Everything new in iOS 16.3

Apple on Monday released iOS & iPadOS 16.3 as an incremental update for iPhones and iPads.

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What’s new in iOS 16.3?


Starting with perhaps one of the most important changes in iOS & iPadOS 16.3, security is getting beefed up.

Support for security keys in iOS 16.3.

This update brings support for hardware keys, such as those made by Yubico, to protect your Apple ID and valuable data.

The hardware key works as a second factor in 2-factor authentication, allowing you to simply plug your hardware key into your device to authenticate when signing in.

The feature is optional to use, but if you try to sign into your Apple ID on another device, you will be required to authenticate yourself in this way.

Worthy of note, hardware keys won’t be for everybody. Once enabling this feature, users won’t be able to use the six-digit code to sign in ever again, which means losing a hardware key effectively locks you out of your Apple ID forever, especially if you forget your password.

Another boost to security in iOS & iPadOS 16.3 comes in the form of Advanced Data Protection, which originally launched for United States customers only with iOS & iPadOS 16.2, but is now available worldwide.

This feature encrypts more of your iCloud data to keep your information private. If you felt private and secure before, just wait until you upgrade.


iOS & iPadOS 16.3 are also introducing changes relating to the HomePod and HomePod mini.

Home app shows HomePod climate information in iOS 16.3.

After you update, you’re going to see new information in the Home app about the climate of the room your HomePod resides in, such as humidity and temperature readings.

Taking advantage of this feature will require you to update your HomePod firmware to version 16.3 as well, so do keep that in mind if the feature doesn’t work for you.

Another change has to do with the introduction of a new prompt on your screen when trying to use HandOff with your HomePod.

A new prompt when connecting your HomePod to go if iPhone in iOS 16.3.

This appears whenever you try to connect, offering a more seamless user experience.

Emergency SOS

iOS 16.3 provides a newer method for activating the Emergency SOS feature that your iPhone comes equipped with.

The traditional usage method required users to press and hold their power and volume buttons for a period of time to activate Emergency SOS, but it seemed to be activating in people’s pockets and purses without their knowledge.

New Emergency SOS gesture in iOS 16.3.

Starting with iOS 16.3, there is a new option that requires the user to subsequently release those buttons to actually activate Emergency SOS, hopefully helping to quell some of the false positives that were being reported.


iOS 16.3 includes the new Black Unity wallpaper that we showed you just last week when Apple announced its new Black Unity Apple Watch band in celebration of Black History Month.

New Black Unity Wallpaper in iOS 16.3.

Using this wallpaper alongside your Apple Watch band helps you show your support, as well as giving your iPhone a colorful aesthetic.

Also interesting is that the wallpaper supports different fonts, colors, and looks incredible with the iPhone 14 Pro & Pro Max always-on display.

Bug Fixes & Improvements

Apart from new features, iOS & iPadOS 16.3 also squash a number of bugs that impacted Apple devices.

Horizontal line bug on iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max fixed in iOS 16.3.

For example, the much-reported horizontal line issue that affected iPhone 14 Pro & Pro Max handsets is now addressed, as is a problem where wallpapers could turn black for no apparent reason at all.

How to update

If you’re ready to update, then you can navigate to Settings → General → Software Update on your iPhone or iPad and you will find the update waiting for you there.

The iOS 16.3 Software Update.

What is your favorite new feature in iOS & iPadOS 16.3? Let us know in the comments section down below.