Monday, Jan 23, 2023, 21:39 Software

Apple Releases iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, Amongst Other Updates

iOS 16.3 and iPadOS 16.3's test phases were exceptionally short – Apple released the first developer betas as recently as a week before Christmas. Then, there was the company's internal Christmas break, during which the software team wasn't likely doing much development. Then, only two betas later, the release candidate popped up last week – just as Apple had previously announced during two press releases: The final version just came out today. We will cover macOS 13.2 in a separate report – but the foremost all-important novelties in iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and the newest version of the HomePod software will be covered in this article.

iOS 16.3 & iPadOS 16.3
The perhaps most important change in iOS/iPadOS for users outside the United States impacts iCloud – as non-US-American users have just received the option of end-to-end encryption for services such as cloud photos or iCloud backups. This feature, referred to by Apple as "Advanced Data Protection", still needs to be manually activated in the iCloud settings of your device and has been available for US customers since December. It may be that Cupertino is waiting to see how the feature runs for users who decide to manually activate it, before automatically doing so for all.



Another change applies to the emergency call function, which has been the cause of increasing criticism for Apple – due to the many false alarms causing difficulties for first responders. The new approach for emergency calls now relies on users holding the side buttons for multiple seconds before releasing them to activate an SOS call.

This update introduces a new Unity wallpaper to honor Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month, Security Keys for Apple ID, and includes other enhancements, bug fixes, and security updates for your iPhone.

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:

New Unity wallpaper honors Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month
Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process on new devices
Support for HomePod (2nd generation)
Emergency SOS calls now require holding the side button with the up or down volume button and then releasing in order to prevent inadvertent emergency calls
Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards
Addresses an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the Lock Screen
Fixes an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear while waking up iPhone 14 Pro Max
Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display Home app status
Addresses an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests
Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:

watchOS 9.3 & tvOS 16.3
There's a new watch face by the name of "Unity Mosaic" for the Apple Watch to celebrate Black History Month. The new face also matches the Unity collection of armbands for the Apple Watch. For the Apple TV, however, we have another round of updates affecting the operating system's background – with no significant changes to the foreground for users. However, the update seems a bit delayed, as the RC is still the OS' most current version.

HomePod Software
The HomePod mini has always come with built-in temperature and humidity sensors – however, it wasn't until today's software update that these sensors were made functional. Apple announced the features alongside with the release of the second generation HomePod, to also enable owners of the HomePod mini to take advantage of these smart home features.

iOS 15.7.3
Not all iPhones can update to iOS 16. However, users of the iPhone 6x, 2016 iPhone SE, and the iPhone 7 still haven't been forgotten and have now received an update to their supported operating systems, now making the most recent supported version of iOS for these devices iOS 15.7.3.

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