It has been in the works for weeks now, but the wait is finally over. Along with the public release of macOS Monterey 12, Apple has also released the next big updates for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Now, users with eligible devices at their disposal can download and install iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 for free.
As is par for the course, the previous beta seeds gave us a preview of what was to eventually arrive with the public launch. And, sure enough, Apple has included quite a bit with the public launch of iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1. Namely, and finally, Apple has released SharePlay into the wild. Along with that, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max owners will be able to control when macro photography takes precedence, and much more.
The updates to iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 are free, and they are available to download now as an over-the-air (OTA) update. To update manually, open Settings –> General –> Software Update and follow the onscreen instructions. If you have Automatic Updates switched on, then your device(s) will automatically download and install the newest software overnight while the devices are plugged into power and charging.
As for what’s new:
SharePlay is built into FaceTime. With the feature activated, users are able to share their screen across a variety of different apps. SharePlay offers a lot of sharing capabilities for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS users. It allows users to share their screen while using FaceTime, create group playlists in Apple Music, watch synced movies and TV shows in the Apple TV app, and more.
At launch, iOS 15 and Apple’s high-end, flagship iPhone 13 models supported a feature called “Auto Macro.” It’s still present in iOS 15.1, yes, but users will be able to directly control the feature from the Camera’s settings functionality. With Auto Macros switched on, the camera software will work the same way it has since launch, automatically switching to macro photo-taking or video-taking if the user zooms in enough. This will launch the Ultra Wide camera when it’s activated.
Turning the feature off means users will have to manually launch macro photography and videography as they see fit.
iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 also include support for disabling keyboard notifications from Apple TV and the Apple Watch. Meanwhile, iOS 15.1’s Wallet app officially supports adding COVID-19 vaccination cards into the app. There are also plenty of software fixes for lingering issues in the software as well.
Here is the changelog Apple released today alongside the update:
- SharePlay is a new way to share synchronized experiences in FaceTime with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, Fitness+, and other supported App Store apps
- Shared controls give everyone the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast forward
- Smart volume automatically lowers the audio of a movie, TV show or song when your friends speak
- Apple TV supports the option to watch the shared video on your big screen while you continue the FaceTime call on iPhone
- Screen sharing lets everyone on a FaceTime call look at photos, browse the web, or help each other out
- ProRes video capture using iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
- Setting to turn off automatic camera switching when taking macro photos and videos on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
- COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to add and present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet
- Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for system-wide translation
- New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor
- New pre-built actions let you overlay text on images or gifs, plus a new collection of games lets you pass the time with Siri
This release also fixes the following issues:
- Photos app may incorrectly report storage is full when importing photos and videos
- Weather app may not show current temperature for My Location, and may display colors of animated backgrounds incorrectly
- Audio playing from an app may pause when locking the screen
- Wallet may unexpectedly quit when using VoiceOver with multiple passes
- Available Wi-Fi networks may not be detected
- Battery algorithms updated on iPhone 12 models to better estimate battery capacity over time
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:
watchOS 8.1 and tvOS 15.1
Apple also released the software updates for the Apple Watch, Apple TV HD, and Apple TV 4K. With watchOS 8.1 and tvOS 15.1, SharePlay makes the leap to the company’s smartwatch and set-top box. In addition to that, watchOS 8.1 also adds support for group workouts with Apple Fitness+ via SharePlay, enhancements to Fall Detection, and more.
Here is the watchOS 8.1 changelog:
watchOS 8.1 includes the following improvements and bug fixes for your Apple Watch:
- Enhanced algorithms to detect falls during workouts and option to enable fall detection during workouts only (Apple Watch Series 4 and later)
- COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet
- Fitness+ supports SharePlay to allow subscribers to invite up to 32 people to workout together through a FaceTime call using iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV
- Always On may not display the time accurately for some users when their wrist is down (Apple Watch Series 5 and later)
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/HT201222