Apple released iOS 16 for iPhones in September and the first major update is here! Not only does iOS 16.1 offer a ton of features not included in the first release, it’s also the first release of iPadOS 16, bringing Messages, Email, and Safari updates that iPhone users have been enjoying for weeks. But there are also some new features especially for the iPad. Here’s everything new.
What’s New in iOS 16.1?
This is the first major update after iOS 16 and will likely include some of the features that weren’t present in that initial release. Here’s what to expect in iOS 16.1:
iCloud Shared Photo Library: After disappearing from betas just before the launch of iOS 16, iCloud Shared Photo Library is back. It will be available in iOS and iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura.
Battery percentage indicator: After receiving quite a bit of criticism in the initial release of iOS 16, Apple has tweaked the behavior of the new battery percentage indicator in the status bar. Now the battery icon will gradually fill and empty depending on how much juice is left, even if the percentage is displayed. In iOS 16.0, the icon stayed full until it dipped below 20 percent.
Battery percentage on more phones: When the battery percentage indicator returned in iOS 16, it left out a few phones. The iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, and iPhone 13 mini couldn’t get the switch (iPhones without Face ID could always show the battery percentage next to the battery icon). With iOS 16.1, all those phones can now enable the feature.
Dynamic island overview: If you have a very dark background, there is now a gray border around the Dynamic Island when the phone is locked or the Dynamic Island is in use.
Wallet app: The Wallet app can be uninstalled in iOS 16.1. This may have something to do with antitrust control in the European Union.
Charging clean energy: Open Settings > Battery > Battery status and charging to find the switch. Apple describes the feature like this:
In your area, iPhone will try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when electricity with lower CO2 emissions is available. iPhone learns from your daily charging routine so it can be fully charged before you need to use it.
Live Activities: With iOS 16.1, the Live Activities API is available to developers. Apps that use the new feature are likely not yet available in the App Store.
Customize the lock screen or home screen: When you tap “Customize” after long-pressing the lock screen, you will now be given a choice to customize the lock screen or the home screen. There is a new interface to switch between wallpaper settings in Settings > Wallpaper.
Matter support: The first indication of support for the Matter smart home accessories standard was present in iOS 16.1 beta 1. In Settings > General you will find a ‘Matter Accessories’ item, which will eventually display all Matter accessories that have been added to a connected service. The section was later removed in beta 3.
Satellite SOS Groundwork: Code in iOS 16.1 seems to lay the groundwork for the upcoming Satellite SOS feature, including text strings showing features, onboarding, and even a “demo” mode so users can see how it works without actually contacting emergency services. It’s unclear if this will be revealed to the public in 16.1 or a later release.
iPadOS 16.1 new features
In addition to many of the features above (with the notable exception of the customizable lock screen), iPad users also get several features that are only for tablets.
Stage manager: Apple has brought an all-new multitasking interface to its tablets called Stage Manager that uses windows instead of split-screen apps.
Weather app: iPad users finally have a Weather app on their tablet, with full screen forecasts, radar and beautiful animations.
Desktop class apps: Several of the main iPad apps have been redesigned to include more Mac-like toolbars and menus, and there are more powerful ways to search and work in apps.
How to install the iOS 16 and iPadOS 16
To install the latest version of iOS 16 on your iPhone or iPad, go to the Settings app, tap General and then select Software update. Select from there Download and install and follow the directions.
iOS 16.1 Release Notes
Here are the official release notes for iOS 16.1:
iCloud Shared Photo Library
- Dedicated library for seamlessly sharing photos and videos with up to five other people
- Installation rules make it easy to contribute past photos based on the start date or people in the photos when you set up or join a library
- Library filters to quickly switch between viewing the shared library, your personal library, or both libraries together
- Shared edits and permissions allow anyone to add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos
- With the sharing switch in Camera, you can choose to send photos you take directly to the shared library, or enable a setting to automatically share when other participants nearby are detected via Bluetooth
- Live activities from third-party apps are available on Dynamic Island and on the lock screen for iPhone 14 Pro models
- Apple Fitness+ is supported on iPhone, even if you don’t have an Apple Watch
- Key sharing allows you to securely share car, hotel room and other keys in Wallet using messaging apps like Messages and WhatsApp
- With a savings account, Apple Card customers can grow their daily cash by depositing it into a high-yield savings account
- Matter, the new standard for smart home connectivity, is supported, enabling a wide range of smart home accessories to work together in different ecosystems
Charging with clean energy
- New institution that can try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when electricity with lower CO2 emissions is available
- Reader controls are automatically hidden when you start reading
This update also includes bug fixes for your iPhone:
- Deleted conversations can be displayed in the conversation list in Messages
- Dynamic Island content is not available when using Reachability
- CarPlay may not be able to connect when using a VPN app
Some features may not be available in all regions or on all Apple devices. For information about the security content of Apple software updates, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222.