New iOS 16.1 features include Fitness+ on iPhone, iCloud Shared Photo Library, the Live Activities API, Matter support, battery percentage changes and more.
Apple releases iOS 16.1 for iPhone
On October 24, 2022, Apple released the new iOS 16.1 software for the iPhone. To install an over-the-air update, go to Settings → General → Software Update.
Your iPhone must be connected to power and have at least fifty percent battery charge for the update to complete. Installing the update over the air will refresh the operating system on your device without deleting anything.
iCloud Shared Photo Library
You can now create a separate Photos library to share media with five other people. Everyone can contribute their past photos and videos based on parameters such as start date or people in the photos. Edits are shared across devices, with permissions allowing other people to add, edit, favorite, caption and delete photos.
You can quickly switch between your personal library, your shared one or both in the Photos app. And in Camera, you can save photos straight to the shared library.
Dynamic Island in landscape
Dynamic Island in iOS 16.1 works in landscape mode. And with dark wallpaper, Dynamic Island shows an outline so it doesn’t fade into the background.
Michael can confirm that iOS 16.1 fixes many of the annoying bugs he reported on earlier. Quality-of-life tweaks include a faster Face ID animation, the audio output icon at the bottom of the Music app resembling your actual headphones and so on.
Also, the share sheet in the Screenshots app has been moved to the top.
Battery percentage changes
Battery percentage now works on all iPhones compatible with iOS 16, like the iPhone, iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini. Apple has tweaked the battery percentage style in the status bar to make it more legible. You’ll also see a battery charging indicator briefly on the lock screen when plugged into power, like before.
Live Activities API
iOS 16.1 also makes third-party apps better thanks to the Live Activities API, with which developers can implement their own live activities for the lock screen. These can include sports scores, live updates in apps like Lyft and more. With Live Activities, these updates can even live in the Dynamic Island so they’re always available while multitasking.
Tidbits: Haptic keyboard changes, Wallet, etc.
A new switch in Settings permits you to turn on automatic downloads of in-app content. Haptic keyboard feedback is less prominent. You can now remove the Wallet app if you don’t use it. In Notes, you can sort items, straighten handwritten text as well as find and replace text.
iOS 16.1 release notes
Apple has provided the following changelog for iOS 16.1:
This update introduces iCloud Shared Photo Library making it easy to keep your family photos up to date. This release also adds support for third-party apps in Live Activities, support for Apple Fitness+ on iPhone even if you don’t have an Apple Watch, and includes other features and bug fixes for your iPhone.
iCloud Shared Photo Library
- Separate library for seamlessly sharing photos and videos with up to five other people
- Setup rules allow you to easily contribute past photos based on start date or people in the photos when you set up or join a library
- Library filters for quickly switching between viewing the Shared Library, your Personal Library, or both libraries together
- Shared edits and permissions let everyone add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos
- Sharing toggle in Camera lets you choose to send photos you take straight to the Shared Library, or enable a setting to share automatically when other participants are detected nearby using Bluetooth
- Live Activities from third-party apps are available in the Dynamic Island and on the Lock Screen for iPhone 14 Pro models
- Apple Fitness+ is supported on iPhone even if you don’t have an Apple Watch
- Key sharing enables you to securely share a car, hotel room, and other keys in Wallet using messaging apps such as Messages and WhatsApp
- Savings account enables Apple Card customers to grow their Daily Cash by depositing it in a high-yield savings account
- Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard, is supported enabling a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across ecosystems
Clean Energy Charging
- New setting that can try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available
- Reader controls are automatically hidden as you start reading
This update also includes bug fixes for your iPhone:
- Deleted conversations may appear in the conversations list in Messages
- Dynamic Island content is not available when using Reachability
- CarPlay may fail to connect when using a VPN app
Is iOS 16.1 worth installing?
If your iPhone has iOS 16.0, iOS 16.0.1, iOS 16.0.2 or iOS 16.0.3, you will want to install iOS 16.1 just for the bug fixes alone. iOS 16 hasn’t exactly been a smooth release in terms of bugs, and Apple hopes to improve the experience for users with iOS 16.1.
Your thoughts on iOS 16.1
What are your favorite changes and improvements in iOS 16.1? Let us know by chiming in with your thoughts in the commenting section down below.