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Apple releases iOS 12.1.1

Apple has released iOS 12.1.1, delivering an unusually large number of new features for a 0.0.1 update. Out in beta for the past month, iOS 12.1.1 expands dual SIM support with eSIM to additional carriers on the 2018 iPhone models, makes several improvements to the UI for FaceTime, including bringing back Live Photo capture during FaceTime calls, allows iPhone XR users to preview notifications using haptic touch, adds RTT support for Wi-Fi calling on iPad and iPod touch devices, and fixes a number of bugs regarding VoiceOver, Face ID, visual voicemail, Chinese and Japanese keyboards, and time zones. The release also adds support for the HomePod in Mainland China and Hong Kong and will now illuminate LEDs on the HomePod during Group FaceTime calls.

Apple posts third developer betas of iOS 12.1.1, tvOS 12.1.1, second watchOS 5.1.2 beta

Apple has pushed out a third beta of iOS 12.1.1, build 16C5050a, a minor updates that make some slight improvements to the FaceTime UI and other small changes. While the release notes only indicate a minor security change regarding tighter TLS certificate requirements, other reports have indicated that the ability to take Live Photos on a FaceTime call have returned, along with placing the camera toggle button back on the main FaceTime screen. A third beta of tvOS 12.1.1 has also arrived, as build 16K5044a, along with a second beta of watchOS 5.1.2, build 16S5046a. The tvOS 12.1.1 beta release notes indicate a fix to an issue where Apple Configurator could install configuration profiles on nonsupervised devices, but it’s otherwise unclear what else has changed in these latest betas.

iFixit tears down 11-inch iPad Pro

As is the normal case with a new iPhone or iPad release, iFixit has posted its teardown of the new 11-inch iPad Pro, offering a deeper look inside Apple’s latest higher-end tablet. iFixit identifies the new tablet as model A1980, noting that it looks about the same size as its predecessor, with the slight reduction in size basically unnoticeable due to the new square-off edge design. Opening up the new iPad Pro appeared to be just as challenging as prior models, requiring cutting through a lot of glue, and trying not to break anything with the extra-thin bezels. iFixit discovered that display cables were fortunately away from the edges, but otherwise awkwardly laid out inside.

Apple posts second developer betas of iOS 12.1.1, tvOS 12.1.1, first watchOS 5.1.2 beta

Apple has pushed out a second set of betas for iOS 12.1.1 and tvOS 12.1.1, continuing the cycle for the updates which are expected to polish up the FaceTime UI along with other fixes and improvements. The releases are also accompanied by a new beta of watchOS 5.1.2, following the actual release of watchOS 5.1.1 earlier this week to fix installation problems users had encountered with the original watchOS 5.1 update.

Despite USB-C port, new iPad Pros still don’t support external storage devices

While Apple loudly touted the switch from Lightning to USB-C on the new iPad Pros last week as a boon to professionals, there’s still one category of devices that will be left mostly out in the cold for now. As The Verge’s Nilay Patel points out in his review, despite the USB-C port, external storage devices still don’t play any better with iOS 12.1 on the new iPads than they did via Apple’s USB-to-Lightning connector on prior devices. The limitation, of course, is that the iOS Core Storage framework doesn’t (yet) provide any ability to talk to any storage beyond the device’s own internal flash memory. This is the same reason that existing flash-based Lightning adapters like Kingston’s Bolt Duo and Naztech’s Xtra Drive Mini both require their own, vendor-specific apps. In short, external storage continues to face the same challenges on iOS 12.1, even with the introduction of USB-C on the new iPad Pro models.

Apple updates iTunes Remote app for new iPad Pros

Apple has released an update to its iTunes Remote app for the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models announced last week — a surprisingly quick update for an app that took almost a year to gain iPhone X support, leaving many to fear that Apple had abandoned it entirely, and also making it one of the first Apple apps to be updated for the new iPad Pro lineup. Version 4.4.1 of iTunes Remote also includes improvements to network connectivity along with simpler access to Now Playing and AirPlay controls, along with new shortcuts to play and shuffle playlists and albums. Apple notes that the latest version works best with iTunes 12.7.5 or later.

Apple posts first developer betas of iOS 12.1.1, tvOS 12.1.1

Apple is continuing its rapid pace of rolling out iOS 12 updates, releasing the first beta of iOS 12.1.1 and tvOS 12.1.1 only a day after the public 12.1 release of both versions. While the release notes are typically vague, the update does appear to bring the camera-flip button back to the main FaceTime screen, marking its return from the secondary screen where iOS 12 had buried it, and includes a number of other small fixes and improvements. No watchOS beta has yet appeared this time around, although this may partly due to Apple still trying to resolve issues with the watchOS 5.1 release on Tuesday bricking some Apple Watch devices.

Cost of AppleCare+ for 2018 iPad Pro lineup increases to $129 outright, or $5.99/month

With the release of the 2018 iPad lineup, Apple has increased the price of AppleCare+ for the iPad Pro to $129 from its former price of $99. The new price will apply to AppleCare+ not only for the two new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, but also the older 10.5-inch version that remains in the lineup. Not surprisingly, Apple’s out-of-warranty service pricing for the new models also comes in $50 more expensive than for the prior iPad Pro models, with the 11-inch iPad Pro costing $499 for out-of-warranty repairs, and the third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro priced at $649. The cost for repairs to accidental damage with AppleCare+ is a flat $49 for all models. AppleCare+ should ideally be purchased alongside a new iPad Pro, although Apple allows for it to be purchased up to 60 days after, providing the customer completes an in-store or online verification process to ensure that their device is in acceptable condition. The AppleCare+ plan also covers the Apple Pencil, at a service cost of $29, although it appears that there’s still only coverage for two incidents of accidental damage, regardless of whether it’s the iPad Pro or the Apple Pencil being claimed.

Apple posts Developer Guidelines for new iPad Pro models

Apple has published updated design guidelines for the new 2018 iPad Pro models, providing app developers with tips on how to best optimize their apps for the new display, as well as tips on leveraging the features of the second-generation Apple Pencil. Apple notes that apps will run in Full Screen Display mode on the new iPad Pro as long as their base SDK is set to iOS 12.1 or later and they include a Launch Storyboard or iPad Pro launch image. Apple’s new page also provides suggestions on using Face ID, the A12X Bionic chip capabilities for machine learning and augmented reality, and provides two videos, Bringing Your Apps to the New iPad Pro and Designing for the New iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to help developers get started.

Apple releases iOS 12.1 along with watchOS 5.1, tvOS 12.1, and HomePod 12.1

Apple has launched iOS 12.1 today, featuring the promised Group FaceTime feature along with support for eSIM and Dual-SIM Standby on the 2018 iPhone models, and the promised collection of new emoji. Group FaceTime will allow users to make calls with up to 32 participants simultaneously, although users of older iOS devices prior to the iPhone 6s and iPad Air 2 will only be able to join in on the audio portion of calls. iOS 12.1 also adds the new Depth Control feature and improves cellular connectivity in the 2018 iPhone models, adds the ability o change or reset Screen Time passcodes via Face ID or Touch ID, and incorporates a collection of other bug fixes and performance improvements. The updates for HomePod, tvOS, and watchOS are primarily intended to address outstanding issues and don’t appear to offer any significant new features.

Apple keeps 10.5” iPad Pro in lineup alongside new 2018 models

Alongside today’s launch of new 11” and 12.9” iPad Pro models, Apple has also kept the original 10.5” iPad Pro in the lineup, dropping the cost of the earlier model a starting price of $649 for the 64 GB Wi-Fi version. The 10.5” version also remains available in all of the same capacities as before — 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB — as well as Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular models.

Kuo predicts Apple to launch new iPad mini early next year

Apple may have a new iPad mini in the works, according to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In addition to his expectations for new iPad Pro models at next week’s Apple event, 9to5Mac reports that Kuo expects Apple to release a new version of the iPad mini with “an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel” that probably isn’t coming next week, but could debut at Apple’s next spring event. This would be a particularly interesting development, since the iPad mini was last updated in 2015, leading many to reasonably assume Apple has abandoned the device in favour of the traditional iPad and iPad Pro models. However, many also made the same assumption that Apple had moved away from the lower-priced iPad in favour of the iPad Pro until the company introduced the fifth-generation iPad in early 2017, replacing the 2014 iPad Air 2. A spring release would also fit with Apple’s more typical schedule for the entry-level iPad models

Apple releases fifth betas for iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1 and watchOS 5.1

Apple has released a fifth series of developer betas for iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, and watchOS 5.1, again only a week after the fourth betas were released for Apple’s mobile and television operating systems. As with the prior betas, the release notes contain no specific information on what’s changed, or even on what’s being worked on, although prior reports hav suggested that iOS 12.1 will include the promised Group FaceTime and Dual-SIM Standby (DSDS) features. Details on what’s new in watchOS 5.1 and tvOS 12.1 remain considerably more vague. A new public beta of iOS 12.1 will also likely be coming soon via Apple’s Beta Software Program.

Apple releases fourth set of betas of iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1 and watchOS 5.1

Apple has released a fourth set of developer betas for iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, and watchOS 5.1, less than a week after the release of the third betas. The release notes on this new beta cycle continue to be sparse, with no notes or known issues, suggesting Apple is likely just continuing to fix bugs and performance issues and polish the Group FaceTime and Dual-SIM Standby (DSDS) features that have been discovered in prior iOS 12.1 betas. Details on what’s new in watchOS 5.1 and tvOS 12.1 remain considerably more vague. A new public beta of iOS 12.1 will also likely be coming soon via Apple’s Beta Software Program.

Internal code suggests Memoji iCloud sync, landscape Face ID support may be coming in iOS 12.1

Although the notes for yesterday’s release of the first iOS 12.1 beta offered no information on any upcoming new features, developers have already begun digging through the code to discover what the next point release of iOS 12 may have in store for us. Guilherme Rambo at 9to5Mac has discovered a new background process named avatarsd that appears to be designed to allow Memoji to sync to other iOS devices via iCloud, although he notes that the feature only seems to be enabled for Apple internal builds of iOS 12.1 at the moment and not developer builds. As Rambo notes, custom Memoji created in iOS 12 is currently only stored locally, which isn’t a problem for most users as it’s currently only supported on the iPhone; however if the rumours are correct that a Face ID capable iPad Pro is in the works, the ability to have custom Memoji synced via iCloud would make a lot of sense.

Apple releases iOS 12

As announced at last week’s event, Apple has just released iOS 12, the latest version of its mobile operating system, featuring significant performance improvements for older iPhones along with a number of new and enhanced features. iOS 12 supports all of the same devices as iOS 11, ranging back to the 2013 iPhone 5s, and promises huge speed boosts for older devices, such as a 70 percent improvement in Camera launch times, a 50 percent improvement in keyboard response, and double the speed of launching apps. iOS 12 also adds a new Screen Time feature, allowing users to keep track of how much they — or their kids — are spending on their iPhones and iPads, and what apps they’re spending time in, along with augmented AR experiences, including allowing multiple people to play the same AR game or collaborate on projects, as well all leaving objects in the virtual world and returning to them later. A new Measure app also takes advantage of the iPhone’s AR features, allowing real-world objects to be accurately measured with the iPhone camera. For iPhone X series users, the Animoji features have also been expanded with new avatars and a new “Memoji” feature that allows users to create their own digital persona for use in Messages, and new camera effects can be used to enhance snapshots in Messages or even live conversations in FaceTime. A new Siri Shortcuts feature will allow users to program short key phrases to trigger specific functions in built-in or third-party apps, as well as customizing daily routines to operate across multiple apps. iOS 12 is available now as an over-the-air update by visiting Settings, General, Software Update. Be sure to keep an eye out for our more detailed guide on what’s new in iOS 12, coming soon.

iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12 to be released Sept. 17

Apple’s upcoming mobile operating systems got little more than anecdotal mentions during today’s Apple event, which focused much more prominently on the new Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, although Apple executives briefly announced at the end of each hardware unveil that the corresponding watchOS 5 and iOS 12 updates will be released to the public next Monday, Sept. 17, with Tim Cook adding at the end that tvOS 12 would also be released on the same date, along with the corresponding HomePod Software Update

Apple releases iOS 12 beta 12, tvOS 12 beta 10, watchOS 5 beta 10

Apple had brought iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5 back onto the same release cycle today with the release of a new set of betas. While iOS 12 is now a couple of releases ahead, with beta 12 (build 16A5366a) arriving today, tvOS 12 beta 10 (build 16J5364a) and watchOS 5 beta 10 (16R5363a) have also landed at the same time. The iOS 12 and tvOS 12 betas come only four days after the last version were released earlier this week, while watchOS 5 beta 10 follows the release of the ninth beta last Friday. With Apple’s iPhone launch event scheduled for Sept. 12, final releases of all three operating systems are expected to arrive within the next two weeks.

Apple releases iOS 12 beta 11 and ninth tvOS 12 beta

With final public releases expected in the next month, Apple is continuing to speed up its beta release cycle, with an eleventh beta of iOS 12 released today, only three days after iOS 12 beta 10 was released on Friday. iOS 12 beta 11, which is build 16A5365b, seems to be focused entirely on small fixes and polish, with the release notes displaying an ever-decreasing number of outstanding issues. A ninth beta of tvOS 12, build 16J5360a, has also been released, following [last Monday’s eight beta]; watchOS 5 beta has not been updated today, since beta 9 was released on Friday. Public betas of iOS 12 and tvOS 12 are also available already from Apple’s Public Beta Website.

Apple pushes out iOS 12 beta 10, watchOS 5 beta 9

Apple is accelerating its beta cycle, with a second round of beta releases of iOS 12 and watchOS 5 this week. Yesterday saw the tenth beta of iOS 12, build 16A5364a, which had the unusual addition of being announced to previous iOS 12 users via a pop-up notification, and earlier today Apple rolled out the ninth beta of watchOS 5 (build 16R5360a). Both of these come only four days after Apple released the ninth and eighth betas, respectively, although as of this writing, no new tvOS 12 beta has yet appeared. With a release of all of the new OS versions expected by this time next month, the latest betas are down to polishing up performance and fixing bugs.

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