Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021, 15:43 iOS: Software

Outlook: New Features In iOS 15.1

Apple released iOS 15 just two days ago - despite the extensive beta phase, the version is of course not completely free of bugs. In addition, the version is still missing some features that the company proudly presented during the past WWDC. Apple just made a first beta build of iOS 15.1 available for download. It adds some interesting features - including SharePlay, which was already available in the early betas of iOS 15, but did not make it into the final release.

SharePlay is back.
SharePlay allows users to listen to music or watch movies together - FaceTime calls now come with corresponding controls. As a result, the feature could be one of the most important new features of iOS, iPadOS as well as tvOS 15.1. Another new feature is the integration of a COVID 19 certificate in the Health app via the SMART Health Cards standard - in this way, the information stored in the Health app can also be prepared for the Wallet app. So far, however, this standard has played little role - only a few facilities in some US states support it.

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"Spatialize Stereo" can be activated via the control center.
Those who have AirPods Pro or Max benefit from the head tracking that both headphones offer. In iOS 15, you can configure when this function is used in the settings: For example, exclusively for videos or also for pure audio content. This differentiation no longer applies in iOS 15.1: Head tracking (also called "Spatialize Stereo") can only be enabled or disabled. At least, the settings no longer have to be used for this. Activation and deactivation can now also be done via the control center.

Small improvements and Lossless Audio for the HomePod.
Many changes are rather small or purely cosmetic: the search function in the Photos app now holds better suggestions and Apple swaps out the pictogram for the "Announce Calls" feature:


Left: Old, Right: New in iOS 15.1


Those who will soon call an iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max their own can look forward to support for the ProRes format. And there is also something happening with the HomePod and HomePod mini thanks to version 15.1: In the Home application, there is now the option to activate Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos for the smart speakers.

Little new on the iPad
Surprisingly little is happening on the iPad: iPadOS 15.1 includes some of the above-mentioned functions, but still lacks one or two other features: Universal Control is still not included in the operating system. However, this is the first beta of iPadOS 15.1, so it is quite possible that a later version will include this feature.

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