It’s often been the case in recent years that Apple’s major annual iOS release delivers some of the best improvements in the point releases that follow the major September release. That was certainly the case with iOS 16, where iOS 16.1 gave us Live Activities, support for Matter, a new battery percentage indicator, and iCloud Shared Photo Library.
The release of iOS 16.2 may be even bigger. It lets you enable full end-to-end encryption for more of your iCloud data, add a new Karaoke feature to Apple Music, improve the always-on display on iPhone 14 Pro, update the Home architecture, and more.
Update 12-13-22: iOS 16.2 has been released to all users. Key features include Apple Music Sing, advanced data protection, the Freeform app, and lock screen improvements. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to download it.
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: You can toggle an option to update Live Activities more frequently. Open Settings, select the app that supports Live Activities for which you want more frequent updates. Then choose Live Activities and enable the
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 was iOS 16.2 released?
Apple will release iOS 16.2 on Tuesday, December 13 around 10 a.m.
How do I install iOS 16.2
To get the latest iOS release, open it Settings app and tap Generalthe Software update. There you will see if a new version is available, with a Download and install knob. Tap it and follow the instructions.
If iOS 16.2 has just been released and you don’t see it yet, be patient. It may take up to an hour or two for the release to appear on the entire global content delivery network. If it’s been more than a day and you still don’t see the release available, consider turning your iPhone off and on again. Hold down the side button and volume button for a few seconds until you see a “Slide to Power off” bar (and several emergency options). Slide to power off, wait 20 seconds, then press and hold the side button for a few seconds to turn it back on.