iOS 16.0 was a surprisingly buggy release. But Apple heard your pain—iOS 16.1 squishes a bunch of bugs while bringing a few cool new features to your iPhone.
Video: Everything new in iOS 16.1
Apple delayed a few features that should’ve launched alongside iOS 16.0, which is never a good sign. And on the iPad side of things, iPadOS 16.0 is so full of bugs that Apple has decided to skip iPadOS 16.0 altogether and go straight for iPadOS 16.1.
Our video guy Michael Billig (@twitter.com/michael_billig) is so ticked off by those bugs that he created a whole video around all the bug fixes and changes in iOS 16.1.
Before we get to the fixes, let’s explore the new features in iOS 16.1, shall we?
1. Wallpaper customization
In Settings → Wallpaper, you can swipe through all your lock and home screens. You can also start creating your lock or home screen from there. In iOS 16.0, you could only edit your lock screens from the lock screen.
2. Battery percentage changes
iOS 16.1 brings the battery percentage feature to smaller, previously unsupported devices like iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini. The battery indicator in the status bar is also more legible due to the fill on the battery icon.
3. In-app content download
A new switch in Settings → App Store lets apps you download immediately fetch additional content from servers before they’re even launched. This is going to be great for major games that make you wait on first run until it downloads assets such as graphics and levels.
4. Lock screen charging indicator
Now when you connect your iPhone to power, the current battery charge percentage is displayed briefly right above the time. Just like it was before, just like it should be.
5. Live Activities API
iOS 16.1 lets third-party apps integrate with Live Activities, Apple’s new feature that displays live data such as sports scores on the lock screen and in Dynamic Island.
6. Device icon in the Music app
In iOS 16.1, connecting headphones to the device puts a corresponding glyph at the bottom of the interface. So if you connect your Beats Fit Pro, that’s what you’ll see in terms of iconography. Before iOS 16.1, the sound output menu was represented by an icon resembling AirDrop.
7. Clean energy charging
This new iOS 16.1 toggle in Settings → Battery activates a new clean energy charging feature. Apple says this reduces your carbon footprint by ensuring your iPhone selectively charges when lower carbon emission electricity is available.
“In your region, iPhone will try t reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available,” reads the description. “iPhone learns from your daily charging routing so it can reach full charge before you need to use it.” Read: How to quickly access Wallet and Apple Pay on the lock screen
8. Wallet app is removable
You can now delete iOS 16.1’s Wallet app if you don’t have use for it: Enter jiggle mode on the home screen and hit “x” to delete the app from the device. Note that this isn’t worth it if your only goal is to free up some storage space. Deleting Apple’s stock apps only removes the home screen icon while leaving all the dependencies intact so you’re looking at negligible savings in terms of storage space.
After you take a screenshot in iOS 16.1, you can tap a thumbnail to edit the screenshot. This is the same as before. What’s changed is what happens when you hit that Done button in the upper-left corner.
Before iOS 16.1, this would produce a share menu with several options. In iOS 16.1, this menu now appears at the top of the interface so you don’t have to move your finger from top to bottom when invoking this menu.
The major, annoying bugs fixed in iOS 16.1
I’ve never minded software bugs as they’re a fact of life.
I also never complain if a major iOS release breaks a few things before fixing them again because I understand the nature and complexity of operating systems.
But Michael is onto something when he complained about a litany of bugs that have ruined his experience with iOS 16. I cannot say I’m in the same boat because those teething issues don’t seem to occur as often on my iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Nevertheless, I have experienced almost every bug that, well, bugs Michael. Just the other day, for example, my phone’s always-on display went dead and I couldn’t get it back on without restarting. This is the only case of random freezing I’ve had so far.
The speaker being very loud briefly when typing is also something that I encountered on my device, maybe two times so far. I remember this particular bug manifesting itself on my last two phones so this isn’t new but I wish Apple fixed it already.
On the other hand, music playing long after an app that started is killed is something I’ve experienced almost every other day. It’s so annoying that I stopped listening to music on my new phone. Michael says iOS 16.0 made his home accessories respond sluggishly, but I haven’t noticed this. He also had a mixed experience with AirDrop (me, too!) as this feature seems very slow and unreliable in iOS 16.0.
Michael says that even the current beta of iOS 16.1 has fixed the aforementioned bugs for him. In fact, he says that iOS 16.1 beta 3 performs much more reliably than the shipping version of iOS 16.0—and that’s saying a lot!