Urgent iPhone Upgrade With Vital Fixes

Apple had let slip that it was almost ready to share the latest iOS software with us, telling us it would be out this week. Apple loves to release updates on a Tuesday, so I figured that would be when we would see it, or possibly later, given that today saw the first reviews of the Mac mini and MacBook Pro grabbing the headlines. Read my review here.

Anyway about the iOS 16.3 release: reader, I was wrong.
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Apple chose to release the update a day sooner than expected, an hour or two ago. Here’s what’s in it, and how to get it.

Make Forbes your destination for all-things iOS. Read full details of what’s in the release from me the moment it lands. Kate O’Flaherty looks at the security considerations of each new release. And then read Gordon Kelly‘s analysis of whether you ought to install or wait.

Which iPhones can run iOS 16.3?

Apple iOS 16 runs on all iPhones from iPhone 8 onwards, and this update includes features relevant to all those handsets.

How to get it

Updating is easy: open the Settings app on the device and then choose General, then Software Update. Once you’ve clicked on Download and Install, it’ll do everything for you.

What’s in the release

I’d say the most important element in this update is something Apple puts low in the billing: if you have an iPhone 14 Pro Max and it’s been waking up with horizontal lines flashing across the screen, then you’ll be overjoyed to know this update is here to sort that. This is a big one, I’d say.

But there’s also the very welcome of new wallpaper to celebrate Black History Month.

In security terms, the big news is the expansion of Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, which means 23 data categories are much more secure thanks to end-to-end encryption. Just as importantly, there’s the arrival of Security Keys for Apple ID, which means physical security keys can enhance the security of your data in terms of two-factor authentication. That’s also a biggie.

The new HomePod 2na generation will also be supported by this update. As it’s on sale next week, it’s good that’s arrived now. And there’s an update to how Emergency SOS calls work.

There’s more. An issue in Freeform, the new collaboration tool, where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or by your finger may not appear on shared boards has been sorted, it seems. And this update addresses an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the Lock Screen.

If you’ve found the home lock screen widget does not accurately display Home app status, then you’ll be glad that’s been looked into. Issues where Siri doesn’t respond properly to music requests (and let me tell you, that’s an infuriating one), has also been addressed. Also Siri-related, issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly have been sorted, let’s hope.

Lots of new stuff, lots of fixes. If it all works, this is a welcome update.


Apple’s changelog follows.

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:

• New Unity wallpaper honors Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month in the US

• Advanced Data Protection for iCloud expands the total number of iCloud data categories protected using end-to-end encryption to 23 — including iCloud Backup, Notes and Photos — protecting your information even in the case of a data breach in the cloud

• Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two-factor authentication sign-in process on new devices

• Support for HomePod (2nd generation)

• Emergency SOS calls now require holding the side button with the up or down volume button and then releasing in order to prevent inadvertent emergency calls

• Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes 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 temporarily appear while waking up iPhone 14 Pro Max

• Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display Home app status

• Addresses an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests

• Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly

Some features may not be available in all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

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