It's not been long since the roll-out of iOS 15 and the operating system updates for Apple's iPad, Apple TV and Apple Watch. But the company is already pressing ahead with the next round of updates.

On 21 September - one day after iOS 15's launch - Apple issued the first beta versions of iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, tvOS 15.1 and watchOS 8.1 to registered developers and other beta testers.

Then on 29 September Apple issued the second version of the iOS 15.1 beta to developers. This beta version addressed a problem with masked unlocking of the iPhone with the Apple Watch, however, Apple clearly decided that it couldn't leave iPhone 13 users with Apple Watches unable to unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask for long, because on 1 October the company issued a iOS 15.0.1 update which addressed the Apple Watch unlocking issue, and then on 11 October iOS 15.0.2 arrived bringing more bug fixes and, more importantly, addressing a security flaw. Read on for more information about the new features.

The latest beta version of iOS 15.1 arrived on 6 October, bringing support for Pro Res and a way to disable the new Macro mode on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max.

What's in iOS 15.0.1?

The iOS 15.0.1 update included the following fixes:

  • Fixes a problem where unlocking the iPhone with the Apple Watch may not work on iPhone 13 models.
  • The Settings app may incorrectly display a warning that the memory is full.
  • Audio meditations can unexpectedly start training on Apple Watch for some Fitness+ subscribers.

What's in iOS 15.0.2?

The iOS 15.0.1 update included the following fixes:

  • Unlocking with Apple Watch fix - there had been reports that iPhone 13 owners are unable to use the unlock with Apple Watch feature to unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask. iOS 15.0.1 addresses this issue.
  • It also fixes a problem where the Settings app may incorrectly display a warning that the memory is full.
  • Audio meditations can unexpectedly start training on Apple Watch for some Fitness+ subscribers.

We explain how to install iOS 15 and subsequent updates in a separate article.

iOS 15.1 release date

While iOS 15.0.1 and 15.0.2 fix a few of the difficulties people are experiencing with iOS 15, it doesn't fix them all, so if you are waiting for the 15.1 update before moving to iOS 15 may wish to wait a little longer. Hopefully it won't be a long wait - beta testing of the update is underway, with version 2 with developers since 29 September and version 3 arriving on 6 October.

We expect that the final version of iOS 15.1 will be shipped to the public in early to mid October.

What's in iOS 15.1?

These X.1 updates enable Apple to add address any bugs and also add some of the previously announced features that didn't make it into the X.0 versions of iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and tvOS 15. For a few examples, read Eight iOS 15 features that will be missing at launch. Wondering what new features are coming in the update? We run through them below.

Fix for Macro mode issues

Version 3 of the iOS 15.1 beta brought a fix for an issue with Macro mode on iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. As we reported here: New iPhone 13 Pro macro mode causes problems.

The new Macro mode was causing issues with framing because of the way it would jump from one lens to the other. When we initially reported that on 23 September we suggested that Apple should make it possible to turn the feature off, and it seems that is what it is doing in the next update to iOS 15.

Users will be able to turn off the automatic macro mode if desired. Currently the mode is activated without the user's intervention as soon as the camera (in the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max) is a certain distance from a subject.

Pro Res support

The iOS 15.1 beta 3 also brought support for the Pro-Res format for videos that Apple announced as a feature of the iPhone 13 Pro and Max.

This means the new iPhones will be able to record videos in the Pro Res format. The format is lossless, but consumes significantly more memory than conventional MOV or MP4 formats. The format can be activated by going to Settings > Camera > Formats.

SharePlay

One of the most famous omissions from iOS 15 was  SharePlay, which lets users watch videos or listen to music in sync with others on a FaceTime call. SharePlay is present in the iOS 15.1 beta, however, it's important to point out, that it isn't guaranteed to appear in the public version, and may be pushed back again.

Proof of Covid-19 vaccination in Wallet

iOS 15.1 also adds COVID-19 vaccination records in Wallet. However this ability depends on the healthcare provider and the function will probably not exist outside the USA. 

Lossless on HomePod and HomePod mini

With iOS 15.1, Lossless Audio will arrive on HomePod and HomePod mini via Apple Music. You will be able to set the high resolution via the Home app. However, you may not be able to hear a big difference as HomePod and HomePod mini have supported 3D audio since iOS 14.5.

Apple TV Keyboard settings

The update will allow users to turn off notifications for the Apple TV Keyboard and Apple Watch Keyboard. To do so you will need to go to Settings > Notifications and adjust the Apple TV Keyboard or Apple Watch Keyboard options.

Bug and security fixes

In addition, we can expect the usual bug and security fixes; the first version of a major software update is often buggy and unreliable. Indeed, it's a good idea to wait for the X.0.1 version before updating for precisely this reason.

Read our full run through of the problems people are experiencing with iOS 15 here.

How to get the beta of iOS 15.1

If you'd like to join in with the testing, read our guide showing how to join an Apple beta programme. As usual, however, be sure to back up your devices before installing the new beta versions; that way you won't have to risk losing your files.