Why These Deceptively Tiny iOS 12 Updates Have Reddit Users So Hyped

Apple has been listening to it users.

Apple shipped some seemingly marginal updates to iPhones and iPad Wednesday. But while iOS 12.1.1’s software patch didn’t introduce any flashy new features — like how iOS 12.1 introduced 32-person Group FaceTime — sometimes it’s the little changes that really make a difference for users.

Indeed, this latest update has already proved popular by fixing some of iOS 12’s most contentious changes and tweaking a number of subtle details that were pestering users. These changes are by no means game-changing, but the Apple diehards on Reddit were elated by three fixes in particular. Here’s everything iOS 12.1.1 rolled out with and with a special emphasis on the upgrades that are worth a closer look.

iOS 12.1.1 adds features and fixes bugs for your iPhone and iPad. Features and improvements include:

  • Notification preview using haptic touch on iPhone XR.
  • Dual SIM with eSIM for additional carriers on iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
  • One tap to flip between the rear and front-facing camera during a FaceTime call.
  • Live Photo capture during one-to-one FaceTime calls.
  • The option to hide the sidebar in News on iPad in landscape orientation.
  • Real-time text (RTT) when using Wi-Fi calling on iPad and iPod touch.
  • Stability improvements for dictation along with VoiceOver.

Bug fixes include:

  • Fixes an issue where Face ID may temporarily become unavailable.
  • Addresses an issue that prevented visual voicemail from downloading for some customers.
  • Fixes an issue in Messages that could prevent predictive text suggestions when typing on the Chinese or Japanese keyboards.
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent Voice Memos recordings from uploading to iCloud.
  • Fixes an issue where time zones may not have updated automatically.

The release also adds features and fixes bugs for HomePod including:

  • Support in Mainland China and Hong Kong.
  • HomePod LEDs illuminate during Group FaceTime calls.

3. FaceTime Camera Switch Button and Live Photos

You used to be able to switch between the front and rear cameras with the press of a button, but iOS 12 made this process incredibly convoluted by making users navigate through an entirely new menu that also covers the whole FaceTime app when opened.

Group FaceTime may not work on your phone.
FaceTime just got so much less annoying.

Redditors called this change “a mess” and “absolutely garbage.” But Apple has finally brought back the old system to raving reviews.

“One-touch to flip the camera on FaceTime calls, as well as screenshot button returning? THAT’S A GOOD BOAH,” said u/henry_the_cat.

2. Long Press Notification Preview on iPhone XR

The iPhone XR did away with Apple’s signature 3D Touch feature and replaced it with Haptic Touch. This just means that the smartphone’s display will detect long presses, but it’s not pressure sensitive like the iPhone XS and XS Max.

Previously, XR users were unable to preview notifications by holding down on them. That’s a pretty big deal, seeing as every iPhone since the 6S came with this feature. iOS 12.1.1 has sort of found a way to resurrect it.

iphone tap
You can now hold down a notification and once you release a preview will appear.

To preview a notification, XR users now have to long-press a banner and then release it for it to open up. The 3D Touch version of this feature simply opened up when you applied the right amount of pressure, so it’s not exactly the same, but it still made redditors jump for joy.

“THANK YOU BASED APPLE,” exclaimed u/TheEmbernova

1. Hide Side Bar in Apple News on the iPad

iPad users had serious beef with iOS 12’s Apple News app. Essentially, its menu tab sidebar kept users from being able to navigate between stories when they held the tablet in landscape. But that’s all history.

ipad tablet apple
Say goodbye to that annoying Apple News sidebar on the iPad.

“OMG finally. That’s the one thing I’ve hated about iOS 12 since the first public betas,” said u/GummyKibble. “As a practical matter, that sidebar means I can’t swipe right to go back to the list of stories on my iPad, making it way harder to read the news when I’m on a crowded bus.”

Apple rectified this by giving users the option to hide the bar. So now they don’t have to turn it back to portrait to switch between articles. Happy reading.