iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1 Developer Betas Released; Group FaceTime Returns

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iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1 Developer Betas Released; Group FaceTime Returns

The iOS 12.1 developer beta 1 doesn't include restore images for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

  • Apple has released iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, and watchOS 5.1 developer beta 1
  • The first iOS 12.1 beta includes code for landscape Face ID support
  • It also suggests iCloud syncing for Memoji

Just a day after bringing the anticipated stable builds of its new iOS, tvOS, and watchOS operating systems, Apple has now released first developer beta builds of iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, and watchOS 5.1. The new beta versions are available for all the developers who have registered under the Apple Beta Software Program. The updates are also expected to appear as an over-the-air (OTA) update on the devices that already have a developer beta profile. Notably, the iOS 12.1 developer beta 1 doesn't include restore images for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. On the part of new features, there is code to enable landscape Face ID support - another hint at the ongoing development of the new iPad Pro models.

As spotted by app developer Steven Troughton-Smith, the initial iOS 12.1 code suggests Face ID supporting landscape orientation. This is likely to be exclusive to the new iPad Pro models that could come without a Touch ID-enabled home button. "From what I gather, landscape Face ID would require a realignment of the front-facing sensors, so you won't see it on existing hardware," the developer tweeted. He also mentioned that "iOS 12.1 seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected." It could be a hint at the presence of a USB Type-C connector instead of the original Lightning port.

In terms of what's new in the first iOS 12.1 developer beta, Apple has brought the Group FaceTime feature back. The feature that was planned to debut with iOS 12 initially to enable FaceTime calling for up to 32 participants was removed from the iOS 12 beta 7 release last month. The company had also confirmed the delay in a note to developers. "Group FaceTime has been removed from the initial release of iOS 12 and will ship in a future software update later this fall," the note read.

Folks at 9to5Mac have additionally reported there is a new daemon in iOS 12.1 beta called avatarsd that could help bring syncing of Memoji through iCloud. It is reported that the new feature is presently enabled for Apple internal builds of iOS 12.1. Nevertheless, it could be expanded for general users in the coming future.

Apple's iPhone X users are so far able to use Memoji on one device only. However, with the latest finding, we can presume that the Cupertino giant could enable iCloud syncing to help users access a Memoji beyond their iPhone. This could also be a hint at Memoji support on the next-generation iPad models.

Apple has provided the iOS 12.1 beta SDK alongside Xcode 10.1 through the Apple Developer Program download page. The SDK helps developers build iOS apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS 12.1.

How to download iOS 12.1 developer beta 1

Apple users with all iOS 12-running iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models are eligible to receive iOS 12.1 developer beta 1. The latest version is compatible with devices including the iPhone 5s and later models, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad fifth generation and later models, iPad mini 2 and later models, and the iPod touch sixth generation.

If this is the first time you're beginning with iOS 12 developer beta, you need to begin the process by signing in to the Apple Developer Center. Alternatively, you can enrol in the Apple Beta Software Program with your Apple ID and get the latest experience through a new public beta version. It is recommended to install the beta software on a secondary iOS device as it may include some serious bugs. You are additionally advisable to backup your device before beginning the download process.

You can also check for the latest version on your device running a developer profile by going to Settings > General > Software Update. The device should have at least 50 percent battery or connected to the charger to install the update. You can also enable the Automatic Updates option from the Software Update screen to receive the future public beta releases automatically.


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Further reading: iOS 12.1, iOS, Apple
Jagmeet Singh Tech journalist by profession, tech explorer by passion. Budding philomath. More
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