iOS 16.3 is here: try these new features on your iPhone now

iOS 16.3 is here: try these new features on your iPhone now

Apple’s iOS 16.3 update is now available and brings new features, bug fixes, and security updates to your iPhone. The update was released alongside updates to other Apple software, such as iPadOS, Safari, and earlier versions of iOS. The latest iOS update comes about a month after the release of iOS 16.2.

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These are the new features coming to your iPhone with iOS 16.3.

Support for second generation HomePod

Apple’s iOS 16.3 software supports the Second-generation HomePod, which will be released on February 3rd for $299 (£299, AU$479). Apple announced the release of the new HomePod four days before the latest iOS software became available.

New Unity wallpaper for Black History Month

A green, black and red wallpaper

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 band, a mosaic watch face and the new iPhone wallpaper. Apple also plans to release a selection of Black History Month content for Apple TV, Fitness Plus, Music, Maps, Books, Podcasts, and the App Store as part of the collection.

New ways to use Emergency SOS via satellite

Emergency SOS via satellite was introduced on Apple’s event in September. In iOS 16.3, the Call on hold option has been replaced by Call with hold and release. If you enable 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, release the buttons and your iPhone will call the emergency services itself. Before with Call on hold, pressing the side button and a volume button first would open the SOS emergency call slider. If you continued to hold the buttons, the countdown would begin and an alarm would sound. After the countdown ends, your phone will make an emergency call.

Security Keys screen in iOS 16.3 beta

Security keys add more protection to your device.

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

There is also an option to Call quietly in emergency SOS. If you enable this option, your phone will not flash or sound an alarm when you try to make an SOS emergency call.

Security keys come to Apple ID

Users can now use third-party security keys instead of two-factor authentication for their Apple ID.

Security keys are much like keys to your home. You still use passwords, but this extra layer of security can help protect you from phishing and hackers.

“Hardware security keys are very, very secure,” said Diya Jolly, chief product officer of authentication services company Okta. CNET’s Stephen Shankland.

Apple’s security key feature only works with FIDO Alliance certified security keys.

Here is the list of new features and changes in iOS 16.3.

  • New Unity wallpaper celebrates black history and culture in honor of Black History Month.
  • Apple ID security keys allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two-factor authentication sign-in process on new devices.
  • Support for HomePod (2nd generation).
  • SOS emergency calls now require you to hold down the side button with the volume up or down button and then release to avoid accidental emergency calls.
  • Resolves an issue in Freeform where some strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards.
  • Resolves an issue where the background appears black on the lock screen.
  • Resolves an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear when waking up the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • Resolves an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately reflect the status of the Home app.
  • Fixes an issue where Siri may not respond correctly to music requests
  • Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly.

For more iOS 16 news, check out the new features in iOS 16.2 and iOS 16.1. Here’s how you can sign up to test Apple’s iOS beta softwareat.


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