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Hey there, listeners. It's Brett Molina. Welcome back to Talking Tech. My co-host Mike Snider is off today. On Monday, Apple released iOS 15.1, an update to its operating system for iPhones, which is going to introduce a few new features, including SharePlay, where users can participate on a FaceTime call with family and friends and share experiences like watching a movie or watching a TikTok or watching a basketball game and it all happens within FaceTime. One important update that also arrives with iOS 15.1 is the option for iPhone owners to add their COVID vaccine cards directly in Apple Wallet. Apple unveiled this feature last month. So when iOS 15 arrived in September, Apple offered iPhone users the choice to store their vaccine and test result records from providers within the Health app. Now, what you can do is take those same records and turn them into your own personal card that will live on Apple Wallets.
So just like you would pull out, say, a rewards card from a grocery store, for example, or your Starbucks card, you open up Apple Wallet and your COVID vaccine card is right there. You have several options for including your vaccine card on Apple Wallet. If there's a QR code involved, it's pretty simple. You take your camera app, you scan that QR code, you'll tap the Health app notification and it pops up as soon as the reader recognizes that QR code. Then you can add it to your Wallet and Health apps. If you already have your vaccine record in the Health app, you just open it and it'll offer you the option to add it to your Wallet. You can also download a verifiable health record from your provider and add that to the Health and Wallet apps. Now, a lot of this varies by provider.
So the best thing you can do is you go into the Health app, you click on the little icon for your account and your settings, and it should have an option there for health records. If you go in there, it'll offer you a list of the different providers that are near you that are eligible to do this so you have a sense of how to do this and how to add this to your phone. So this update is one of several ways that smartphone owners can keep a copy of their COVID vaccine cards.
If you have an Android phone, both Samsung and Google have their own separate wallet apps that allow you to add a COVID vaccine card to that. Just to give you a sense of what it's going to look like on iPhone, the Wallet card that verifies that you've been vaccinated it'll show which COVID vaccine you received, whether it's Johnson & Johnson, or Moderna, or Pfizer, the dates of your doses, the healthcare provider, and then you have that QR code, again, a quick and easy thing for providers or anyone to scan to verify that you have the vaccine.
If you can't do this yet, if your provider for some reason doesn't offer this and you are not able to do it, there are some other options you have as well. The simplest way is take a photo of the physical COVID card that you got when you got vaccinated and keep that in an album. There are hidden albums available on iPhone. You can just drop it in there and then that way it doesn't pop up on your camera roll. And whenever you need it, you just quickly go to your Photos app, pull up that hidden album, and it's right there waiting for you.
You can read more about all this, how to add COVID vaccine cards to your phone, how to do this on iPhone if you want to add to Apple Wallet, just go to tech.usatoday.com for more. Let's just hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions, or show ideas, any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter @brettmolina23. Please don't forget to subscribe and rate us or leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcasts. You've been listening to Talking Tech. We'll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Add your COVID card to Apple Wallet: Talking Tech podcast