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Apple’s iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 bring SharePlay, camera improvements, and more

Apple is rolling out iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, its third update to the current generation of iOS since it rolled out alongside the iPhone 13. The iOS 15.1 update brings SharePlay, which lets multiple Apple users enjoy movies, music, and other content together during FaceTime calls; ProRes video recording on the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, among other improvements to the camera; and some additions to the Home, Shortcuts, Translate, and Wallet apps.

Among the slew of new features that iOS 15.1 delivers, SharePlay is bound to get most of the attention. As its name indicates, SharePlay offers multiple shared experiences using FaceTime, from browsing the web together to watching synchronized movies or TV shows to sharing content across the Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, Apple TV, and other App Store apps. It also gives each user the ability to play, pause, rewind, or fast-forward movies, shows, or music and automatically lowers the volume of the content when it detects someone speaking.

Apple Music and the FaceTime preferences pane being used during a SharePlay session on a Mac running MacOS Monterey.

Besides SharePlay, iOS 15.1 brings ProRes video recording to the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The video feature minimizes compression while recording a video to capture moire details, ensuring the highest-quality video for editing and post-processing. The update also adds a button to disable automatic switching to the macro mode, giving users more control over how to use the cameras. That was one of our big complaints in our review of the iPhone 13, so it’s nice to see.

You will now also be able to add your COVID-19 vaccination card to the Apple Wallet app. Additions to the Home app now let users automate different actions based on Homekit-based air quality, humidity, or ambient light sensors. You also get some new games to play with Siri, while the Translate app gets systemwide support for Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan). As with each update, iOS 15.1 also brings several bug fixes.

The iOS 15.1 update is now rolling out to supported devices globally, and you should be able to download it right away by heading over to the Settings app and clicking General > Software Update.

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