Apple Releases iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1; Bringing Many Fixes for VoiceOver and Braille Users

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

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:

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:

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

  • 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

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.

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Comments

Submitted by Jim D on Monday, October 25, 2021

The update notes state:
"Additionally, these updates bring a welcome change of behavior - VoiceOver no longer announces when a Focus mode is automatically enabled or disabled (for
example at a scheduled time)."
Not sure about anyone else, but this is not a welcome change as I really liked this option. It was really handy to have Voiceover tell me when a focus mode, such as Do Not Disturb, was being turned on or off at a scheduled time. The fact that this announcement happened even if the phone was locked was great as I would always know the state of the phone. I understand why some people would not like this behavior, but I hope Apple brings it back as a Voiceover option in a future release.
Jim

Submitted by Larry on Monday, October 25, 2021

In iOs 15 I noticed a bug with the photo selection within apps and in Safari. For example, if I had to upload a photo on a website I was unable to select any photo after navigating to the Albums. In my first test this bug seems to be fixed. I tested to add a photo to my Medical ID, it now worked as expected.

Submitted by Noel Romey on Monday, October 25, 2021

I'm not sure if I'm the only one here, but I still don't seem to see a fix for the issue I'm seeing with the recents screen, the favorites screen, or the contacts screen. I can never dependably know if the person I'm calling really is the person I have selected. More often than not, I'm calling the top person in the list rather than say the third or fourth contact/entry in the list etc. I can't narrow down how to get the phone to reliably trigger the error, but I have made several awkward calls this way. The issues started with iOS 15. Has anyone seen this bug and / or figured out how to stop it from happening? I've tried turning on and off stop motion animation with no appreciable effect.

Submitted by Marc on Monday, October 25, 2021

I installed iOS 15.1 earlier today and so far the application switcher is working on my iPhone SE 2020. Double tap the home button twice quickly and swipe left to hear open applications. Swipe up with three fingers to close the application or swipe up with one finger to hear other options. This was not working very well in 15.0 . Somebody with a Face ID phone will have to confirm for those of you without home buttons.

Submitted by treky fan on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

When I heard that iOS 15,1 had been released, I seriously thought about updating from whatever the latest version of iOS fourteen is. After reading what others have said about this release, I', glad I didn't take the plunge and update. I wouldn't want to be calling my boyfriend, and accidentally call my dad, for exmple. That would be one conversation I wouldn't want to explain to dad later!

Submitted by Troy on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

This was not mentioned but I read there's a voiceover bug in the aira app with 15.1 that the profile section does not work correctly with voiceover. Not sure if this is an apple thing or an aira thing.

Submitted by Curtis Chong on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Greetings. Well, the iOS 15.1 update did make it possible to edit alarms in the Clock app once again. Unlike others, I am not experiencing random problems with the Phone app in terms of picking a call from the Recents list or anything like that. I am running an iPhone 12 Mini.

Submitted by Curtis Chong on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Greetings. Well, the iOS 15.1 update did make it possible to edit alarms in the Clock app once again. Unlike others, I am not experiencing random problems with the Phone app in terms of picking a call from the Recents list or anything like that. I am running an iPhone 12 Mini.

Submitted by Chris Douglas on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Hello everyone, I just wanted to report that if you start a FaceTime call of any kind it is impossible to enter the notification center while this call is active from anywhere on your iPhone. Voiceover simply states notification center and it keeps you on the previous screen. Even if you create a custom gesture to take you to notification Center it will not work I have reported this to Apple. Thank you.

Submitted by ming on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

after IOS 15 .

when we playing amusic album in there.
voiceover ca not tell us that the song is " now playing".
and sometime we also don'g know which song is playing when swiping the music track.
in the IOS 14 it worked.
and it still can not fix in IOS 15.1

Submitted by Çağrı Artan on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

I would like to voice these issues through Apple Feedback Assistant; however, my only device with Beta software installed is an iPad Mini4. It will be very difficult to enter data from this device due to the lagging caused by the device being old. Let me point out here, I wanted to write in the hope that maybe the Applevis team will report problems.
The first problem is that since the launch of iPadOS and iOS 15, the titles of the sections in the AppStore that show available updates and recently updated apps have no role and speak like an ordinary line by VO. In previous versions I was able to navigate easily by selecting the rotor in the titles option to switch between chapters.
The second problem is that when using on-screen Braille input, the wiping gesture I perform by swiping two fingers to the left is frequently stopping Braille input from the screen. This problem is especially experienced in the WhatsAPP application, I predict it will be experienced for different applications, I have not tried it yet.
If there are friends who can write these problems through the Feedback Assistant, I would be happy and thank you very much.

In case you aren't aware, you don't need to be running a beta release to be able to access the Feedback Assistant.

It won't have an icon or be accessible through the App Library, but you can open the Feedback Assistant app by entering the following in the Safari address bar:

applefeedback://

You will then be asked whether you want to open Feedback Assistant.

Submitted by Çağrı Artan on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

In reply to by Jo Billard

This warning helped me a lot. It should have at least been in the verbosity options as an optional toggle switch.

Submitted by mr grieves on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

In ios 15 when I was in an app and held down side button+volume to turn it off, VoiceOver would continue to read the background content (ie the app) which meant I couldn't power off as I couldn't select the button. (I could see the power slider there but not use it)

This looks like it's been fixed from a quick play.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

I just updated my phone this morning, and have had no problems thus far. The App Switcher bug in Messages is still there but I can work around it. I would like to say though, that the native weather app in iOS 15 is very good. I'm glad Apple chose to update that app. It worked well with VoiceOver before, but this is a welcome change imho. I especially like the native weather notifications that are now available. A downstairs neighbor of mine doesn't like the updated app, but that's for later. She is not even a VoiceOver or low-vision user so too bad, lol! Actually she's a wonderful neighbor.

Submitted by fatih on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

I could display the weather information in the widget of IOS 13. What I mean is, It would display the weather information for next 3-4 hours, but now since IOS 14 it now displays only the current temperature in the widget. For full information I need to open the weather app.
Also, I need to scan my finger on the home button before I can see anything in the widget, when I swipe with three fingers to the left while the phone's screen is locked. This wasn't the case before either.
Any way to have the widget display more information?
Thanks

Submitted by Rixon Smith on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

I seem to have remembered that there was an issue with entering your pin number on your phone first started back up after upgrading to iOS 15. Is this bug still around? That is the only reason I have not upgraded to this latest version of iOS. Thanks for any input.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Tuesday, October 26, 2021

At first, I thought iOS 15.1 fixed some of my screen sensitivity issues, but sadly, this is not the case. It might be slightly better, but it's still mis-interpreting things far more than it should. Maybe things are just different on the newer phones? Also, is t here a way to disable the haptic touch stuff? I never, ever used 3D touch on my 8 plus because it caused nothing but hate and discontent, and I suspect that haptic touch is similar in its ability to make things difficult. I couldn't see a way to disable the feature, though; only a fast or slow speed, both of which seemed identical to me. Other than the screen sensitivity, though, this new update seems to be working really well for me.

Regarding the screen sensitivity issue you might try looking into reduce motion. In regard to haptic feedback if you go into your voiceover settings, sounds an audio, there you will find your haptic feedback settings. There is a setting in that area to turn the haptic feedback completely off. I’ve never liked haptic feedback it drives me in sane!

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

This update makes iOS 15 actually usable. Hopefully they throw more bugfixes into the .2 update.

Submitted by Stoo on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

I'm still experiencing the problem that Voiceover says, "comma", every time a carachter is deleted.

Annoying.

Submitted by Skippy on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Hi,
I've never seen that issue.
What device & operating system are you using?

Submitted by GraLan on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

You may not of noticed but there was a problem prior to 15.1 the available memory was not being calculated correctly by iOS 15 and so you could delete huge files and the amount of available memory did not change one iota
Thankfully this problem has been fixed in 15.1

Submitted by Troy on Thursday, October 28, 2021

The covid19 vaccine card feature is useless if you have a paper version or have taken a picture of it and have it saved in your photo library. I thought I could go to wallet, tap on add card and could add it that way.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Thursday, October 28, 2021

I am having a problem with SharePlay. I know my phone supports it because the controls are there, but I can't figure it out, and I've had a couple of friends try to share stuff with me but I can never hear it, and vice versa. I'm wondering if it's even compatible with Voiceover.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Thursday, October 28, 2021

Hey guys!

I'm a recent 15.1 Ipad-OS updater, and I'm having a pretty annoying and vexing issue concerning multitasking and email.

I was on the phone with someone yesterday and they gave me the name of a website to write down. So, I opened an email to emaial it to myself. Well, now, I have an app shelf in my mail app that I can't get rid of, and a window that won't close! I flick down on it, and it just spells out Mail, inbox. There's not an option to close the window either! I contacted Accessibility support yesterday, and they said that shelf was the norm. But, it was not there the other morning. It didn't appear until yesterday.

I didn't even see multitasking controls in the status bar when I updated to 15.1 the night before!

Can anyone please help me get rid of this shelf and window that won't close? Because it's the first thing that pops up when I open my email and it blocacks my compose and emails until I dismiss it!

If I delete my email app and reenstall it, will I get all my email back? I'm using Gmail if that helps.

I happened to be a user in the Gmail app myself. You should be able to completely uninstall the app and reinstall it. All your emails should be there since the Gmail app connects directly with the Gmail servers. Also, have you tried the two finger scrub to try to close the window? Hope this helps you

As the subject line says that’s all that I’ve been able to come up with as far as how I can help you with this issue. You might try accessing your multitasking controls to close the actual window, if you can’t do that it probably is a voiceover focusing issue. I have noticed that the Gmail app tends to have a lot of this problem with voiceover. In regards to using the actual mail app and iOS I do believe you should be able to access your emails that way Hope this helps. Also one more thing you might try to really uninstall the app completely and reinstalling it. Before you uninstall the app. You might try signing out of your Gmail account as well. When you reinstall the Gmail app, you should be able to re-sign into your Google account and everything should be there. The message you composed, should be saved in your drafts folder. That’s all I know hope this really helps you.

Thank you! :-) You've made my day! :-)

1. While the 2-finger scrub didn't close the window, it got rid of the shelf. So, I didn't see it when I opened Mail.
2. I uninstalled and reinstalled the Mail app and now that annoying shelf is gone! :-)
And my email is back, like it never left!

Could someone please do a podcast on multitasking with 15? Because, as it stands now, I would rather not have to uninstall and reinstall apps every time after a multitasking session. Here's to hoping that Apple puts it back the way it was in 13 and 14. Because once I got to know how to use it, I loved it! Maybe they should put a switch in to toggle this on or off again.

If anyone has any other solutions are workarounds to this other than uninstalling and reinstalling apps, I’d still like to hear them. Both because I think they’d be nice for people who get themselves into the situation by accident like I did, as well as for people who use multitasking on a daily if not regular basis. But also, I’d like to have a solution that’s a less invasive than uninstalling and reinstalling an app. :-)

I couldn’t agree with you more I’m glad I was able to give you good help and hope you don’t have any more troubles with the Gmail app and iOS

Not sure if it is the same for every state, but where I live, one can go to the state web site for public health. There is a form to input one's name, phone number, etc. Once a match is made, a link is sent via SMS. I tapped the link in the SMS and the page that opened in Safari had a link that said something to the effect of "Add to Apple Health and Wallet." I tapped the link and sure enough, my vaccination record was added to both applications.

For you and for who has problems in receiving email notifications, try this procedure; beware though that translation could not correspond since my system is in Italian.
Go to settings, mail, notifications, and press the very latest button, customize notifications. Once you do that, select your account and make sure the alert checkbox is checked.

Hi.

I made one reply to this in in your other thread, but other than the shelf, what are you finding hard about multitasking in 15? Most of what you learnt in 14 should still work in 15 I think. The major advantage for me in 15 is that I can add apps to multitasking more easily from places other than the dock, like the home screen or the new app library.

After updating to iOS 15, I too noticed that my email notifications were not playing when I received emails. I went back into Notifications, within the Settings app, went to Mail, then at the bottom of the window, selected "Customize Notifications. In here, you have your multiple accounts that you've setup.

When I came here on my device, noticed that all accounts, except my iCloud account, the notifications were all turned off. Not sure how this happened as they were all turned on before updating.

You may want to check here to see if that is the same case for you and turn them back on. Hopefully, this will fix your issue.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Friday, October 29, 2021

In reply to by Stoo

I have also noticed this issue, but it only seems to pop up when you dictate text, then delete a letter in the dictated text and type a letter. Then when you navigate by word, VoiceOver reads a comma where you made the correction.

If you type the text instead of dictating, delete a letter and retype another one then navigate by word to the corrected word, then VoiceOver reads it perfectly fine.

Like I said, it only seems to happen with dictated text, not text that you type.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Saturday, October 30, 2021

Hey, all!

I'm noticing a possible bug when entering context menus.
I'm running 15.1 on an Ipad 7.

When ever I went into a context menu in previous IOS. versions, Voiceover would always make the blooping sound whenever one was opened. But, now, when I 1-finger double tap and hold to bring up a context menu, I get no feedback that one has been opened. This happens no matter where you open context menus.

Not sure if it's a change or bug. And I know it's small, but, if you use context menus a lot, like double-tapping and holding the tabs button in Safari, then it can be really annoying, because there's no indication that a context menu has opened up.

Has anyone else seen this? Maybe it's just me griping although I can tolerate it. Or maybe it is a bug? Or a behavior change? Who knows. I just thought I'd put this out there, in case anyone else was noticing this. Because like I said, while it's annoying, I can tolerate it.

You don't need to double tap and hold the tabs button in Safari. Just do a one finger triple tap. Works every time for me. I can't always get the double tap and hold to bring up the context menu. The one finger double tap is supposed to be the VO gesture for doing a normal long press.

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Saturday, October 30, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

I've been noticing a weird issue with input lag on the 13 pro max lockscreen when exploring by touch. Restarting fixes it temporarily. Anybody else noticing this? When I drag to find my notifications, it feels really floaty. I've sent a bug report to accessibility support about it.

Submitted by Kelly Sapergia on Sunday, October 31, 2021

I'm currently using iOS 14.8.1, but have been thinking of updating to 15.1. The thing that's holding me back relates to an issue with the first release of 15, where sounds from clock chiming apps wouldn't play. I'm wondering if this has been fixed?

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Monday, November 1, 2021

Has anyone found that tap to wake has stopped working after a few days of updating? Worked fine for a few days but does nothing now. I’ve turn the feature on and off and that hasn’t fixed it. b i’m also finding that when navigating any application or the home screen, frequently I find the VoiceOver jumps elsewhere and does a double tap meaning that either I end up in a context menu, or something else gets opened unintentionally. Initially I thought it was just the screen was too sensitive but not sure now.