With the full release of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 in the rearview mirror, Apple has moved on to testing the next release. With iOS and iPadOS 16.2, we can expect to see the new Freeform app along with ongoing improvements to Stage Manger on the iPad (such as the return of support for external displays), along with other minor tweaks and fixes. We’re still waiting for SharePlay gaming support and the Satellite Emergency SOS feature on the latest iPhones.
Update 12/07/22: The iOS 16.2 release candidate is now available to developers and public beta testers. If no major issues are found, this is the version that will be released to everyone next week.
What’s new in iOS 16.2?
Here’s what we know is new in the latest iOS 16.2 beta. We will update this section as new features and changes are discovered.
Sing Apple Music: A new karaoke experience built into Apple Music. Learn more about Apple Music Sing.
iCloud Backup Encryption: Several new privacy features are coming in iOS 16.2, including stronger iCloud encryption, support for security keys, and iMessage Contact Key Verification.
AirDrop 10 minute limit: iOS 16.2 limits the “everyone” setting for AirDrop permissions to 10 minutes at a time. This change was first made in China and is now rolling out to the rest of the world.
Older notifications visible by default: In iOS 16.2 beta 4, Apple changed the way Notification Center displays notifications. You used to have to swipe up to see older notifications, now they are shown by default.
Always-on display options: For iPhone 14 Pro models, there are two new switches Settings > Display and brightness > Always on display. One lets you turn off the wallpaper when the always-on display is active, the other turns off notifications.
Sleep and Medication Widgets: The second beta added new lock screen widgets for sleep data and drug tracking from the Health app.
Free Form App: The latest betas of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13 add the new Freeform digital whiteboard app, first unveiled at WWDC this fall. Freeform is a productivity app for the iPhone, iPad and Mac that lets you collaborate with friends, family and colleagues on a digital whiteboard and share sketches, notes, files, web links, documents, photos, video and audio.
New house architecture: iOS 16.2 users have the option to update their home to a new architecture, which Apple says is faster and more reliable. All Home Hub devices such as HomePod and Apple TV must also be upgraded to 16.2.
More frequent Live Activity updates: While not yet in beta, 9to5Mac has seen code that suggests Apple will give users the ability to update Live Activities more frequently, at the cost of a bit of battery life.
iOS 16.2 release notes
Apple’s official release notes for iOS 16.2 are as follows:
– Freeform is a new app for creative collaboration with friends or colleagues on Mac, iPad and iPhone
– On a flexible canvas you can add files, images, stickies and more
Drawing tools let you sketch anywhere on the canvas with your finger
Sing Apple Music
– A new way to sing along to millions of your favorite songs in Apple Music
– Fully adjustable vocals let you duet with the original artist, sing solo or mix
– Newly improved beat-by-beat lyrics make it even easier to follow along with the music
Advanced data protection for iCloud
New option expands the total number of iCloud data categories protected with end-to-end encryption to 23 — including iCloud backup, notes, and photos — to protect your information even in the event of a data breach in the cloud
– New settings let you hide wallpapers or notifications when Always-On display is enabled on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
– The sleep widget allows you to view your most recent sleep data
– The medication widget allows you to view reminders and quickly access your schedule
– SharePlay support in Game Center for multiplayer games, so you can play with the people you’re on a FaceTime call with
– Activity widget allows you to see what your friends are playing and achieving in games right from your home screen
– With Live Activities for the Apple TV app, you can follow your favorite teams with live scores right on your lock screen or in Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
– Improved reliability and efficiency of communication between your smart home accessories and Apple devices
This update also includes the following improvements and bug fixes:
– Improved search in Messages allows you to find photos based on their content, such as a dog, car, person or text
– Disable the Hide IP address setting to allow iCloud Private Relay users to temporarily disable the service for a specific site in Safari
– News articles in Weather display information relevant to the weather in that location
– Participant cursors in notes allow you to see live indicators as others make updates in a shared note
– AirDrop now automatically reverts to Contacts Only after 10 minutes to prevent unwanted requests to receive content
– Crash detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models
– Fixes an issue that prevented some notes from syncing to iCloud after updates were made
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:
What’s new in iPadOS 16.2?
Unless otherwise noted, iPadOS 16.2 includes the same new features as iOS 16.2 where applicable, in addition to those listed below.
Stage Manager external display support: Pulled before the initial release of iPadOS 16.1, support for external displays is back in iPadOS 16.2 for iPads with the M1 or M2 chip. It allows iPad users to connect their tablet to a secondary display at resolutions up to 6K using Stage Manager.
When will iOS 16.2 be released?
We expect iOS 16.2 to likely release on December 13 or 14.
How to install iOS 16.2 public beta
This is the version of iOS 16.2 that most of us will be using before launch, as the developer beta, as the name suggests, is for registered developers only.
When the iOS 16 public beta comes out, you can install it using the following instructions.
- Click Sign Up on the Apple Beta page and register with your Apple ID.
- Sign up for the beta software program.
- Click Register your iOS device. (If you signed up for the beta of an earlier version last year, you may need to delete the profile for it and then re-enroll in the new version.)
- Go to beta.apple.com/profile on your iOS device.
- Download and install the configuration profile.
- You may need to jump to Settings to enable the profile. Go to General > VPN and device management and tap the iOS 16 beta profile there.
- That makes the beta available in the Settings app, below General > Software update.
How to install the iOS 16.2 Developer beta
Each stage of the iOS 16.2 development cycle rolls out first to developers and then to public beta testers (usually in about a day). If you’re a developer and need to test your apps against the most up-to-date version of the operating system possible, this is the one to run.
First check if your device is compatible. Quick read which iPhones and iPads can get iOS 16?
You must be registered as an Apple developer. Joining the Apple Developer Program costs $99 per year.
All done? Okay! Here’s how to install the iOS 16.2 developer beta in eight easy steps:
- In Safari on your iPhone or iPad, go to developer.apple.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
- Go to the To download section (you’ll find it in the menu on the left), scroll down to iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 beta and tap Install profilethen To accept.
- Open the Settings app. You should see Profile downloaded at the top of the main screen. Tap this. If you can’t see it, go to General > VPN and device management and tap the iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 beta profile there.
- Tap to install top right to install the iOS or iPadOS 16 beta profile.
- Read the developer’s consent form and (assuming you’re happy with the terms) give your consent.
- Restart your iPhone.
- Now go to Settings > General > Software update, where you should see iOS or iPadOS 16 beta available. Tap Download and install.
- Wait for your iPhone to finish downloading the update, then tap to install if requested.
And if everything worked properly, your iPhone is now running iOS 16 beta.
Risks and Precautions
First of all, note that betas are test versions of upcoming software. They are unfinished by definition, and while they should include most or all of the features of the final product, there will be cosmetic differences and, inevitably, some bugs and other issues to fix during the development process.
In other words, don’t expect a perfect user experience. In particular, some existing apps (including apps you may rely on) may not work perfectly with the new version. In extreme cases, your device may even be blocked by the beta version and cannot be used until the next beta version is available. It is not uncommon for early beta software to also show problems such as excessive battery drain.
The closer we get to the final launch of iOS 16.2, the more polished and complete we can expect the available betas to become. The opposite of that, of course, is that there’s less time left to wait for the official launch, so you won’t gain as much by installing a beta.
Assuming you decide to proceed, we can’t stress enough the importance of backing up your iPhone before installing a beta on your device, or better yet, use a secondary device instead from your main iPhone or iPad. You won’t lose everything if something goes wrong while the beta is being installed, and you can roll back to the latest version if you find you don’t like the new software or it contains too many bugs.