With the release of macOS Monterey, Apple today released new versions of iOS, watchOS and tvOS.
iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 especially add SharePlay, an iconic feature for iOS 15, which was not released last month.
SharePlay is Apple's word for a suite of features that allows you to consume content with other callers in a FaceTime call, such as watching synchronized streams of Apple TV + shows and Apple Fitness + workouts. There is also an API that allows third-party applications to provide the same features.
The update also provides support for ProRes video capture for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max - another feature that missed the initial launch window.
Other additions include the ability to store proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in the Wallet app, a switch for automatic camera switching when taking macro photos, and a few bug fixes.
Here are the full release notes for iOS 15.1:
iOS 15.1 adds SharePlay, a completely new way to share experiences with family and friends in FaceTime. This release also adds the ability to capture ProRes videos using the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, as well as verifiable COVID-19 vaccination cards in the Apple Wallet, and includes other features and bug fixes for the iPhone.
- SharePlay is a new way to share synchronized experiences in FaceTime with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, Fitness + and other supported apps in the App Store
- Shared controls give everyone the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast forward
- Smart volume automatically reduces 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 the big screen while you continue your FaceTime call on iPhone
- Screen sharing allows everyone on a FaceTime call to look at photos, browse the web, or help each other
- ProRes video capture using iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
- Set 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
- Support for Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) in the Translate application and for system-level translation
- New automation triggers based on the current reading of a humidity, air quality or light level sensor activated with HomeKit
- New predefined actions allow you to overlay text on images or gifs, plus a new collection of games lets you spend time with Siri
This release also addresses the following issues:
- Photos may incorrectly report the storage space is full when you import photos and videos
- The weather app may not display the current temperature for My Location and may not display the animated background colors incorrectly
- Audio playback in an application may stop when you lock the screen
- Your wallet may stop unexpectedly when you use VoiceOver with multiple passes
- Available Wi-Fi networks may not be detected
- 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 detect text, phone numbers, addresses, and more, with the feature available on iPads that have an A12 Bionic chip or later. Live Text was already available on the iPhone.
For information about the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
Apple has also released watchOS 8.1, which largely fixes the errors, but which also adds the same proof function of the COVID-19 vaccination that we just saw in iOS. It also includes support for SharePlay on Fitness + content.
TvOS 15.1 is also a minor update that fixes bugs and implements SharePlay support in tandem with iOS.
All three updates should be available globally to most users on supported devices today.