Apple iOS 15.1 Release: Should You Upgrade?

Apple iOS 15 didn’t get off to a great start and improved little with iOS 15.0.1 and iOS 15.0.2. Now the first major iOS 15 release has arrived bringing long awaited features, fixes and upgrades. But does iOS 15.1 deliver? For new features, yes. But in terms of stability, there are still a lot of problems. Here’s everything you need to know. 

Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up to date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.

Apple, Apple iOS 15, Apple iOS 15 upgrade, iPhone iOS 15 upgrade, new iOS update, iOS 15 problem, iOS 15 bug, iOS 15 fix, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12
Apple iOS 15 [Apple]

Who is it for?

Apple iOS 15.1 has been released for all iOS 14-compatible devices. This covers every device released in the last six years, aka the iPhone 6S and newer.

It’s now available to download on compatible iPhones, with iPadOS 15.1 for suitable iPads. Compatibility for the phones reaches back as far as iPhone 6s, including iPhone SE first and current editions, plus the seventh-generation iPod touch. The complete list is: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, Phone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (second generation) iPhone SE (first generation) and iPod seventh generation.

For iPads, you’re good if you have any iPad Pro, any iPad Air from iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 or newer and iPad from the fifth generation onwards.

How to get it?

You should be automatically notified to upgrade but, if not, the update can be triggered manually by navigating to the Settings app on the device and then choose General, then Software Update. Once you’ve clicked on Download and Install, it’ll work its magic. 

This is a medium-sized update—1.35GB on my iPhone 11 Pro — so give it a little while to download and install, please.

First, the problems.

For everyone already on iOS 15, however, the news is familiar. A limited number of fixes with limited success for a wide array of ongoing problems. Perhaps the most frustrating is the bizarre storage bug iOS 15 caused millions of iPhones and iPads. Apple claimed it was fixed in iOS 15.0.1 and now again in iOS 15.1 / iPadOS 15.1 but the second attempt is again a bust (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 etc) despite some exceptions. Worst still, iOS 15.1 is also causing it for some previously unaffected users

This continues a frustrating pattern of iOS 15.x fixes not delivering and another is WiFi connectivity, a problem iOS 15.1 claims to fix but is again being created for some upgradersCar connectivity issues also remain, as do problems with Notification Stacks, iOS 15-introduced touchscreen bugs (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) and 120Hz animation issues with third party apps. 

I’m also seeing isolated reports of missing photos, Spatial Audio refusing to disable, lost Apple Calendar data and problems with calls. Battery complaints are building as well (1,2,3,4,5) but treat these with caution so soon after updating because your iPhone will still be reindexing. 

So, what do you get?

Apple iOS 15.1 is the first feature rich update to iOS 15 and it brings a lot. Here are the official release notes: 

SharePlay

  • SharePlay is a new way to share synchronized experiences in FaceTime with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, Fitness+, and other supported App Store apps
  • Shared controls give everyone the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast forward
  • Smart volume automatically lowers the audio of a movie, TV show or song when your friends speak
  • Apple TV supports the option to watch the shared video on your big screen while you continue the FaceTime call on iPhone
  • Screen sharing lets everyone on a FaceTime call look at photos, browse the web, or help each other out

Camera

  • ProRes video capture using iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • Setting to turn off automatic camera switching when taking macro photos and videos on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple Wallet

  • COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to add and present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet

Translate

  • Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for system-wide translation

Home

  • New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor

Shortcuts

  • New pre-built actions let you overlay text on images or gifs, plus a new collection of games lets you pass the time with Siri

This release also fixes the following issues:

  • Photos app may incorrectly report storage is full when importing photos and videos
  • Weather app may not show current temperature for My Location, and may display colors of animated backgrounds incorrectly
  • Audio playing from an app may pause when locking the screen
  • Wallet may unexpectedly quit when using VoiceOver with multiple passes
  • Available Wi-Fi networks may not be detected
  • Battery algorithms updated on iPhone 12 models to better estimate battery capacity over time

On the iPad, the update adds the above listed features 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.

The stand out additions are PlayShare and, for the iPhone 13 Pro models, ProRes video support. The former has been highly anticipated and could see significant takeup, particularly if new lockdown measures return during the winter. The latter is primarily for enthusiasts and will eat storage at an incredible rate, but that’s why 1TB iPhone 13 Pro models exist. 

As for security, Apple’s official security page states that iOS 15.1 delivers 22 fixes. Apple states that none are zero-day vulnerabilities (meaning hackers are already exploiting them in the wild) but with exploits covering audio, graphics, image processing, iCloud, Siri, Voice control and four Webkit hacks (the engine which powers Safari), this is perhaps the most compelling reason to upgrade to iOS 15.1. 

Here’s Apple’s full Changelog for iOS 15.1

SharePlay

•          SharePlay is a new way to share synchronised experiences in FaceTime with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, Fitness+ and other supported App Store apps

•          Shared controls give everyone the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast-forward

•          Smart volume automatically lowers the audio of a movie, TV show or song when your friends speak

•          Apple TV supports the option to watch the shared video on your big screen while you continue the FaceTime call on iPhone

•          Screen sharing lets everyone on a FaceTime call look at photos, browse the web or help each other out

Camera

•          ProRes video capture using iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

•          Setting to turn off automatic camera switching when taking macro photos and videos on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple Wallet

•          COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to add and present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet

Translate

•          Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for systemwide translation

Home

•          New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality or light level sensor

Shortcuts

•          New pre-built actions let you overlay text on images or gifs, plus a new collection of games lets you pass the time with Siri

This release also fixes the following issues:

•          Photos app may incorrectly report storage is full when importing photos and videos

•          Weather app may not show current temperature for My Location and may display colours of animated backgrounds incorrectly

•          Audio playing from an app may pause when locking the screen

•          Wallet may unexpectedly quit when using VoiceOver with multiple passes

•          Available Wi-Fi networks may not be detected

•          Battery algorithms updated on iPhone 12 models to better estimate battery capacity over time

Apple, SharePlay, iOS 15.1, iPhone, iOS 15, SharePlay iPhone, SharePlay iPad, iPhone upgrade,
Apple SharePlay has arrived with iOS 15.1 [Apple]

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222.

For additional information about iOS 15 updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212788.