The digital dust has barely settled on the rollout of iOS 16, but another major iPhone software update is now imminent: iOS 16.1 is going to start appearing on devices from today (Monday, October 24), and there are numerous new features to look forward to alongside the usual bug fixes and security patches.
iOS 16 ushered in new lock screen customizations, the ability to unsend messages within a certain time window, a new privacy tool called Safety Check, and plenty more besides. But even with all of those upgrades now in place, Apple has been able to find even more ways to innovate with its software.
All the iPhones that can run iOS 16 can also run iOS 16.1, so we’re talking about every handset all the way back to the iPhone 8 (which was launched in 2017) and right up to the current iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. If you don’t get the update immediately today, sit tight: the download and install prompt should show up within a few days.
Here are the key features that you can look forward to:
iOS 16.1 new features
(Image credit: Apple)
Apple Fitness Plus without an Apple Watch
Apple’s fitness subscription service previously required an Apple Watch to do all the necessary monitoring, but iOS 16.1 lets you sign up without a wearable (your iPhone can do some of the tracking instead).
iCloud Shared Photo Library
Apple is making it easier to share photos and videos with family and friends through iCloud Shared Photo Library. Up to six people can be involved in the same library, and every participant can view, edit and delete files in the library.
More Live Activities
Live Activities are dynamic widgets that appear on the lock screen, and third-party apps will now be able to take advantage of them – think updates on your Uber, for example, or live score updates from sports matches that you’re interested in.
Clean Energy Charging
A new smart charging feature is being introduced with iOS 16.1, which will try to juice up your phone at times when the electricity grid is using clean energy. For the moment at least, this feature is only going to be available to US users.
Share keys through Apple Wallet
If you’re using the Wallet app on your iPhone to get into your car or your hotel room or whatever else, the iOS 16.1 update is going to let you share those keys through other apps (such as WhatsApp) as and when you need to.
Matter accessory support
Matter is the new smart home protocol that’s being backed by every major tech company (including Apple). The idea is that, at long last, all your smart home devices should communicate properly with each other, whatever the branding.
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