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iOS 16.2 is now available for the iPhone 8 and newer following two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update includes over a dozen new features and changes for the iPhone.

General-iOS-16-Feature-Yellow.jpg

Below, we've recapped many of the new features available with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the ability to hide the wallpaper and notifications on the iPhone 14 Pro's always-on display, a new AirDrop setting, SharePlay support for Game Center, Live Activities enhancements, and more.

Apple Music Sing

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Apple Music Sing is a new karaoke-like feature on the lyrics screen in the Apple Music app that lets you sing along to tens of millions of songs. The feature allows users to lower the volume of the vocals in a song and then take over as the singer.

Apple Music Sing is compatible with devices equipped with an A13 chip or newer, including the iPhone 11 and newer, select iPads, and the latest Apple TV 4K.

Advanced Data Protection

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iOS 16.2 introduces an optional Advanced Data Protection feature that, when enabled, expands end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories, including Messages backups, photos, notes, reminders, voice memos, and more.

Advanced Data Protection is currently limited to U.S. users and will start rolling out to the rest of the world in early 2023, according to Apple.

Freeform App

Freeform-iPhone-iPad-Mac.jpg

iOS 16.2 includes Apple's new digital whiteboard app Freeform on the iPhone. The app provides an infinite canvas for you to draw on and insert sticky notes, text boxes, shapes, photos, videos, links, PDFs, and more. The app is also available on the iPad and the Mac, and you can collaborate with others in real time via FaceTime and iMessage.

Freeform is more useful on the iPad given the device supports the Apple Pencil, but you can still use a capacitive stylus on the iPhone.

Two New Lock Screen Widgets

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There are two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications on iOS 16.2. With the Sleep widget, you can view your most recent sleep session and sleep stages, while the Medications widget can let you quickly access your medication schedule.

New Always-On Display Options

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Starting with iOS 16.2, you can hide the wallpaper and notifications in always-on display mode on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This results in the Lock Screen having a solid black, minimal appearance in always-on mode, similar to Android.

The new "Show Wallpaper" and "Show Notifications" toggles are located in the Settings app under Display & Brightness → Always On Display.

Live Activities for Sports Scores via Apple TV App

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iOS 16.2 adds Live Activities support for sports scores via the Apple TV app. The feature allows iPhone users to view live scores of MLB, NBA, and Premier League games at a glance on the Lock Screen, and in the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro models.

During a Premier League match, for example, the Dynamic Island shows a live-updating scoreboard with the number of goals scored by each club. When long pressed, the Dynamic Island expands to show the time elapsed and play-by-play action. When an iPhone 14 Pro is locked, and on all other iPhone models, the score is shown in a Lock Screen banner.

To use the feature with an iPhone running iOS 16.2, open the TV app and tap on the "Follow" button for a supported game. Apple says the feature is available for NBA and Premier League games for users in the U.S. and Canada, and for MLB games for users in the U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea.

New AirDrop Setting

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iOS 16.2 replaces AirDrop's previous "Everyone" setting with a limited "Everyone for 10 Minutes" option to cut down on unwanted requests from strangers. AirDrop now automatically reverts to "Contacts Only" after 10 minutes.

New Home App Architecture

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After updating to iOS 16.2 and opening the Home app, an update to the app is available with new underlying architecture. Apple says the new architecture improves the app's performance, efficiency, and reliability for controlling smart home accessories. This comes after the Home app gained support for Matter accessories in iOS 16.1.

Other New Features
  • SharePlay support in Game Center lets you play multiplayer games with the people you are on a FaceTime call with.
  • iOS 16.2 enables support for 5G networks in India on the iPhone 12 and newer, starting with carriers Airtel and Reliance Jio.
  • The built-in Weather app now features an Apple News section.
  • Improved search in the Messages app allows you to find photos based on their content, like a dog, car, person, or text.
There are a few other changes and optimizations in iOS 16.2, as outlined in the full release notes.

Article Link: iOS 16.2 Released for iPhone With These 12 New Features
 
Last edited:

eyalben

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2008
82
118
And a fix for the Hebrew keyboard that put million of users in a months of hell!

(Some genius at apple replaced third of of the space key with a symbol key, but only sometimes, which causes tons of unrelated symbols being accidentally sent by hebrew iPhone users... iOS 16.2 allows disabling this button)

IMG_4282.PNG
 
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polaris20

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2008
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Pretty cool about the Airdrop thing. That'll be handy. Also, the advanced data protection.
 
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supremedesigner

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2005
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Regarding the Advanced Data Protection, the question remains - is the iMessage encrypted when backing up to the iCloud?

For example - your iMessage is encrypted when you don't enable "sync your messages to iCloud".

However, for the backing up to iCloud, this article didn't state it.

Here is the useful article: Apple’s iMessage Is Secure … Unless You Have iCloud Enabled: https://www.howtogeek.com/710509/apples-imessage-is-secure...-unless-you-have-icloud-enabled/
 
This 10 minutes limitation is dumb. How about:
  • Off
  • Contact Only
  • 10 Minutes Only
  • Forever
It worked so well for suppression in China so they're gonna expand it globally.
View attachment 2125278
What happens if my Bluetooth wireless connection* is slow and it takes longer than 10 minutes to AirDrop something to another device? Will it start all over :(
 
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iStorm

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2012
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After updating to iOS 16.2 and opening the Home app, an update to the app is available with new underlying architecture. Apple says the new architecture improves the app's performance, efficiency, and reliability for controlling smart home accessories. This comes after the Home app gained support for Matter accessories in iOS 16.1.
If I understand this correctly, and going by this article, iPads can still be used as a Home Hub in iPadOS 16.2 as long as the user doesn't initiate the architecture upgrade, correct? My parents use their iPad as a Home Hub, currently on iPadOS 16.1. Wondering if it'll be safe for them to upgrade to 16.2 (and not upgrade the architecture), or if they should hold off on the 16.2 update altogether.
 

Joe Rossignol

Senior News Reporter
Staff member
May 12, 2012
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If I understand this correctly, and going by this article, iPads can still be used as a Home Hub in iPadOS 16.2 as long as the user doesn't initiate the architecture upgrade, correct? My parents use their iPad as a Home Hub, currently on iPadOS 16.1. Wondering if it'll be safe for them to upgrade to 16.2 (and not upgrade the architecture), or if they should hold off on the 16.2 update altogether.
I *believe* you are correct. If you update to 16.2, the Home app is not updated yet until you initiate the update within the Home app itself, which is not mandatory.
 
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Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,847
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Most of it sounds really good.

>> The built-in Weather app now features an Apple News section. <<

I'd much rather have a few more days of glance temperature weather forecasts at the top than an Apple News ad.

Please let us turn this off (becoming more like Android / Samsungware where users are constantly being pushed into other services is not a good thing). Sadly, in a timing coincidence, Dark Sky gets turned off in a couple of weeks I believe.
 
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diego.caraballo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
528
1,356
Regarding the Advanced Data Protection, the question remains - is the iMessage encrypted when backing up to the iCloud?

For example - your iMessage is encrypted when you don't enable "sync your messages to iCloud".

However, for the backing up to iCloud, this article didn't state it.

Here is the useful article: Apple’s iMessage Is Secure … Unless You Have iCloud Enabled: https://www.howtogeek.com/710509/apples-imessage-is-secure...-unless-you-have-icloud-enabled/


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