Apple Releases iOS 16.2: What's New On Your iPhone

The launch of Apple's newest iPhone lineup — the iPhone 14 series — back in September 2022 also coincided with the rollout of iOS 16, the latest iteration of Apple's mobile operating system. For those unaware, iOS 16 was a major release for Apple that brought several changes and feature additions to the platform. Among the changes iOS 16 brought to the table include new lock screen customization options and widgets, a completely new feature called Live Activities and Focus Filters, Shared Photo Library options on iCloud, and several minor but functional updates to core apps like Messages, Mail Wallet, and Apple Maps.

After Apple rolled out iOS 16 to all compatible iPhones starting on September 12, 2022, the company followed that release with several minor updates, including iOS 16.01 (released on September 22, 2022) and iOS 16.0.2 (released on October 10, 2022). Both of these updates were predominantly intended as minor bug fixes. On October 24, however, Apple rolled out a major feature update to iPhones in the form of iOS 16.1. This update added support for Matter accessories and enabled the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature, a Dynamic Battery indicator, while also fixing performance issues with the Stage Manager. Apple would release two more minor updates (iOS 16.1.1 and 16.1.2) before rolling out yet another major "feature drop" update labeled iOS 16.2.

The rollout of iOS 16.2 commenced on December 13, 2022, and brings with it an additional set of features — some of which were originally advertised during WWDC 2022 — but didn't make it to the stable versions of iOS 16.0 and iOS 16.1.

Everything new with iOS 16.2

One of the major feature additions to iOS 16.2 is the addition of an entirely new collaboration app called Freeform. This app was first showcased at WWDC 2022, with a promise that it will be rolled out to all devices that run iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and MacOS Ventura 13.1. Freeform is a feature-loaded app that supports up to 100 collaborators while also boasting advanced capabilities, including FaceTime integration, multiple file format support, and the ability to work with infinite canvases.

iOS 16.2 also marked the debut of another app called Apple Music Sing. In case you haven't guessed already, this music-focused app is designed to let iPhone users sing along to their favorite songs in Apple Music. Among the features of Apple Music Sing include the ability to fully adjust the vocals of a song, thereby letting users perform a duet with the original artist, or even go completely solo. The app also supports beat-by-beat lyrics, making it easier for karaoke enthusiasts to sing along.

In addition to these new apps, Apple also added new features to the lock screen experience with iOS 16.2. These features, however, are exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models, and allow users to hide notifications when the Always-On-Display feature is turned on. Apple has also made changes to the Sleep Widget which now shows the most recent sleep data.

Additional feature updates enabled by iOS 16.2

Another feature that has rolled out to iOS 16.2 users includes the addition of SharePlay support to Apple's Game Center. This feature allows users to play multiplayer games with people users are engaged on a FaceTime call. This update also enables an "Activity Widget” for Game Center users that lets them take a quick glance at what their friends are up to — without having to separately open the Game Center app. iPhone users who also own an Apple TV now get a new "Live Activities" option that lets them follow updates about their favorite teams. A completely new feature with iOS 16.2 lets users access live scores and updates of their favorite sports teams and individuals on the Lock Screen. This feature also uses the Dynamic Island feature on the Pro iPhones.

iOS 16.2 also includes a lot of bug fixes and minor feature tweaks intended to make the iOS 16 experience on iPhones better. Some of the more notable feature additions with iOS 16.2 include improved search capability within the Messages app. Users also get the option to disable the iCloud PrivateRelay feature for specific web pages. Other minor updates include more optimizations to the crash detection features on the iPhone 14 models and fixes to an issue that caused some notes to not sync with iCloud.

As outlined earlier, iOS 16.2 update has started rolling out for all compatible iPhones. Users can check for new software updates by going into Settings > General > Software Update to see if an update is available for them.