iOS 12.1 with Group FaceTime rolls out on Wednesday

MANILA, Philippines – The next update for your iPhone, iOS 12.1, comes with one pretty nifty feature: Group FaceTime. Now, Apple's popular video-calling app will be able to handle 32 people simultaneously, up from 2 – a number that's been unchanged since it was launched in 2010. 

The rollout officially starts Tuesday, October 30, US time (Wednesday, October 31, Philippine time).

More than the added number of simultaneous connections though, iOS 12.1 can also automatically detect the most active speakers. The ones who are speaking the most will have the size of their video increased, putting them on the forefront. Detection is based on the how long they talk, the volume at which they talk, and how much they move. Inactive callers will be placed on the bottom of the screen until they speak, said Apple. But users can also tap a caller to bring up their profile. 

Other new features include ringless notification, which lets you join calls without disrupting the conversation with rings, and the integration of FaceTime into the Messages app. FaceTime also becomes more secure with the addition of end-to-end encryption for both one-to-one chats and group chats. The conversation is only viewable for participations thanks to this security feature. 

Aside from Group FaceTime, iOS 12.1 will also include 70 new emoji including "new characters with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces and additional emoji representing animals, sports and food," said Apple. 

Portrait mode in supported devices has also been improved. Users can now adjust the depth of field while they're framing the shot in addition to post-capture adjustments.

iOS 12.1 will also enable dual SIM support for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. – Rappler.com