iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1 With SharePlay Support Released; HomePod Users Get Spatial Audio, Lossless Playback


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Apple has released iOS 15.1 for all compatible iPhone models. iPad users have also received iPadOS 15.1 as a new software update. Both iOS and iPadOS updates bring SharePlay support that allows users to share content from services including Apple TV and Apple Music directly over a FaceTime call. The iOS 15.1 update also brings ProRes support to the iPhone 13 Pro models for an enhanced video recording experience. Additionally, Apple has brought anticipated spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support to the HomePod and lossless playback with Apple Music to both HomePod and HomePod mini.

iOS 15.1: What’s new?

One of the biggest changes that iOS 15.1 brings to the iPhone users is the availability of SharePlay. This enables users to watch movies and TV shows together virtually over a FaceTime call. It also allows streaming music and albums available on Apple Music while speaking with contacts on FaceTime. Further, you can also use SharePlay to share your screen with people connected with you on a FaceTime call. Apple detailed all these features at its keynote at the WWDC earlier this year. SharePlay was, however, not included in the original iOS 15 release.

iOS 15.1 also enables Apple Wallet to keep a copy of your COVID-19 vaccine certificate that you can show at stores or public places including airports while on-the-go.

Specifically for iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max users, iOS 15.1 brings ProRes video capture. Apple claims that ProRes is an advanced video codec that was up until now used for commercials, feature films, and broadcasts. It provides a higher colour fidelity along with less compression over a traditional video codec.

The iOS 15.1 update also includes the setting that you can use to turn off automatic camera switching when taking macro photos and videos on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Apple has updated the Translate app available within iOS 15.1 to offer Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support. The new language is also available for system-wide translation.

iOS 15.1 also brings an updated Home app, with new automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor. There are also pre-built actions in the Shortcuts app to let you overlay text on images or GIFs and create new home automation experiences. Further, there is a new collection of games that you can access via Siri.

The latest iOS update also addresses some known problems with the Photos, Weather, and Wallet apps. It also fixes the issue with audio playing that might get paused when locking the screen. Further, the iPhone 12 users have received updated battery algorithms that may help provide better estimated battery capacity over time. With iOS 15.1, you will also get a fix for an issue that was causing Wi-Fi networks to not appear in the settings.

Apple is yet to provide details about the security issues addressed through iOS 15.1. You can keep an eye on the dedicated security website, though.

iPadOS 15.1: What’s new?

Just like iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1 brings SharePlay and Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) translation support. It also brings an updated Camera app with Live Text support to recognise content such as text, phone numbers, and addresses by directly using the camera sensor on the iPad. It works with the iPad models that have A12 Bionic and later. There is also Keyboard support to let users add text directly from the Camera into any text field. It is also specifically available for the iPad models that have at least the A12 Bionic SoC.

The iPadOS 15.1 also brings the new Home app with automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor. Further, there are preloaded actions in the Shortcuts app to let you overlay text on images and GIFs. You will also get new games through Siri.

Apple also includes a list of bug fixes within iPadOS 15.1. This includes a fix for the issue that was causing the Photos app to incorrectly report storage is full when importing photos and videos. The problem causing audio playback from an app that was getting paused when locking the screen has also been addressed. Moreover, Wi-Fi network availability has been fixed.

iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1: How to download?

You can download iOS 15.1 on your iPhone or iPod touch model that is eligible for iOS 15. Similarly, iPadOS 15.1 is meant for iPad models eligible to get updated to iPadOS 15. Both new iOS and iPadOS updates can be downloaded by going to Settings > General > Software Update from the device.

How to enable spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support and lossless playback on HomePod

Alongside iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, Apple has released HomePod Software Version 15.1 that brings spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support to the HomePod and lossless playback with Apple Music on the HomePod and HomePod mini. The update will be automatically installed after updating the connected iPhone or iPad to the latest software version. Once it is available on your device, you can enable Dolby Atmos and lossless audio playback.

To enable Dolby Atmos and lossless audio playback on your HomePod, you need to open the Home app and then tap the Home icon from the top-left corner. Select Home Settings > People and scroll down a bit to tap your name. Now, select Apple Music from your profile and then scroll down to turn on ‘Lossless Audio’ and ‘Dolby Atmos’ support.

The new experience is notably limited to Apple Music. This means that you must be using Apple’s music streaming service to get spatial and lossless audio playback on your HomePod. The service starts at Rs. 99 a month for its regular individual users, though it is also available at a monthly price of Rs. 49 for newly introduced voice-only plan.

Apple initially tested spatial audio and lossless playback on the HomePod and HomePod mini through a beta version released in August.

The HomePod Software Version 15.1 also includes performance and stability improvements for Apple’s smart speakers.

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