Apple has today released iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 to the public. Our testing suggests that these releases resolve a number of the issues introduced for blind and low vision users with the initial releases of iOS and iPadOS 15.
Our experience is that the following accessibility bugs have been resolved or significantly addressed in iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1:
- Apple Wallet will no longer crash if you attempt to use any card, ticket, or pass other than the first one listed.
- The Wallet app no longer crashes when VoiceOver is enabled and you use the swipe gesture.
- The time picker used when creating or editing a scheduled Screen time downtime or app limit is once again accessible with VoiceOver.
- It is once again possible to edit alarms in the Clock app.
- VoiceOver consistently announces the names of apps when using the App Switcher.
- Braille Display users can now assign commands for Quick Settings, moving in and out of Grouped navigation, and locking the screen.
- VoiceOver now announces the selection status when adding people or apps to the allowed notifications list of a Focus mode.
- When selecting shortcuts in a folder in the Shortcuts app, VoiceOver once again speaks the selection status of shortcuts.
- When the Safari toolbar is collapsed to the bottom of the screen, VoiceOver no longer finds UI elements which are not visually present and consequently do not behave as expected.
- When using a hardware keyboard with an iPad, pressing Globe/FN + Control + Option to activate the keyboard hints window, no longer conflicts with the VoiceOver command to go to the first or last item when combined with the left or right arrow key.
- The window which shows you the available keyboard commands on iPad now works as expected with VoiceOver.
- When selecting the second app for a split screen setup on iPad, VoiceOver now tells you if an app you're selecting does not in fact support multi-tasking.
- When viewing an interactive notification from the Mail app, the context menu items “Delete” and “Mark Read” now consistently work as expected.
- After using “More” from the VoiceOver rotor's Action menu on a notification, VoiceOver users no longer locate when swiping UI elements which are not present visually on screen and do not behave as expected.
- The button used to clear the Safari address bar is now correctly labeled.
- Buttons in the Apple Music TV section of the Music app are now labeled.
- When browsing the list of speakers and TVs available as playback destinations, VoiceOver now recognises and speaks the graphic which indicates the type of device.
- The Apple One subscription screen is now mostly accessible with VoiceOver, resulting in you now being able to view and select options. There remain only a few poorly labeled buttons on this screen.
Additionally, these updates bring a change of behavior - VoiceOver no longer announces when a Focus mode is automatically enabled or disabled (for example at a scheduled time). This previously occurred even if you have speak notifications disabled and your device was asleep.
At the time of posting, we are aware of one new bug for braille users in these releases:
- When editing an email in the Mail app using a braille display, after inserting a line break focus will jump to the top of the screen. Note that when this happens, the cursor position remains correctly placed at the newly inserted line break.
As we always stress, we can make no claims on the completeness or accuracy of our testing. We are only a small team, and it is simply impossible for us to test all devices, configurations, applications, and use cases. Accordingly, to help us ensure that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible, please let us know in the comments of any additional fixes; enhancements; or regressions that you find in your own use of iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1.
iOS 15.1 Release Notes
- 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
- 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
- COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to add and present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet
- Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for system-wide translation
- New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor
- 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
How to Update
iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 are available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) via Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina or later, or via iTunes on a PC or Mac with macOS Mojave or earlier.
Before updating, we strongly recommend making a full and complete backup of your device (either locally or in iCloud, depending on personal preference). This will ensure that, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong during the update process, you will have a current backup on hand in case a device restore becomes necessary. Also, if using OTA update, we recommend plugging your device into a power source for the duration of the download/installation process, so as to prevent the unlikely event of your battery going dead during the update.
More information on how to update the software on your device is available on this Apple Support page.
As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences of the new features and enhancements in these releases, so please let us know by posting a comment below. We will be particularly interested in hearing from those who believe it's now time to upgrade from iOS / iPadOS 14 and those who are still delaying upgrading.