOS 12.1 beta, and what you can expect from Apple.
iOS 12.1 Beta
If you can’t wait for the iOS 12.1 release date you can try iOS 12.1 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch right now.
Apple’s iOS 12.1 beta is available to those in Apple’s Developer program and those in Apple’s public Beta Software Program. The Beta Software Program is free to anyone with an Apple ID.
The iOS 12.1 beta is also compatible with devices capable of running iOS 12. It’s a list that includes the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and many other devices.
Before you jump into the iOS 12.1 beta note that the software is plagued with numerous bugs and performance issues.
It could cause your apps to misbehave or your device’s battery life to drain faster than normal, something that could have an impact on your day-to-day use. While some issues can be fixed manually, others will require a fix from Apple.
The company is currently on iOS 12.1 beta 4.
iOS 12.1 Release Date
Don’t expect the iOS 12.1 update to land in mid-October. It’ll likely be a few weeks before Apple pushes the software to iOS 12-powered devices.
Apple hasn’t confirmed an official iOS 12.1 release date or a release window so there’s no telling how long the update will stay in beta testing.
Milestone upgrades like this typically stay in beta for several weeks before they roll out to devices around the world.
That said, Apple’s promised new emoji characters and Group FaceTime calls before the end of the year and it looks like iOS 12.1 will deliver both of these features.
Group FaceTime was originally supposed to launch with iOS 12.0, but Apple delayed it.
Apple is also reportedly planning to launch new iPad Pros this fall so it’s possible the iOS 12.1 update ties in with the launch. The company hasn’t confirmed a launch date for the new iPads, but many believe it could take place in October, possibly alongside the iPhone XR launch.
iPhone XR pre-orders kick-off on October 19th ahead of a release date on October 26th.
Face ID has support for landscape orientation (presumably for iPad only), and iOS 12.1 seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected (perhaps due to iPad USB-C rumors; it won't have the Lighting HDMI adapter as an intermediary for video-out)
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 18, 2018
Developers digging through the iOS 12.1 beta have discovered code that references landscape Face ID support for new iPad Pro models so don’t be surprised if this update accompanies the new devices to shelves.
iOS 12.1 Release Time
We don’t have an iOS 12.1 release date yet, but we know exactly what to expect from the iOS 12.1 release time.
The iOS 12.1 update will likely arrive around 10AM Pacific whenever Apple decides to release it. Apple will also release iOS 12.1 beta updates for developers and those in the Beta Software Program in and around 10AM Pacific.
The company usually releases new beta updates every 1-2 weeks though releases typically come quicker once the update’s release date gets close.
Here’s what you can expect from the iOS 12.1 release time in the United States and countries around the world:
- Eastern – 1 PM
- Central – 12 PM
- Mountain – 11AM
- London – 6 PM
- Moscow – 9 PM
- New Delhi – 10:30 PM
- Shanghai – 1 AM
- Tokyo – 2 AM
- Melbourne – 3 AM
- Auckland – 5 AM
iOS 12.1 Update: What’s New
Group FaceTime is back. Its presence in the iOS 12.1 beta doesn’t confirm a release with the official version of the update because there’s always a chance Apple pulls it back for more work.
iOS 12.1 beta also includes a new feature for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus.
The two flagships come with a Portrait Mode feature lets you quickly adjust field of view. iOS 12.1 improves this feature with a new live preview that lets you sharpen or blur the background in real time via a slider tool. It’s comparable to the Live Focus feature on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9.
References to Apple’s delayed AirPower charging mat have been discovered in the iOS 12.1 beta, a sign the company is still working on the device.
It’s still unclear when the company plans to release AirPower and there’s a good chance the launch gets pushed into next year.
It also looks like iPhone XS eSIM is working for some iOS 12.1 beta users in Europe. It means eSIM support should arrive with the official version of iOS 12.1.
Apple’s also working on a handful of other features including a new ECG app for the new Apple Watch 4 and new emojis for the iOS keyboard.
Apple’s confirmed new emoji characters for the iOS 12.1 release and the list includes a kangaroo, a peacock, a parrot, a lobster, a mango, lettuce, a cupcake, a moon cake, and many more.
There are over 70 new emojis inside iOS 12.1. If you want to give them a try right now, you can download the iOS 12.1 beta. Unfortunately, users that aren’t running iOS 12.1 beta won’t be able to see them.
iOS 12.1 Jailbreak
Jailbreak developers haven’t released anything for iOS 12 or any of Apple’s newer iOS 11 updates. The only way you can jailbreak a device is if it’s running an older version of iOS 11. Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade to anything older than iOS 12.0.
Jailbreak developers typically don’t burn exploits on early pre-release software so current and prospective jailbreak users should avoid the 12.1 beta.
For more on the iOS 12 jailbreak, see our guide.
Apple recently released iOS 12.0.1, the first bug fix update for iOS 12. The update tackles several iPhone XS issues and patches up two potential lock screen exploits.
iOS 12.1 is the only update in Apple’s public iOS pipeline. It’s unclear if we’ll get an iOS 12.0.2 update before iOS 12.1 arrives.
That said, those of you dealing with iOS 12 problems should lookout for new software as we push through October.
Install iOS 12.0.1 for Better Security
If you're on the fence, here's one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.0.1 right now.
If you value your device's security you'll want to install the iOS 12.0.1 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch today.
Apple's iOS 12.0.1 update comes with two security patches. Both patches are for potential lock screen exploits.
If you skipped iOS 12.0, and you're still running iOS 11.4.1 or below, your iOS 12.0.1 update will come with more patches.
The iOS 12.0 update carried 16 patches for security issues. You can read about all of them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 12 delivers new security features aimed at protecting you and the data you store on your device. These include:
Long story short, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade to iOS 12 and iOS 12.0.1 today.
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