iOS 16.1 is finally here. This is Apple’s first major update to iOS 16, coming with critical security updates and coinciding with the long-awaited launch of iPadOS 16.1. So what do you get, and is the iOS 16 bug-fest finally under control? Here’s everything you need to know.
Tip: bookmark this page as I will update it if/when new issues are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.
Who is it for?
Apple iOS 16.1 has been released for all iOS 16 compatible devices i.e. iPhone 8/iPhone X and newer versions. iOS 16 dropped support for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 lines, as well as the iPod Touch.
Since Apple admits automatic update delays, you can trigger the update manually if you haven’t received a notification. Move towards Settings > General > Software Update. If you are using newer beta software (see “The Road Ahead” section at the end), you must unenroll your device before the update appears.
Note: This guide does not focus on older iOS, iPadOS, or macOS updates, but I will address relevant issues in these guides. You can read my iOS 15.7 upgrade guide here.
The market breakers
The first 24 hours for iOS 16.1 have been largely positive. Notably, the update introduced a graphical issue for some users that causes cellular and WiFi icons to disappear and reappear randomly (1,2,3,4 etc).
Other graphical issues are reported on the lock screen with missing flashlight and camera buttonsand the frustrating copy/paste permissions bug from earlier iOS 16 updates still remains (Apple promised a fix, but it’s not listed in the iOS 16.1 release notes).
I have also seen isolated reports of problems with Press return and password management while complaints persist about battery drain – which has plagued iOS 16 since its release. That said, iPhones have to re-index after updates, which leads to higher battery drain for 24/48 hours, so it’s too early to call it definitively.
So what do you get?
iOS 16.1 is a major update, with Apple releasing lengthy release notes:
iCloud Shared Photo Library
– Separate library to seamlessly share photos and videos with up to five other people
– Setup rules allow you to easily contribute past photos based on start date or people in photos when you set up or join a library
– Library filters to quickly switch between viewing the shared library, your personal library, or both libraries together
– Shared edits and permissions allow anyone to add, edit, favourite, caption and delete photos
– The in-camera sharing toggle lets you choose to send photos you take directly to the shared library or enable a setting to automatically share when other participants are detected nearby via Bluetooth
– Third-party app live activities are available in dynamic island and lock screen for iPhone 14 Pro models
– Apple Fitness+ is supported on iPhone even if you don’t have an Apple Watch
– Key sharing allows you to securely share car, hotel room and other keys in Wallet using messaging apps like Messages and WhatsApp
– Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard, is supported, allowing a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across ecosystems
Clean energy charge
– New setting that can try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when low carbon electricity is available
– Player controls are automatically hidden when you start reading
This update also includes bug fixes for your iPhone:
– Deleted conversations can appear in the list of conversations in Messages
– Dynamic Island content is not available when using accessibility
– CarPlay may not connect when using a VPN app
iCloud Shared Photo Library is the biggest feature here, allowing up to six people to share a single photo library, a boon for family and close friends. Sharing for Apple Wallet also removes similar organizational headaches.
Also worth mentioning are the new customization options for the iOS 16 lock screen (struggling), Fitness+ for iPhone, and “Clean Energy Charging”, which selectively charges your iPhone/iPad when using low-carbon electricity. is available. In a new support document, Apple says this feature is currently limited to the United States and requires Location Services, System Personalization, and Important Locations to be turned on in the System Services section of the Settings app.
iOS 16.1 Security
Apple’s official security page reveals that iOS 16.1 contains 20 dedicated security patches. The star is CVE-2022-42827 which fixes a zero day memory vulnerability. Apple explains that hackers could potentially have exploited this to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges.
It is currently unclear whether this bug affects older iPhones and iPads or older versions of iOS. I have contacted Apple and will update this message when/if I receive a response.
Apple iOS 16.1 Verdict: Upgrade
For iPhone owners already running iOS 16, updating to iOS 16.1 is a no-brainer. The update brings many useful new features and critical security updates. The first 24 hours are also promising, although cautious updates may want to wait for my final verdict in a week.
As for those running iOS 15, it looks like iOS 16.1 can finally give you a stable update opportunity, aside from some minor graphical glitches. The only disappointment is the lack of fixes for ongoing issues with iOS 16, including the copy/paste bug, but expect more dedicated bug fixes in the coming weeks.
Note: bookmark this page as I will be monitoring user experiences and delivering my final verdict in a week.
The road to follow
While iOS 16.1 is shaping up to be the most stable iOS 16 release yet, there are still plenty of bugs to iron out. As such, I would expect iOS 16.1.1. come fast and an iOS 16.1.2 and even iOS 16.1.3 before iOS 16.2 arrives in late 2022/early 2023. If you want early access to iOS 16 updates, join the Apple Beta software program.
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