Home Latest News Apple iOS 16.2 Release: Should You Upgrade? – Forbes

Apple iOS 16.2 Release: Should You Upgrade? – Forbes

Apple has released iOS 16.2 for all iOS 16-compatible iPhones, after months of beta testing. The update is packed full of new features and important security patches. Here’s everything you need to know.
Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up-to-date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.
12/21 Update: Final Verdict below
01/16 Update: a series of problems are now being reported with iOS 16.2. I would no longer recommend upgrading. More details can be found here.
Apple iOS 16
Who Is It For?
Apple iOS 16.2 is available for all iOS 16-compatible devices, namely the iPhone 8/iPhone X and newer. iOS 16 dropped support for the iPhone 6S and 7 ranges and the iPod Touch.
Apple’s confirmation of auto-update delays, means eager updaters should trigger the update manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are running newer beta software (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your device before the update appears.
Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates, iPadOS or macOS, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides.
The Deal Breakers
The first 24 hours for iOS 16.2 are highly encouraging. Major software updates tend to introduce more bugs than minor ones under the age-old change more/break more adage. Still, it has been primarily smooth sailing based on user feedback across social media, Reddit and Apple’s Support Community forums.
I have noticed isolated reports of bugs with eSim, touch response and wallpaper, while Apple Music will seemingly never be glitch-free. But there is a sense of calm around the update, unlike anything I have seen since iOS 16 was released.
Needless to say, a lot can still change as an ever-greater number of users update, but the signs look good so far.
So What Do You Get?
iOS 16.2 contains multiple new features and fixes, with Apple’s release notes stating:
Bemusingly, Apple has excluded arguably the most important functionality of iOS 16.2: it finally brings 5G compatibility to iPhones in India. Addressing an issue that has impacted users for years.
Aside from this, Freeform is the headline news. Freeform is a digital canvas app which enables iPhone, iPad and Mac users to collaborate in real-time, contributing everything from scribbles and images to documents, URLs and more. It is compatible with the Apple Pencil on iPad and works with FaceTime. Freeform is intuitive yet powerful, and I believe it can be a game-changer for many users, whether used for business or brainstorming with friends and family.
Apple Freeform, introduced with iOS 16.2
Also noteworthy is Apple’s ‘Advanced Data Protection’ for iCloud, which provides end-to-end encryption, and iCloud Private Relay, which encrypts web traffic leaving your device, though it requires an iCloud+ subscription.
In terms of fixes, the new lock screen improvements were long awaited for iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max owners, while Crash Detection optimizations were critical after the emergency services feature made headlines for triggering on rollercoasters and ski slopes.
iOS 16.2 Security
Apple’s iOS 16.2 security page reveals that this monster update contains a head-turning 35 security patches, with nine delivering fixes for WebKit (the Safari browser engine) alone.
Accounts, graphics drivers, the iTunes Store, Apple Photos, printing and even the Weather app are other areas where iOS 16.2 clamps down on potential security exploits.
Apple iOS 16.2 Verdict: Upgrade
Apple iOS 16.2 is shaping up to be the most important release since iOS 16. It delivers a compelling combination of new functionality and privacy, critical security patches and stability.
If you are keen to get your hands on the latest features and fixes, this is the green light. For more cautious upgraders, I will deliver my final verdict in a week, so bookmark this page.
12/21 Update: Final Verdict
One week on it is mostly plain sailing for iOS 16.2 upgraders, but there are reports of iOS 16.2 causing problems for HomeKit users. I have found these on the Nuki Developer forum, github, openHAB and the official Apple Communities forum. Affected users cannot access their HomeKit accessories and deleting/re-adding devices does not help. I would expect Apple to patch this in an iOS 16.2.1 update soon.
That aside, iOS 16.2 is looking good and is a significant improvement over previous iOS 16 releases. Note: Apple has stopped signing earlier iOS 16 versions, meaning you can no longer downgrade after upgrading to iOS 16.2. That said, this is a sign Apple is also confident in the stability of its latest release. In short: if you don’t rely on HomeKit devices, you should upgrade.
The Road Ahead
Expect Apple to announce the first iOS 16.3 beta imminently, while I would not be surprised to see iOS 16.2.1 launch relatively early in the new year. As stable as iOS 16.2 appears, there is always something to fix after major updates.
If you want to try Apple’s next updates before they are released to the wider public, you can join the Apple Beta Software Program. But remember that — by definition — you can expect a bumpy ride.
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