Just in time for the launch of macOS Monterey, Apple today released new versions of iOS, watchOS and tvOS.
iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 notably add SharePlay, a flagship feature for iOS 15 that didn’t hit the market last month.
SharePlay is Apple’s word for a range of features that enable content consumption with other callers within a FaceTime call, such as watching synced streams of Apple TV + shows and Apple Fitness + workouts. There is also an API that third party applications can use to offer the same functionality.
The update also brings ProRes video recording support for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max – another feature that the initial launch window missed.
Other additions include the ability to save evidence of the COVID-19 vaccination in the wallet app, a toggle switch for automatically switching cameras when taking macro photos, and several bug fixes.
Here are the full release notes for iOS 15.1:
iOS 15.1 adds SharePlay, a whole new way to share experiences with family and friends in FaceTime. This version also offers the ability to record ProRes videos with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, as well as verifiable COVID-19 vaccination cards in Apple Wallet, and includes more features and bug fixes for your iPhone.
– SharePlay is a new way to share synced experiences in FaceTime with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, Fitness + and other supported App Store apps
– Common controls give everyone the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast forward
– Smart Volume automatically lowers the sound of a movie, TV show, or song when your friends are talking
– Apple TV supports the option to watch the shared video on your big screen while continuing the FaceTime call on iPhone
– Screen sharing allows anyone on a FaceTime call to view photos, surf the web, or help each other
– ProRes video recording with iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
– Setting to disable automatic camera switching when taking macro photos and videos on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
– The COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to add and present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet
– Support for Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) in the translator app and for system-wide translations
– New automation triggers based on the current reading from a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality or light level sensor
– New pre-made actions let you overlay text on images or gifs, and a new collection of games lets you pass the time with Siri
This version also fixes the following issues:
– The Photos app may incorrectly report that the memory is full while importing photos and videos
– The Weather app may not show the current My Location temperature and may display the colors of animated backgrounds incorrectly
– Audio playback from an app may pause when the screen is locked
– Wallet may exit unexpectedly when using Multi-Pass VoiceOver
– Available Wi-Fi networks may not be recognized
– Updated battery algorithms on iPhone 12 models to better estimate battery capacity over time
On the iPad, the update adds the features listed above and support for live text in the camera app. With Live Text, the camera can recognize text, phone numbers, addresses, and more, with the functionality available on iPads with an A12 Bionic chip or higher. Live text was already available on the iPhone.
For information about the security content of Apple software updates, see this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
Apple also launched watchOS 8.1, which mostly fixes bugs but also adds the same COVID-19 vaccination record feature we just saw in iOS. It also includes support for SharePlay on Fitness + content.
Likewise, tvOS 15.1 is a minor update that fixes bugs and implements SharePlay support along with iOS.
All three updates should be available today to most users on supported devices worldwide.
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