iOS 12.1 Hints at Group FaceTime, Landscape Face ID for iPad

2018 Ipad Pro Concept Credit: YouTube
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Apple on Tuesday seeded the first developer beta of iOS 12.1, just one day after the general rollout of iOS 12.

There isn’t much concrete information about what iOS 12.1 will add to Apple’s mobile operating system, but there are some early hints about what it could bring to the table.

For one, iOS 12.1 appears to reintroduce support for Group FaceTime.

The widely awaited feature was pulled from the final release of iOS 12, and Apple said it needed more time to test the feature out. The company said it will launch in an update later this fall.

Of course, that doesn’t confirm that it’ll be available in iOS 12.1. As we saw with AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud, Apple is making it available to beta testers so it can continue to work out the feature’s kinks.

Code hidden within the iOS 12.1 beta also suggests that Face ID could have built-in support for landscape orientation, according to a tweet by developer Steve Troughton-Smith.

Troughton-Smith suggests that landscape support could be added due to upcoming iPad Pro models, which are expected to feature Face ID instead of a Home button and fingerprint sensor.

Additionally, the developer says that iOS 12.1 “seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected.”

Troughton-Smith hints that that might be due to the fact that the iPad Pro could ditch Lightning in favor of a USB-C port, which would mean that new models wouldn’t have a “Lightning HDMI adapter as an intermediary for video-out.”

There have been previous rumors suggesting Apple could add landscape Face ID support to the upcoming iPad Pro models, since they are often used in landscape orientation. But there’s still no word as to how Apple will implement Face ID on the upcoming tablets.

Troughton-Smith was quick to point out in a separate tweet that landscape Face ID “would require a realignment of the front-facing sensors.” In other words, it won’t be supported on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, or iPhone X.

The new beta is currently available from the Apple Developer portal, or as an over-the-air update if the proper profile is installed on a device.

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