Apple iOS 16.2 Release: Should You Upgrade?

Apple iOS 16.2 Release: Should You Upgrade?

Apple has released iOS 16.2 for all iOS 16 compatible iPhones, after months of beta testing. The update is packed with new features and important security fixes. Here’s everything you need to know.

Tip: bookmark this page as I will keep it updated if/when new issues are found. I will give my final verdict in a week.

Who is it for?

Apple iOS 16.2 is available for all iOS 16-compatible devices, namely the iPhone 8/iPhone X and newer. iOS 16 dropped support for the iPhone 6S and 7 series and the iPod Touch.

Apple’s confirmation of automatic update delays means that eager updaters will have to manually activate the update by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If you’re using newer beta software (see ‘The way forward’ section at the end), you’ll need to write down your device before the update appears.

Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates, iPadOS or macOS, but I will touch on relevant issues in these guides.

The Deal Breakers

The first 24 hours for iOS 16.2 are very encouraging. Major software updates tend to introduce more bugs than minor ones under the age change more/break more proverb. Still, it ran smoothly mainly based on user feedback on social media, Reddit, and Apple’s support community forums.

I have noticed isolated reports of errors with eSim, touch response and wallpaperwhile Apple Music apparently will should never be error free. But there’s a sense of calm around the update unlike anything I’ve seen since iOS 16 was released.

Needless to say, much could still change as an increasing number of users update, but the signs look good so far.

So what do you get?

iOS 16.2 includes multiple new features and fixes, with Apple’s release notes saying:

This update introduces Freeform, an app that provides a great place to brainstorm and bring your ideas to life. This version also adds Apple Music Sing, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, Lock Screen improvements and other features and bug fixes for your iPhone.

Free form

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, stickers and more

With drawing tools, you can 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 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 backups, notes, and photos—and protects your information even in the event of a data breach in the cloud

Lock screen

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 see your most recent sleep data

Medication Widget lets you view reminders and quickly access your schedule

Games Center

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

Apple TV

Live Activity for Apple TV app lets 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

at home

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

Reload and Show IP Address setting allows 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 indicators in Notes allow you to see live indicators as others make updates to 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 to not sync with iCloud after updates are made

Surprisingly, Apple left out arguably the most important functionality of iOS 16.2: it finally brings 5G compatibility to iPhones in India. Addressing a problem that has affected users for years.

Apart from this, Freeform is the main news. Freeform is a digital canvas app that allows iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to collaborate in real-time, contributing everything from doodles and images to documents, URLs, and more. It is compatible with the Apple Pencil on iPad and works with FaceTime. Freeform is intuitive yet powerful, and I believe it can be a game changer for many users, whether it’s used for business or brainstorming with friends and family.

Also of note is Apple’s ‘Advanced Data Protection’ for iCloud, which offers end-to-end encryption, and iCloud Private Relay, which encrypts web traffic leaving your device, though it requires an iCloud+ subscription.

As for fixes, the new lock screen improvements have been long-awaited for iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max owners, while collision detection optimizations have been critical after the emergency services feature made headlines for launching on roller coasters and ski slopes.

iOS 16.2 Security

Apple’s iOS 16.2 security page reveals that this sample update contains a whopping 35 security fixes, with nine delivering fixes for WebKit (the Safari browser engine) alone.

Accounts, graphics drivers, the iTunes Store, Apple Photos, printing, and even the Weather app are other areas where iOS 16.2 suppresses potential security exploits.

Apple iOS 16.2 Verdict: Upgrade

Apple iOS 16.2 is shaping up to be the most significant release since iOS 16. It delivers a compelling combination of new functionality and privacy, critical security arrangements and stability.

If you’re eager to get your hands on the latest features and solutions, this is the green light. For more cautious upgraders, I’ll give my final verdict in a week, so bookmark this page.

The way forward

Expect Apple to announce the first iOS 16.3 beta soon, while I wouldn’t be surprised to see iOS 16.2.1 launch relatively early in the new year. As stable as iOS 16.2 looks, there is always something to fix after major updates.

If you want to try Apple’s next updates before they are released to the wider public, you can join the Apple Beta Software Program. But remember that – by definition – you can expect a bumpy ride.


Follow Gordon on Facebook

MORE FROM FORBESApple iOS 16 Release: Should You Upgrade?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *