iOS 15 only arrived on iPhones this past Monday (Sept. 20), but Apple already has an update in the works. And this version could make it easier to show the world you've been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
iOS 15.1, currently in beta, will introduce a change that lets Wallet show off verifiable vaccination cards. That's becoming a particularly necessary feature as the country re-opens after assorted lockdowns, and some venues and businesses start requiring proof of vaccination.
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iOS 15 could already let you download and securely store health records using the Health app. It sounds as if the iOS 15.1 update will let you include that vaccination info in the Wallet app for those times when you're required to show proof of your COVID jabs.
It's difficult to test the new vaccine vaccination card feature because it's partially dependent on individual states and countries adding support for digitally displaying verifiable vaccination cards. It sounds similar to another new feature in iOS 15 Wallet — the ability to digitally store and display state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards. That feature is rolling out on a state-by-state basis, with eight states committing to be among the first to support that feature.
You can read more about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination card feature in Apple's note to developers.
The iOS 15.1 beta is available now to both developers and participants in the public beta program — yes, the beta doesn't end just because the full software is out now. And while verifiable vaccine card support is the highlight of this update, it's not the only major change coming to iOS 15.
For instance, the iOS 15.1 beta restores the SharePlay feature Apple had removed from earlier iOS 15 betas. That capability, which lets you watch videos, listen to music or share your screen with other participants in FaceTime calls didn't debut with the full iOS 15 release, though Apple has said it will arrive in a future update. SharePlay's return to iOS 15.1 will likely stir speculation that we won't have to wait long for that feature to be ready for prime time.
The iOS 15.1 beta also adds support for Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio for both the HomePod and HomePod mini.