When Apple pushed iOS version 12.1.1 users gained the ability to use the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max’s in a dual-SIM configuration.
Dual-SIM support allows you to use two active accounts on a single device. It’s a popular move internationally, but this technology doesn’t make it into U.S. phones very often. If you’re planning to give it a shot, know that your device might look a little differently than before—and come with a few extra settings you’ll want to pay attention to.
For starters, using two cellular plans at once means you’ll have two signal bars with two carrier logos at the top of the screen. Since you have two numbers, you’ll have to pick what number to use before making a call or sending a text. According to AT&T, you can only use the data plan for one number at any given time, but you can switch between your plans and start a new session at any time.
Dual-SIM support has been available internationally on the new iPhone models for the last couple of months, so there are a few videos on YouTube that can show you what it’s like using a phone with two SIMs set up. (One thing to keep in mind: These videos use the Hong Kong version of the iPhone, which supports two physical nano-SIM cards. The North American version only supports a single nano-SIM card and eSIM, so just ignore anything about using two physical cards.)
First up, YouTube channel Techranium shows you how to set up a secondary eSIM, and shows off how you pick which number to use when you’re making a call or sending a text message.
This longer video from HowTechs goes a little more in-depth. It shows what the cellular menu looks like when you have two plans, including how to select or swap which account you’re using for data. It also shows some little stuff, like what having two signal bars looks like when your phone is locked.
Between those two, you’re going to see most, if not all, the ways that having a dual-SIM setup will affect how your iPhone works. It sounds a lot crazier than it really is.