Apple today released an updated version of iOS 12.1 for the iPhone XR, one week after the initial launch of iOS 12.1 and a little over a week since the iPhone XR’s October 26 launch.
The new iOS 12.1 software for the iPhone XR carries a build number of 16B94, a slight change from the original 16B93 build number.
The update doesn’t appear to be showing up on devices that have already installed iOS 12.1, suggesting the new version of the software is designed for customers who have not yet upgraded their iPhone XR devices to the iOS 12.1 update. Why Apple released an updated version of iOS 12.1 for the XR is unknown, but it’s likely to include minor bug fixes.
iPhone XR owners who have not yet installed iOS 12.1 can do so over-the-air by going to Settings –>General –>Software Update.
iOS 12.1 is a major update that brings a host of new features to the iPhone XR. It brings support for the eSIM, a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from a carrier without the need to use a physical SIM card.
eSIM support is not yet available from U.S. carriers, but AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are working on implementing support before the end of the year. Other carriers around the world have begun introducing eSIM support.
iOS 12.1 also brings a new real-time Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the depth of field of your Portrait Mode photos before you capture them, and it adds support for Group FaceTime calls with up to 32 people.
Other new features include more than 70 new emoji and several important bug fixes that should entice anyone who has not yet installed the update to do so.
Excessive skin-smoothing with the front-facing camera, for example, has been addressed, with Apple updating the Smart HDR feature of the iPhone XR’s camera to use a sharper base frame to preserve more detail.
The update also improves cellular connectivity on the iPhone XR and fixes bugs with voicemails, the phone app, Screen Time, Family Sharing, and more.
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