Apple released iOS 16 for iPhones in September and the first major update is here! iOS 16.1 doesn’t just bring a bunch of features that weren’t in the first release, it’s also the first release of iPadOS 16, bringing Messages, Mail, and Safari updates that iPhone users have been enjoying for weeks. But there are also some new features just for the iPad. Here’s everything that’s new.
What’s new in iOS 16.1?
This is the first significant update after iOS 16, and will likely include some of the features not present in that initial release. Here’s what you can expect in iOS 16.1:
iCloud Shared Photo Library: After disappearing from the 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 a fair amount 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 with the percentage showing. 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 could not get the toggle (iPhones without Face ID could always show battery percentage next to the battery icon). With iOS 16.1, all those phones can now enable the feature.
Dynamic Island outline: 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 removed in iOS 16.1. This may have something to do with antitrust scrutiny in the European Union.
Clean Energy Charging: Open Settings > Battery > Battery Health and Charging to find the toggle. Apple describes the feature this way:
In your region, iPhone will try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available. iPhone learns from your daily charging routine so it can reach full charge before you need to use it.
Live Activities: With iOS 16.1, the Live Activities API is available for developers. Apps that use the new feature probably won’t be available in the App Store just yet, though.
Customize Lock screen or Home screen: When you tap “Customize” after a long press on the lock screen, you are now presented with a choice to customize either the Lock or Home screen. There’s a new interface to swap between wallpaper setups 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’ll find a “Matter Accessories” item, which will eventually list 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 appears to lay the groundwork for the forthcoming 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 is unclear if this will be surfaced to the public in 16.1 or a later release.
iPadOS 16.1 new features
In addition to many of the above features (with the notable exception of the customizable lock screen), iPad users will also get several features that are just for tablets.
Stage Manager: Apple has brought a completely new multitasking interface to its tablets called Stage Manager that uses windows rather than split screen apps.
Weather app: iPad users will finally have a Weather app on their tablet, with full-screen forecasts, radar, and gorgeous animations.
Desktop‑class apps: Several of the iPad main apps have been redesigned to include more Mac-like toolbars and menus, and there are more powerful ways to search and work within apps.
How to install the iOS 16 and iPadOS 16
To install the latest version of iOS 16 on your iPhone or iPad, head over to the Settings app, tap General and then select Software Update. From there, select Download and Install and follow the prompts.
iOS 16.1 release notes
Here are the official release notes for iOS 16.1:
iCloud Shared Photo Library
- Separate library for seamlessly sharing photos and videos with up to five other people
- Setup rules allow you to easily contribute past photos based on start date or people in the photos when you set up or join a library
- Library filters for quickly switching between viewing the Shared Library, your Personal Library, or both libraries together
- Shared edits and permissions let everyone add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos
- Sharing toggle in Camera lets you choose to send photos you take straight to the Shared Library, or enable a setting to share automatically when other participants are detected nearby using Bluetooth
- Live Activities from third-party apps are available in the 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 enables you to securely share car, hotel room, and other keys in Wallet using messaging apps such as Messages and WhatsApp
- Savings account enables Apple Card customers to grow their Daily Cash by depositing it in a high yield savings account
- Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard, is supported enabling a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across ecosystems
Clean Energy Charging
- New setting that can try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available
- Reader controls are automatically hidden as you start reading
This update also includes bug fixes for your iPhone:
- Deleted conversations may appear in the conversations list in Messages
- Dynamic Island content is not available when using Reachability
- CarPlay may fail to connect when using a VPN app
Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222.