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Apple's iOS 15.1 includes SharePlay and adds ProRes to the iPhone 13 Pro

FaceTime finally gets SharePlay.

iOS 15

iOS 15 launched in September, but Apple released its first major update: iOS 15.1.

Patrick Holland/CNET

On Monday, Apple released iOS 15.1, the first major update to iOS 15. One of the biggest additions is the new FaceTime call feature SharePlay. Also, if you have an iPhone 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max, the update adds ProRes video recording to the native Camera app and a new toggle to turn on and off automatic macro photos. Other additions include the ability to add immunization cards, like for COVID-19 vaccinations, to the Wallet app.

Announced at WWDC 2021, SharePlay lets you share content from apps with others on a FaceTime call. This means you could watch a movie or TV show synchronized and in real-time. Other uses include sharing songs, playlists, social media apps and even sharing your screen with someone else.

ProRes video was first announced at Apple's September event for the iPhone 13, iPad Mini and Apple Watch Series 7. The Pro models of the iPhone 13 can record and edit ProRes videos. The advantage is that the video files are optimized for editing apps like Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. ProRes video on the iPhone is 10-bit, which allows for more leeway when color grading.

The addition of an on/off switch for macro photos is welcomed. Currently anytime you get close (roughly 5 inches or closer) to a subject the iPhone automatically switches from the wide angle camera to the ultrawide camera. It crops in on the ultrawide to match framing. For most situations this works well. But it can be tricky to prevent your iPhone swapping cameras back-and-forth when you want to get as close as possible to your subject and take a photo using the main camera. The toggle lets you disable the automatic macro feature completely.

For more about iOS 15, read our iOS 15 review.

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