Apple's latest iPhone software update includes a bizarre "5G" marker in the corner, as well as a range of other features.

5G iPhones don't actually exist yet, and aren't expected to for years. But the update adds the little "5G E" icon, which replaces the traditional 3G or 4G icons that users see on their phones.

The icon has arrived because AT&T is trying to encourage people to brand its updated version of 4G as 5G. Numerous users have pointed out that this is misleading, since 5G phones rely on technology that is not in wide usage yet, but the carrier has already pushed out the icon to Android phones.

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AT&T is claiming that it has added the icon because the new upgraded network is one step on the road to 5G. But the speeds that it can reach are not equivalent with the super-fast connections that will be available with 5G when it arrives.

The decision to use the branding has been mocked by other carries including T-Mobile, which joked that it was just like adding a post-it note on top of the screen.

Apple's iPhones are not expected to get real 5G until 2020, according to reports. Even then, the technology will require new hardware and so will only work with new phones, so will not be able to be added through a software update.

As well as the strange 5G indicator, the beta also brings new animoji faces. People with phones that have Face ID – the iPhone X, XS and XR – will be able to turn themselves into a giraffe, shark, warthog or owl, as well as the traditional ghost and dragon faces.

iOS 12.2 is currently in beta, meaning that it is only available to registered developers and other testers. It is expected to be released to the public in the coming weeks.

Before then, Apple will release a more minor update that will fix the huge FaceTime bug, stopping people snooping on others through their iPhone and bringing back the group chat feature. That is expected to arrive this week.

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