One day after releasing iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8, Apple
has dropped developer beta versions of iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, and watchOS 8.1
. The software includes the SharePlay feature which failed to be included in Monday's software releases
. SharePlay allows you to share the experience of watching and listening to movies, TV, music, and other media with others that you are connected to inside a FaceTime call.
Apple did include SharePlay on beta versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 but failed to include it with the final version of the software when it was released yesterday. But Apple seemingly was in a hurry to have SharePlay available to its device owners. And we also would expect the iOS 15.1 beta, the iPadOS 15.1 beta, and the watchOS 8.1 beta to contain a heaping helping of Raid to kill bugs dead.
SharePlay for FaceTime returns in the iOS and iPadOS 15.1 beta versions
Within the next day or two, the public beta versions of today's releases should be made available which means that those who are signed up for Apple's Beta Software Program will be able to install it OTA as soon as it becomes available to public beta users. If you haven't become a beta member and want to be one, you need to first tap on this link
and follow the directions.
Sharing a tune over FaceTim
After WWDC this year, Apple described SharePlay thusly: "Users can now share experiences with SharePlay while connecting with friends on FaceTime, including listening to songs together with Apple Music, watching a TV show or movie from Apple TV+ and other streaming services in sync, or sharing their screen to view apps together. SharePlay works across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and with shared playback controls, anyone in a SharePlay session can play, pause, or jump ahead."
Apple added that "SharePlay even extends to Apple TV, so users can watch shows or movies on a big screen. Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, TikTok, Twitch, and many others are integrating SharePlay into their apps — creating entirely new ways to connect." With the iOS 15.1 beta, users will be able to check out the feature which will be available to all compatible iPhone and iPad models once the final version of iOS 15.1 is disseminated.
Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos will appear on versions 15.1 of iOS, iPadOS, and HomePod Software Version 15.1
The HomePod and HomePod mini also have received developer beta updates to version 15.1 of the HomePod operating system. The update returns Spatial Audio (Dolby Atmos), and Lossless audio to Apple's smart speakers. One beta version of the update included these features but Apple removed it prior to the release of the final version of the OS.
HomePod 15.1 beta brings back Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos
Back in June Apple launched 20 million of its tunes in lossless resolution. By the end of this year, Apple's complete library totaling over 75 million songs will be available for lossless streaming. With Spatial Audio (also known as 3D audio), the listener hears sounds from speakers strategically placed above him, below him, behind him, to the sides, and more. The goal is to put the source of any sound anywhere in three-dimensional space in order for the listener to hear where the source of sound is coming from.
Considering that those with the HomePod and HomePod mini often use the device to stream playlists and stream music from apps, having high quality audio is important. And again, this feature will be available to all HomePod and HomePod mini users once the final version of HomePod 15.1 is released.
The audio updates will also be included with iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 and indeed they do appear on the beta versions of both operating systems. But to experience the Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos on the HomePod, you will need to install the smart speakers' dedicated operating system designed just for Apple's two models.