Apple’s latest iPhone and iPad software updates are out and unlike many updates to the operating systems this time both iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 include some quite chunky feature enhancements this time around, certainly more so than in 16.1. As always, you can get it by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If you have an older iPhone that’s not eligible for iOS 16, Apple has also released iOS 15.7.2 including security updates.
So what’s in iOS/iPadOS 16.2? Firstly, there’s support for Freeform, which is a new app that’s also available for the Mac. This is an Apple-developed cross-device whiteboard app that clashes directly with Microsoft’s OneNote. The iPad has needed a better way to capture freeform (clue’s in the name) Apple Pencil-developed ideas for some years and here it is. As you’d expect there’s a flexible canvas onto which you can pin files and other bits.
With Freeform you can collaborate with other iClouders easily (including via FaceTime) and sync all your stuff across devices as you’d expect. If you don’t have a device with iOS/iPadOS 16.2 on it, receiving a collaboration link will encourage you to go to the App Store to view Freeform, which will in turn tell you that you need iOS 16.2 or later.
Also new (and very welcome) on the iPad is the support for external displays on M1 and M2 iPads – this delayed the October launch of iPadOS and was removed in an earlier beta as it didn’t work properly but it’s now made a return.
Then there’s Apple Music Sing, Apple Music’s new karaoke mode, more support for end-to-end encryption in iCloud. Finally, there’s also support for the incoming Matter smart home standard, which Apple is a founding member of.
And among the other enhancements is something we asked for when considering the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display – the ability to turn off the wallpaper which makes it so bright. Now, you can hide the wallpaper or notifications when Always-On display is enabled on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Apple TV also gets a new update with tvOS 16.2. This enables you to have previously-promised profile support for up to six different family members with Recognize My Voice support – you can use commands like: “What should I watch?”, “Play my music” or “Switch to my profile.” You can also choose your Siri language to be different from the one your Apple TV displays. Go to Settings > General > Siri Language. You can also use Apple Music Sing on the new Apple TV 4K.
Apple iOS 16.2 release notes
- Freeform is a new app for working creatively with friends or colleagues on Mac, iPad and iPhone
- A flexible canvas lets you add files, images, stickies and more
- Drawing tools let you sketch anywhere on the canvas with your finger
Apple Music Sing
- A new way to sing along with millions of your favourite songs in Apple Music
- Fully adjustable vocals let you duet with the original artist, sing solo or mix it up
- Newly enhanced beat-by-beat lyrics make it even easier to follow along with the music
Emergency SOS via Satellite
- Support for users to connect with emergency services when mobile data and Wi-Fi coverage are not available on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models
- New settings allow you to hide wallpaper or notifications when Always-On display is enabled on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
- Sleep widget lets you view your most recent sleep data
- Medications widget lets you view reminders and quickly access your list of medication
- SharePlay support in Game Center for multiplayer games so you can play with the people you are on a FaceTime call with
- Activity Widget allows you to see what your friends are playing and achieving in games straight from your Home Screen
- 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, like a dog, car, person or text
- Reload and Show IP Address setting enables iCloud Private Relay users to temporarily disable the service for a specific site in Safari
- 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 optimisations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models
- Fixes an issue that causes some notes to not sync with iCloud after updates are made
For more, visit Apple’s support site.