iOS 16.3 Is Here: Try These New Features on Your iPhone Now
Apple’s iOS 16.3 update is now available bringing new features, bug fixes and security updates to your iPhone. The update was also released alongside updates to other Apple software, like iPadOS, Safari, and previous versions of iOS. The latest iOS update comes around a month after the release of iOS 16.2.
Here are the new features coming to your iPhone with iOS 16.3.
Second-generation HomePod support
Apple’s iOS 16.3 software will support the second-generation HomePod, which is due out February 3 for $299 (£299, AU$479). Apple announced the release of the new HomePod four days before the latest iOS software was made available.
New Unity wallpaper for Black History Month Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET
The latest iOS update includes a new iPhone wallpaper as part of Apple’s Black Unity collection. The collection celebrates Black History Month with a special-edition Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop, mosaic dial, and new iPhone wallpaper. Apple also plans to release selected Black History Month content for Apple TV, Fitness Plus, Music, Maps, Books, Podcasts and App Store as part of the collection.
New ways to use Emergency SOS via satellite
Satellite Emergency SOS was showcased at Apple’s event in September. In iOS 16.3, the Call Waiting option has been replaced with Call Waiting and Release. If you activate Call with hold and release, you can press and hold the side button and a volume button to start a countdown and an alarm. After the countdown, you release the buttons and your iPhone will call emergency services on its own. Before with Call with Hold, pressing the side button and a volume button first brought up the emergency SOS call slider. If you continue to hold the buttons, a countdown starts and an alarm sounds. After the countdown is over, your phone would make an emergency call.
Security keys further protect your device.
Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET
There is also an option to silently call for SOS emergencies. By enabling this option, when you try to make an emergency SOS call, your phone will not start flashing or sound an alarm.
Security keys are coming to Apple ID
Users can now use third-party security keys instead of two-factor authentication for their Apple ID.
Security keys are a lot like your house keys. You’re still using passwords, but that extra layer of security can help protect you from phishing scams and hackers.
“Hardware security keys are very, very secure,” Diya Jolly, product manager of authentication services company Okta, told CNET’s Stephen Shankland.
Apple’s security keys feature only works with FIDO Alliance certified security keys.
Here is the list of new features and changes included in iOS 16.3.
The new Unity wallpaper pays homage to black history and culture to celebrate Black History Month. Apple ID Security Keys allow users to increase account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two-factor authentication process on new devices. Support for HomePod (second generation). Emergency SOS calls now require holding down the side button with the volume up or down button and then releasing it in order to avoid inadvertent emergency calls. Fixes an issue in Freeform where certain drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards. Fixes an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the lock screen. Addresses an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear when waking up the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display the status of the Home app. Fixes an issue where Siri may not respond correctly to music requests Fixes issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be well understood.
For more information on iOS 16, see New Features in iOS 16.2 and iOS 16.1. Here’s how you can also sign up to test Apple’s iOS beta software.
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