It hasn’t been that long since Apple released iOS 16.0 with over 350 new features, but iOS 16.1 is hot on its tail with more cool updates for your iPhone. While some of the recent upgrades have been expected, others are somewhat surprising — and there’s even one you might not think possible.
Apple’s iOS 16.1 update is still in beta testing, but you can install the beta version on your iPhone now if you want to start testing the features below before anyone else. Some of these features are also appearing on iPadOS 16.1 for the iPad, and are also still in beta.
1. Bigger battery numbers
In iOS 16.0, Apple finally added a switch in the battery settings on Face ID devices to Enable battery percentage in the status bar, something that Touch ID devices have been able to do for a long time. The update put the percentage inside the battery icon, and iOS 16.1 makes the numbers bigger and easier to see. Below, you can see the before and after icons in light and dark modes.
2. Battery percentage for more iPhones
While iOS 16.0 allows us to add the battery percentage to the battery icon in the status bar on Face ID devices, it is Not available on all Face ID models. Specifically, the iPhone Xs, 11, 12 mini, and 13 mini are left out, presumably due to their smaller screens. The iOS 16.1 update adds support for these models, so all iPhone models that can run iOS 16 can now get the new battery icon.
3. Clean energy charging
Go to Settings -> Battery, then open the “Battery Health & Charging” menu, which was previously only “Battery Health”, and you’ll see a new option called “Clean Energy Charging”.
Apple says your iPhone will “attempt to reduce your carbon footprint by selective charging when low-carbon electricity is available.” He goes on to say that your iPhone “learns from your daily charging routine until it reaches a full charge before you need to use it.”
The setting should be automatically enabled by default, but the “More Info” link goes to a non-existent webpage, which should be published when the iOS 16.1 firmware is released.
Live activities are finally here. They appear at the bottom of your iPhone’s lock screen, as well as in Dynamic Island for iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max models, and displays the latest application data, updated in real time.
Live Sports in the Apple TV app is one example of what Live Activities can do. Choose a live game available in your area from the Live Sports section, then press the Continue button. You will then see game-by-play and real-time results on your lock screen and in Dynamic Island if you have an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max. For now, I can only play it with MLB games.
According to Apple, Live Activity can only be active for up to eight hours on Dynamic Island, but it can last up to 12 hours on the lock screen. So on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, Live Activity from Dynamic Island will disappear after eight hours but remain on the lock screen for up to four more hours. Needless to say, you can stop following a live activity at any time.
There are also four different viewing modes for live activities on the dynamic island: compressed front view, compressed back view, lowered view, and expanded view.
5. Live Activities API
Live Activity isn’t just available to Apple apps – any third-party developer can integrate it into their apps using the new ActivityKit framework. Examples of activities you can track include Uber or Lyft delivery, UPS or FedEx package delivery, GrubHub or DoorDash food delivery, Starbucks or Target pickup, exercise with Nike or Health, etc.
While developers are now building live activities for their apps, you won’t be able to try any of them until the iOS 16.1 stable release comes out. That’s because developers can’t send their updated apps with live activities to the App Store until iOS 16.1 Release Candidate, the last beta, is available. You may be able to find it TestFlight beta applications that test live activities.
6. Download in-app content before launching apps for the first time
There’s a new toggle in Settings -> App Store for “in-app content”, which will “automatically run apps in the background to download content before you launch them for the first time” when enabled. You will notice the change mostly in games and navigation apps which need a lot of resources to run properly. The App Store has file size limits, but developers can push the required resources after the initial installation of the app.
It is unclear if the feature applies only during the initial installation of the app or if new in-app content can also be installed in the background after installing an app update manually or automatically. After installing the iOS 16.1 update, this toggle should be enabled by default.
Prior to iOS 16.1, you had to have an Apple Watch to subscribe to Fitness+ in the Fitness app. Now, you don’t need one, but you will lose all the health and fitness metrics displayed on your Apple Watch during your workout. If you don’t care about this data and just want to keep up with your workout session, Fitness+ is now a viable option.
iOS 16.0 update added Nearly 60 new actions in the Shortcuts app, and iOS 16.1 adds a few more. One of them is the “Get Current Focus” of the Settings app, which restores the currently active focus. The other is Search Shortcuts for the Shortcuts app, which opens the shortcuts and searches for the selected text.
9. Delete Apple Wallet
If you don’t use Apple Pay, Apple Cash, Apple Card, or Store loyalty cards and tickets in Apple Wallet, you can finally delete the Apple Wallet app. Previously, you could only remove it from the Home screen, and hide it in the App Library, but now it can be gone forever.
10. Lock screen customization changes
Apple makes Lock screen and home screen customization are less confusing in iOS 16.1. Now, when you hit the “Customize” lock screen button in the lock screen changer, it will give you the choice between modifying the lock screen or the home screen wallpaper.
Previously, it would go directly to the lock screen editor when you tap “Personalize”. Then, when you are done modifying it, you will get the option to “Set as wallpaper pair” or “Customize the home screen”. You will still see these two options when adding a new lock screen.
11. Toggle wallpaper pairs from Settings
Apple continues to tweak background management, and iOS 16.1 gives us better options via Settings -> Backgrounds. Before, you could only customize your existing wallpapers or add a new pair – you can’t switch between all your pairs. The new interface fixes that.
The wallpaper settings will show the current pair of wallpapers, you can swipe left or right to find the set of wallpaper you want to switch to, and you can press Set as current to make the change. While there is a redesigned Add New Wallpaper button below the previews, you can also swipe left to the end of the previews and hit the plus sign (+) in the empty group to create and use a new pair.
When you click on the thumbnail after Taking a screenshot to open the editor, everything should look the same until it’s time to exit the editor. Click Done and instead of the large action sheet occupying the lower half of the screen (Leave the screenshot below), you’ll get a smaller context menu near the same “Done” button (Correct screenshot below).
If you use Family Sharing to share content with your partner, children, and other family members, iCloud Shared Photo Library is another feature that you can take advantage of right now. It can be shared with up to five users, and everyone can add, edit, favorite, comment and delete content.
You can include all of your photos in the shared library or use the setup tools to include only specific content based on a start date or a group of people. People can also add content manually or share media automatically via a switch in the Camera app, using a Bluetooth proximity trigger, or from Share Suggestions in For You.
Content from your iCloud Shared Photo Library may appear in the Photos widget, under Featured Photos in For You, or as Memory Videos.
Matter, a new unified open communication standard for Home, Siri, Control Center and HomeKit-based apps enables secure IP-based communication between a wide range of smart home devices and accessories.
designed by Communication Standards Alliance, which includes hundreds of companies like Apple, Amazon and Google, the royalty-free protocol makes devices and accessories from different companies work together seamlessly across platforms. According to Apple, it will “provide more choice and interoperability for customers.”
Amazon EchoAnd the Google HomeAnd the Samsung SmartThings These are just some of the smart home technologies that will work with Matter. To use Matter accessories, you’ll need a home hub, such as an Apple TV or HomePod device.
Although it is not there now, you may be able to see all connected Matter extensions via Settings -> General -> Important Extensions.
15. Game Center improvements
The The Contacts app will display your friends’ Game Center profiles, and you can tap on them to see what games they’re playing and what they’ve achieved. There’s also a new toggle in Game Center for “Allow friends to find it” and a new screen called “Help Your Friends find you.”
Help your Game Center friends find you more easily based on the name they have for you in their Contacts app. To do this, Game Center will use the email address and phone number associated with your Apple ID.
Multiplayer games that work with Game Center are also expected to work with SharePlay, so you can play games with your friends during FaceTime calls.
When you connect your iPhone to power on iOS 16.0.2 and earlier, it displays the battery icon on the lock screen with the current battery percentage below it. In iOS 16.1, it shows the current charging over battery, and when you tap your iPhone to wake it up, you’ll also see the current charging over time to keep you updated on charging progress.
iOS 16.1 software adds a new AirPods Pro 2 settings key for “Volume Swipe”. With it turned on, which was the only option before iOS 16.1, you can adjust the volume by swiping up or down on the sensor on the stem of your AirPods Pro. When it’s off, swiping won’t do anything, which is helpful if you keep accidentally adjusting the volume.
What is missing?
There are still a few things Apple said will come later this year that are not yet fully implemented on iOS 16.1, including sharing keys across messaging apps, starting live activities from a Spotlight search result, app clips direct activities, and the look Its new free. Application.
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