Apple has released iOS 16 to the public, with the iPhone operating system update adding the Freeform app for all users.
Following a beta period that started on October 25, the update for iOS 16.2 is now downloadable to iPhone. While a milestone release, like iOS 16, provides many changes, a minor version number will typically add in features that missed the initial release, as well as the usual performance improvements and bug fixes.
An early discovery for the betas was the inclusion of the Freeform app, a collaborative tool that allows multiple people to work together and brainstorm on the same page.
There's also Apple Music Sing, a sing-along mode for Apple Music that allows you to adjust the vocals of a song so you can sing along with it. The lyrics are also displayed in a beat-by-beat manner, to make it easier to follow along.
Users of iCloud will also benefit from a new advanced data protection option, with an expansion of iCloud data categories protected with end-to-end encryption. The list now includes 23 categories, with the inclusion of iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos.
There have also been updates to the Weather app to link related News stories by location and weather conditions, while Live Activities could be updated more frequently, and started directly from Spotlight search.
The Lock Screen gains a new medications widget in two different sizes, as well as a Sleep widget. There is also a fix for a bug in the camera, which if opened from the Lock Screen, it prevented the "swiping up" gesture to head back to the lock screen.
For users who find they accidentally trigger Emergency SOS, there's a new option to report when it has gone off at the wrong time.
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 favorite 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
Advanced Data Protection for iCloud
- New option expands the total number of iCloud data categories protected using end-to-end encryption to 23 - including iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos - protecting your information even in the case of a data breach in the cloud
- 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 schedule
- 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 right from your Home Screen
- Live Activities for Apple TV app let you 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 a so 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
- Turn Off Hide IP Address setting enables 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 causes some notes not to sync with iCloud after updates are made
How to install iOS 16.2 on the iPhone
- Open the Settings app.
- Select General.
- Select Software Update.
- Select "Update to iOS 16.2."
If an iPhone is set to automatically update, it will handle downloading and installing iOS 16.2 on the user's behalf.