Following a series of developer and public betas, Apple is today releasing a series of updates to its iOS, macOS, and tvOS operating systems, including some more significant changes than their “point-point” version numbers might suggest. A long-awaited update to watchOS is also expected to follow.
Both iOS and its Apple TV-specific variant tvOS are getting upgraded today to version 12.1.1. In addition to adding ECG support to iOS, the releases include standard bug fixes and security enhancements for iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, including enabling Apple Configurator to install profiles on nonsupervised Apple TV devices.
On iPhones and iPads, the new iOS release improves the FaceTime app with a one-tap camera-switching interface and restores the user’s ability to take live photos during FaceTime calls. It also enables dual SIM and eSIM support for iPhone XR and XS models sold by AT&T, Verizon, and unspecified other carriers, as well as offering real-time text (RTT) support for Wi-Fi calls made on the iPad or iPod touch. HomePods updated to iOS 12.1.1 will gain support for use in China and Hong Kong, as well as a visual illumination of the top lights during Group FaceTime calls.
Mac users are now able to download macOS 10.14.2, which up until this point hasn’t offered any major user-facing changes from 10.14.1. Apple has listed only a single new security feature — a requirement “that publicly-trusted Transport Layer Security (TLS) server authentication certificates issued after October 15, 2018 meet the Certificate Transparency policy to be evaluated as trusted on Apple platforms.” According to a June 7 document advising developers of the change, Apple will break an app’s or site’s connection to the Internet if its certificate doesn’t comply with the policy. Like iOS, macOS is also adding RTT support during Wi-Fi calls on Macs.
Additionally, a new release of watchOS 5.1.2 is expected to unlock electrocardiogram (ECG) functionality in the Apple Watch Series 4, a feature originally promised during the smartwatch’s September launch. In the United States, an Apple-developed ECG app will enable heart monitoring, supporting ECG data synchronization and sharing with iPhones running iOS 12.1.1 or later. Support for the ECG app in other countries will depend on local regulatory approvals. Earlier Apple Watches will gain a more limited ability to alert users to unusual heart activity, as well.
The updates are beginning to hit Apple’s servers now, and are expected to continue to roll out to users this afternoon. iOS users can get 12.1.1 from the Settings app under General > Software Update. On the Mac, the update will be found within System Preferences > Software Update > Update Now, while tvOS users can use Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software. When watchOS 5.1.2 comes out, Apple Watch users will be able to download it from the iPhone’s Watch app under General > Software Update.