Apple’s iOS 12.1 Release Will Come With A Surprise

Black and white image of Apple logo.
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Apple will be hosting its final event for the year on Tuesday, October 30, and the company is expected to release new iPads and MacBooks to refresh its current product lineup. At the end of the event, many speculate Apple will also launch iOS 12.1, making it available to all users looking to update to latest and greatest iOS experience. However, according to a report from Forbes, iOS 12.1 will come with a less-than-great surprise for some users.

Before releasing new iOS updates to the public, Apple tends to release a number of beta versions, first to its registered developers, and then to public beta testers through its beta program. The beta program allows users to test the upcoming software and report any bugs or flaws so that the company can fix the issues before releasing the official version. But an unfortunate surprise may have slipped through the cracks.

During its iPhone release event in September, the company announced a number of new features that weren’t made available at launch, including support for the iPhone’s new dual SIM feature, Group FaceTime, and updated Camera app functionalities. Today, Apple updated its iPhone User Guide to include the new features, which points to them being added in the iOS 12.1 release — but not for everyone.

9to5Mac pointed out that Apple’s user guide for iOS 12.1 states that Group FaceTime will not be coming to many iPhones and iPads, even if they’re currently capable of running iOS 12.

The devices left out are the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4 and 6th generation iPod Touch. Apple doesn’t give an explanation for the missing feature, but it appears to be a matter of performance. The older devices are not equipped with fast enough processors to accompany Group FaceTime video calls, which allow over 30 people to join the same FaceTime call. It seems devices packing the A8 chipset or earlier aren’t compatible.

Apple does offer a slight workaround though — users with older devices will support audio-only Group FaceTime calls.

As for the other features, the electronic SIM — which enables dual-SIM functionality — will be available to all compatible devices, namely, the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Users will have the option of having two phone numbers linked to their iPhone. There will also be a number of new emojis available on iOS 12.1.

Additionally, iOS 12.1 will address a number of bugs, including “beautygate,” which was previously reported on by the Inquisitr.