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Apple’s iOS 16.3 update is now available, and it brings new features, bug fixes, and security updates to your iPhone. The update was released alongside updates to other Apple software such as iPadOS, Safari, and previous versions of iOS. The latest iOS update comes about a month after release iOS 16.2.

Here are the new features coming to your iPhone with iOS 16.3.

Support for the second generation HomePod

Apple’s iOS 16.3 software will support the second generation HomePod, which is set to launch on February 3 for $299 (£299, AU$479). Apple announced the release of the new HomePod four days before the latest iOS software became available.

A new poster of unity for Black History Month

Green, black and red wallpaper

Screenshot: Zach McAuliffe/CNET

The latest iOS update includes a new iPhone wallpaper as part of Apple’s Black Unity collection. The collection celebrates Black History Month with a special edition Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop, a mosaic watch and a new iPhone wallpaper. Apple also plans to release a selection of Black History Month content for Apple TV, Fitness Plus, Music, Maps, Books, Podcasts and the App Store as part of the collection.

New ways to use emergency SOS via satellite

Emergency SOS via satellite was implemented Apple’s event in September. In iOS 16.3 Call on Hold version has been replaced Call with hold and release. If you connect Call with hold and release, you can hold the side button and the volume button to start a countdown and alarm. After the countdown, you release the buttons and your iPhone will automatically call emergency services. Back in the past Call on Hold, pressing the side button and volume button will bring up the Emergency SOS call slider first. If you continued to hold the buttons, the countdown started and the alarm would sound. After the countdown ends, your phone will make an emergency call.

Security Keys screen in iOS 16.3 beta

Security keys add more protection to your device.

Screenshot: Zach McAuliffe/CNET

There is also an option Feel free to call Emergency SOS. By enabling this option, when you try to make an emergency SOS call, your phone will not flash or beep.

Security keys come with Apple ID

Users can now use third-party security keys instead of two-factor authentication for their Apple ID.

Security keys are a lot like your house keys. You still use passwords, but this extra layer of security can help protect you from phishing scams and hackers.

“Hardware security keys are very, very secure,” said Diya Joly, chief product officer at identity service company Okta. CNET’s Stephen Shankland.

The Apple Security Key feature only works with security keys certified by the FIDO Alliance.

Here’s a list of new features and changes included in iOS 16.3.

  • The New Unity banner honors black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month.
  • Security Keys for Apple ID allows users to strengthen their account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two-factor authentication sign-in process on new devices.
  • Support for HomePod (second generation).
  • Emergency SOS calls now require the side button to be pressed with the volume up or down button and then released to prevent accidental emergency calls.
  • Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawings created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards.
  • Addresses an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the Lock screen.
  • Fixes an issue where horizontal lines may appear temporarily when waking the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display the status of the Home app.
  • Addresses an issue where Siri may not properly respond to music requests
  • Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly.

For more iOS 16 news, check out the new features iOS 16.2 and: iOS 16.1. Here’s how you can sign up to test Apple’s iOS beta softwarealso.


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