Maybe you just unboxed a shiny new iPhone, maybe your first iPhone ever. Maybe you just don’t pay much attention to those iOS update notifications and you finally got around to hitting the update button. (If you haven’t already, do it now: open Settings, tap Generalthan Software update.)
Apple’s big iOS update this year brings some huge improvements and more have been added with the point releases – the latest being iOS 16.2, which adds several new welcome features. If you’ve updated to the latest version, take a moment to do these five things first.
Customize your lock screen
The most obvious improvement in iOS 16 is the new customizable lock screen. You can set custom wallpapers in a variety of styles, even allowing your iPhone to automatically choose highlight photos on a rotation. You can change the clock font and choose widgets from many different apps (Apple’s and third-party apps) to see quick information at a glance.
iOS 16.2 made some changes to the lock screen. In particular, the Set Wallpaper Photo Shortcut can now set photos for wallpapers that use iOS 16’s new widgets and customization options. There are also new sleep and medicine widgets, and you can customize the always-on display on the iPhone 14 Pro to hide the wallpaper and notifications.
To get to the lock screen settings, press and hold on the lock screen wallpaper until you see the Collections screen. Crane To adjust to edit your current lock screen, or the blue “plus” icon to create a new one. Apple offers several backgrounds to get you started or you can select your own from your photo library.
Encrypt all your iCloud data
By default, Apple encrypts some data you store or sync with iCloud on your device, such as health data, but other data is encrypted in transit and on Apple’s servers. The catch is, Apple has the encryption key and can decrypt and view your data if it wants to.
A new feature in iOS 16.2, which Apple calls Advanced Data Protection, enables end-to-end encryption for much more of your iCloud data: photos, notes, iCloud backups, and more. You have the key and Apple doesn’t, so it’s safer from hackers or overzealous government demands.
To enable it, go to Settings, tap your Apple ID profile at the top of the screen, then tap iCloud. Scroll down a bit to Advanced data protection and tap on that.
You will have to jump through some hoops. First, all your Apple devices using that Apple ID must be updated to iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, tvOS 16.2, or macOS 13.1. Second, you should have some kind of backup in case you lose your passcode. You can add a trusted device as a recovery contact or generate your own recovery key (or both!).
Finally, if you’ve just added a new device to your account, you may not be able to turn it on yet – a simple security measure to keep your data safe from hackers or identity thieves. If you get a warning that you can’t turn it on until a future date, use Siri to set a reminder! Say “Hey Siri, remind me to turn on advanced data protection [the date you can enable it].”
Upgrade your home
With iOS 16, Apple has given the Home app a much-anticipated makeover. You may want to open the Home app and rearrange your rooms and screens. Try tapping some buttons instead of long-pressing them, or tapping the device icon instead of the entire tile. But there’s more. In iOS 16.2, Apple introduced a brand new architecture under the hood. Your devices may not have updated to it yet!
Open the Home app, then tap the (…) menu button in the top right. Select Home Settings and scroll down and tap Software update when you see it. When you see it Home upgrade available select that at the top of the screen to get started upgrading your smart home architecture. You may also need to update some other devices such as HomePods or Apple TVs. However, it is worth it. The new architecture makes all your HomeKit-enabled smart home stuff much more responsive and reliable.
Note: If you don’t see the option to upgrade, it’s because Apple removed it due to a sharing issue. Apple says the removal is temporary and will restore the option soon.
Discover that new Weather app
The Weather app is one of the most used apps on iPhone and iOS 16 completely changed it. It has a new look, of course, but also uses technology Apple acquired when it bought Dark Sky to give you up-to-the-minute hyper-local forecasts. But all the new stuff isn’t immediately obvious if you don’t poke around a bit.
Scroll through the weather page, tap on different days and tap on each of the blocks: Air Quality, Radar, Wind, Humidity…each tile in the app gives you information at a glance, but can also be touched for detailed data and graphs. You might even consider adding the Weather widget to your home screen. Long press on an empty area of your home screen until everything “jiggles”, tap the (+) button in the top left and select the Weather widget.
Even if you’re already familiar with it, there’s a new News section in iOS 16.2 that shows relevant weather reports for your city.
Track your medications
We all have vitamins and medicines that we take every day or week and now the Health app can help you keep track of them all and even remind you to take them on the schedule you set. It’s all super secure (HIPAA compliant and end-to-end encrypted) and really easy.
Open the Health app and tap To leaf through bottom of the screen. Crane Medicines start. When you tap Add medication you can search for it by name or tap the camera icon to literally scan your bottle! For each vitamin or drug, you can set a schedule to take it and receive notifications to remind you if you want.
In iOS 16.2, there is also a new drug tracking widget that you can add to the lock screen. Tap Customize, tap the widget area, scroll down to Health and drag the Medicine widget onto the screen.