Apple has released the first beta for iOS 12.1, which enables the eSIM within the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max handsets. Once supported by carriers, the feature will enable dual line functionality on the 2018 smartphones.
With one line handled by the nano SIM sitting within the requisite tray, iPhone XS and XS Max users will be able to add an additional phone number on a singular iPhone. The tiny embedded SIM could be ideal for iPhone users who travel a lot, or wish to combine their work and business numbers on a single smartphone.
The eIM built into the new devices has previously appeared within selected Apple Watch and iPad models, enabling cellular connectivity without the need to manually insert a SIM card from a mobile network.
Once the beta is installed, users can head over to Settings > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan to access the eSIM set up process, which is usually handled by scanning a QR code provided by the network itself.
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From there users will be able to select their primary and secondary numbers for making and receiving phone calls and messages and assigning contacts. Whichever number receives the call will automatically become the active line.
However, it may be a while before all users can take advantage of the functionality. Although lots of networks plan to support the eSIM, it may not be available until the full version of iOS 12.1 rolls out to all users.
Related: What is an eSIM?
In the UK, EE and Vodafone have committed to supporting the eSIM compatibility with the iPhone XS and XS Max. In the United States, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are on board. It doesn’t appear as if any of those carriers have turned on the functionality as yet.
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