The update is especially notable for the iPad, which now has iOS 16 features as well as the unpopular Stage Manager multitasking feature.
Apple has released iOS and iPadOS 16.1, as well as macOS Ventura. It means that Apple’s tablet platform, the iPad, will finally get iOS 16 features like iMessage editing and undo send-in Mail. However, it also marks the official release of the Stage Manager multitasking tool, which was unpopular and buggy during the iPadOS betas.
In July, my colleague David Pierce was blunt: “I despise Stage Manager,” he wrote in his preview. “Stage Manager might be shipping, and it has gotten better since its first nonsensical beta, but it’s definitely not done,” David wrote in today’s review.
Apple did delay the release of iPadOS 16 from its usual September date, but based on the recent beta builds, Stage Manager may still have some issues when it is released to the public in version 16.1. Even with the delay, the Stage Manager will not support external displays at launch.
Third-party developers can now access Apple’s new Live Activities notifications on iPhones thanks to iOS 16.1. Live Activities are intended to make it easier to track things in real-time from your lock screen, which could be useful for things like sports scores or rideshare pickup. Live Activities will also appear on iPhones with Dynamic Island at the top of the phone (currently only the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max).
Other new features in iOS 16.1 include: iPhone owners will be able to use Fitness Plus without an Apple Watch, significantly expanding the subscription service’s availability. The new Matter smart home connectivity standard will be supported by iPhones and iPads. And, after a brief delay, iCloud Shared Photo Library will be made available.
Correction, 3:20 p.m. ET on October 24th: This post originally stated that Apple Card users would be able to open high-yield savings account after the update, but that feature did not appear in the final iOS 16.1 release and is not yet available. We apologize for the error.