iOS 16.2 fixes laggy iPhone animations when scrolling, switching apps and more

iOS 16.2 resolves a longstanding bug causing choppy or stuttering system animations on iPhone Pros when exiting apps, scrolling and more.

iPhone 14 Pro packaging set upright on a white table, with colorful lights blurred in the background
Choppy animations? Yours must be an iPhone Pro! | Image: Victor Serban/Unsplash
  • What’s happening? The third beta of what would become iOS 16.2 fixes laggy system animations when exiting/switching apps, scrolling and more.
  • Why care? Because expensive high-end phones shouldn’t stutter.
  • What to do? Update to iOS 16.2 when it arrives in a few weeks.

iOS 16.2 fixes stuttering animations on iPhone Pros

Owners of Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max have been complaining about choppy system animations, which is especially noticeable when you exit to the home screen, switch between apps, scroll and so on.

Lagginess is visible to the naked eye and can be annoying, if not jarring. Your iPhone Pro has a powerful GPU that runs the latest mobile and yet it can’t handle user interface animations? This is clearly a software bug, and it looks like Apple is finally doing something about it. Read: Slow iPhone? 18 solutions to fix it!

iOS 16.2 fixes a bug causing laggy system animations on the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, according to reports on Reddit. “The lag that would occur when scrolling on your Home Screen or anywhere you would scroll is fixed,” wrote one of the posters.

I’m glad that this problem will go away soon. My iPhone 14 Pro Max doesn’t exhibit many bugs, but I wish I could say that for animations. While games run perfectly smoothly, system animations in iOS 16 appear as if frames were dropped.

Here are just a few examples of choppy animations:

  • Scrolling in Safari and other apps
  • Cycling through home screens
  • Landing on the home screen
  • Switching between apps
  • Unlocking the device
  • Closing apps

This issue has persisted (at least for me) since iOS 16.0 and subsequent updates haven’t fixed it. The bug causes system animations to not render at 120Hz using Apple’s ProMotion technology on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro.

It’s normal for system animations to drop frames when low-power mode has been turned on, but that’s not what has been happening here.

An unknown percentage of iPhone Pros is affected. For other iPhone Pro owners, system animations are buttery smooth without a single frame dropped. We’ve also stumbled upon reports from people claiming to have suffered from laggy animations on older models, like iPhone 11 Pro.

Other new features in iOS 16.2

iOS 16.2 brings cool under-the-hood changes and quality-of-life improvements.

For example, there are new options in the Stocks app to sort your watchlists by ticker symbol, price or percentage change, market cap and more. In the TV app, a Featured section appears above your Up Next queue. Regional stories related to weather conditions are now embedded in the Weather app thanks to News integration.

When will iOS 16.2 launch for all users?

The iOS 16.2 beta is currently being tested by Apple and its registered developers. With a few more betas to go, expect the update to drop in the coming weeks.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, iOS 16.2 will become available around mid-December. When it arrives, you’ll download and install an over-the-air update on your iPhone or iPad in Settings → General → Software Update.