iOS 15.1 adds SharePlay, iPhone 13 Pro camera options and more

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Don’t install the iOS 15.1 beta if you plan to get an iPhone 13 ASAP
Apple released iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 on Monday.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple rolled out iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 on Monday with the anticipated inclusion of SharePlay, a feature missing from the recent iOS 15 release. Today’s update also brings camera improvements for iPhone 13 Pro models, enables adding COVID-19 vaccination records to Wallet, and includes a bunch of other features.

If you’re in the upgrading mood, you can download iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 now. (Note for Mac owners: macOS Monterey is now available as well.)

iOS 15.1: SharePlay

After more than a month of beta testing, iOS 15.1 brings support for SharePlay to your iPhone and iPad.

Initially planned for iOS 15, SharePlay ended up delayed so Apple could refine it further. The company describes SharePlay as a “new way to share synchronized experiences in FaceTime.” It syncs content like movies, TV and music and lets people using different devices experience it together.

Built-in applications like the Apple TV app, Apple Music and Apple Fitness+ support SharePlay. In addition, third-party developers can allow you to use SharePlay via a variety of different apps, streaming services, games and more.

More camera options for iPhone 13 Pro models

Today’s iOS 15.1 update also adds improvements to the camera options for iPhone 13 Pro models. Users can take advantage of a new Auto Macro toggle, allowing them to switch off the recently released phones’ automatic macro mode if they so choose.

Another addition is ProRes video capture, which lets people take even higher-quality video on an iPhone 13 Pro at 30fps/1080p on models with 128GB of storage or 4K on models with 256GB or more storage.

Add your COVID-19 vaccination record to Wallet

With iOS 15.1, Apple also lets users add COVID-19 vaccine cards to the Wallet app. This will make it easy for people to prove they’re vaccinated when necessary without having to carry the physical card. You can get more information on adding a vaccination card to Wallet on the Apple support page.

HomePod audio improvements

If you use a HomePod or HomePod mini, iOS 15.1 adds Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio support to the devices. That should improve sound quality in various settings — especially the home-theater experience.

iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 are both available now from Settings > General > Software Update on compatible devices.

Full iOS 15.1 release notes from Apple:

SharePlay

  • 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.

Camera

  • 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.

Apple Wallet

  • COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to add and present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet

Translate

  • Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for system-wide translation.

Home

  • New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor.

Shortcuts

  • 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.