Apple Releases iOS 12.1.1 With Bug Fixes and Minor Enhancements

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 12.1.1.

In addition to reintroducing one feature and making some enhancements, iOS 12.1 also brings a few improvements for blind and low vision users.

Accessibility Improvements in iOS 12.1.1

In iOS 12.1.1, Apple has made continued progress towards addressing the accessibility bugs in iOS 12. Based on our testing, we believe the following issues have been resolved in iOS 12.1.1:

  • VoiceOver no longer speaks extraneous text on the Recents tab of the Phone app (on iOS 12.1 VoiceOver would speak something in the form of “David user_label_primary” rather than “David Mobile”).
  • There are no longer duplicated items on the VoiceOver Actions Rotor in the native Notes app.

At the time of posting, we are unaware of any new bugs or regressions for blind or low vision users in iOS 12.1.1. However, as we always stress, it is impossible for us to test all devices; configurations; and use cases—so there may be improvements or regressions that we did not identify during the beta cycle. With this in mind, please do let us know in the comments of any fixes; enhancements; or regressions that you find in your own testing of iOS 12.1.1.

General Changes in iOS 12.1.1

According to Macrumors, iOS 12.1.1 reintroduces the feature that lets you take a Live Photo while on a FaceTime call and makes a few minor interface and user experience enhancements:

Following the update, FaceTime features a reworked bottom bar that includes quick access buttons for muting a call and flipping the camera. Sliding up on the bottom bar brings up additional options with conversation participants. Previously, FaceTime users were required to tap on three dots to access a secondary menu with these features.

For the iPhone XR, iOS 12.1.1 allows Haptic Touch to be used to expand notifications on the Lock screen. iPhone XR owners are able to long press on a notification banner to see additional content, much as other iPhone owners can 3D Touch on a notification to expand it.

iOS 12.1.1 also adds a new option in Apple News to hide the side bar on the iPad when using the app in landscape mode, it introduces an option to turn off the physical SIM in the device in favor of the eSIM, and it tweaks the icon of the Apple Watch app so it looks like the Apple Watch Series 4.

The complete release notes via MacRumors are as follows:

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

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

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

How to Update to iOS 12.1.1

iOS 12.1.1 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) or via iTunes on a Mac or PC.

Before updating, we strongly recommend making a full and complete backup of your device (either in iTunes or iCloud, depending on personal preference). This will ensure that, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong during the update process, you will have a current backup on hand in case a device restore becomes necessary. Also, if using OTA update, we recommend plugging your device into a power source for the duration of the download/installation process, so as to prevent the unlikely event of your battery going dead during the update.

More information on how to update the software on your iOS device is available on this Apple Support page.

As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this update.

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Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Thursday, December 6, 2018

I only had four siri shortcuts set up, and none of them are things I rely on for important tasks, but after installing this update, none of my four shortcuts are working any more. Do you think I need to delete them and re-record them? I've tried restarting my phone, just in case, but it didn't help.

Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hi all. I just got this update, as well as 10.14.2 for the Mac. All went well and things seem to be working as advertised. But has anybody else noticed that VoiceOver actually seems to report minutes as hours during the update process? Admittedly this isn't much of an issue for me, either on my Mac or my iPhone. But for instance I know that my iPhone is being updated faster, because of the various prompts from VoiceOver.

Submitted by JTran2013 on Thursday, December 6, 2018

I updated to the newest IOS yesterday. I was browsing Apple Vis when I noticed the Voice Over cursor in Safari consistantly goes to the reader button as I was browsing. For example, I was on the link for this post and the VO cursor continues to move. This problem makes it hard to read comments too.

Submitted by Rocker on Thursday, December 6, 2018

Possible fix for this issue is to go into settings, accessibility, voiceover, verbosity and toggle Speak Detected Text to off

Submitted by Rocker on Thursday, December 6, 2018

According to bloggers, recent dictation bugs have been addressed with this release! I have noticed a significant improvement over the last 24 hours myself! YYMV

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hello again. In addition to siri shortcuts not working, I have discovered another strange, but extremely minor quirk in the newest iOS update: when my phone restarts, it now announces portrait. I assume it's because I have orientation locked, and it's definitely not a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but I wondered if anyone else's devices were doing this. Thanks!

Submitted by Siobhan on Thursday, December 6, 2018

It does even if you don't have it locked. I personally although using portrait never locked. I never could figure out why you had to choose mute switch or lock switch. As you said, not a big thing. :)

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Friday, December 7, 2018

Me too! I've noticed it whenever I restart my device. It stays on landscape mode thank the lord.

As for dictation, what improvements have you nojiced? I ask because I use it a lot.

Submitted by Pyro2790 on Friday, December 7, 2018

Is the time and date script still not working for anyone? In the release it says this should be fixed however it still does not work for me. Other scripts I have created to open programs work just fine.

Also, since I have updated to Mojave pressing command q brings up the search window in the finder. Does anyone know why this might be? Command Q should quit a program as it previously did in OS.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, December 7, 2018

In reply to by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯

Last time I use it it was OK. Nothing to write home about. I am now having issues with iOS 12.1.1 not connecting with my airpod and watch. I am not sure this is iPhone, iOS, watch or airpods.

Submitted by MikeFont on Sunday, December 9, 2018

Hi, I do a lot of reading from theapple news app and it has become a great pain for me. If someone can help with explaining howto roll back to the previous version of IOS? Thanks!

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

After updating to iOS 12.1.1, when navigating in the Audible app or even if I'm just trying to start a book playing, Voiceover seems to just go away. There is no response on my iPhone XS when touching the screen, except for the vibrations which indicates the slide gestures for going back to the Home screen, App Switcher, etc., but nothing actually happens when trying these gestures. When I try using the power switch to just lock the screen, again nothing seems to happen. The only thing I have come up with is to activate Siri and have it open the music app, for example. Sometimes this works and Voiceover becomes responsive again. I have tried restarting and doing a hard reset but this didn't solve the problem.

Submitted by Kareem Dale on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Club AppleVis Member

It would be good to know which iphones people are using that have the VO focus issues on safari. It may not matter but I am wondering if it's taking place across different iphones, limited to older or newer phones, etc.

Submitted by JTran2013 on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

In reply to by Kareem Dale

I've an iPhone 6 Plus! Hopefully the problem is fixed in the next software update! I'm using Microsoft Edge until the problem is fixed.


Submitted by JLove on Thursday, December 13, 2018

My Siri and dictation broke, somewhat. I don't know why, but shortly after updating my iPhone 6, Siri and dictation would not work. Then I thought well, its the microphone. But no. I can send Whatsapp voice messages, I can use my phone on speaker and people can hear me, and I can even record myself. So I thought Fine, lets use the microphone from any headphones. Yep, it works. So I turned off Siri and dictation, and turned it back onn to no avail. I did an iPhone restore, as to set it up as a new iPhone, nothing. Then I erased my network settings, then all of my settings. What could it be?

Submitted by Bo on Friday, December 14, 2018

Frequently, when backing out of a story in the news app, it'll crash out completely, dropping me back to the home screen. Loading up the app again, I start at the top of the main page again. It happens more often than not, and has only been since the update to 12.1.1.

Is anyone else experiencing this as well?

Submitted by MikeFont on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I am experiencing the problem exactly how you were. Very frustrating!!!
Praying that this will work with the new updates.