Apple is releasing iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16 today, bringing improvements ranging from shared photo libraries to fitness functionality – as well as one long-awaited addition.
A software update released today for the iPhone and iPad adds a slew of new features.
Apple has released iOS 16.1, which expands on the functionality introduced with the iPhone 14 line last month, as well as iPadOS 16, which arrives ahead of the release of new tablets this week.
Starting with the iPhone, here are the main new features you can look forward to once you download the update.
Shared photo libraries
This feature, which allows you to set up a shared photo library with up to five other people, arrives just in time for any families heading off on a half-term getaway.
It expands on the concept of existing shared photo albums by providing more options for everyone to add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete pictures.
You can also import previous photos into the new library rather than starting from scratch, and a toggle in the camera app allows you to send a new snap directly to it if desired.
Clean energy charging
Here’s one for the environmentally conscious: a toggle that will charge your phone selectively based on the availability of lower carbon emission electricity.
According to Apple, the charging time will be optimized based on when the grid is using cleaner energy sources, though it will initially only work in the United States.
One thing to keep in mind is that this new feature will be enabled by default when you receive the update; if you don’t want to compromise, you can turn it off in settings.
Fitness without the watch
Apple’s Fitness+ subscription service, which costs £9.99 per month, provides workout and meditation routines.
Previously, you needed an Apple Watch to use it, but now all you need is an iPhone.
While you won’t get the same real-time feedback, such as calories burned and heart rate, without the wearable, stretching and meditating along with the videos on your phone will suffice.
Live activities have been expanded
When iOS 16 was released last month, you may have noticed significant changes to your iPhone lock screen, including the addition of live activities.
They are widgets that, rather than sending a series of separate notifications, aim to provide real-time updates from specific apps on the lock screen.
The update today makes these more accessible to non-Apple apps, so expect to see more options ranging from live sports scores to a widget that shows how close your Uber driver is.
The iPad’s new features, such as shared photo libraries, are the same, but there is some unique content.
This improves multitasking on the iPad, making it more like a laptop experience. Apps, like on a traditional desktop, can be resized, overlapped, and moved around.
If you have one of the newer Air or Pro models, you can connect your iPad to an external display in the same way that you can with a laptop.
It may seem unbelievable, but the iPad has never had a built-in weather app like the iPhone.
That finally changes today, with the same design as on the phone.
The notes app will now try to improve your handwriting if you have an Apple Pencil.
If you enable this option, the app will make written words appear straighter and cleaner.
As well as a slew of new iPhone features
The iPadOS 16 updates are largely based on iOS 16, and thus include many of the new features that iPhone users have been enjoying since last month.
This includes text editing and deletion in the messages app, improved focus modes for filtering out notifications from specific apps, and a redesigned podcast app.