What’s new in iOS 16.3? Biggest changes coming to iPhone


Apple has released iOS 16.3, the latest software update for iPhone. It is available to download now for free, and it comes with a few new features in addition to the usual bug fixes. For instance, there are some Black History Month wallpapers for your iPhone. This update comes about a month after the release of iOS 16.2. Here’s what you need to know.

iOS 16.3: The biggest new features

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

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New Unity wallpaper for Black History Month

If you install iOS 16.3, you will get a new iPhone wallpaper as part of Apple’s Black Unity Collection that celebrates Black History Month.

The collection also includes a special-edition Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop, a mosaic watch face, and now, the new iPhone wallpaper. Apple said it’s also planning to release Black History Month content across Apple TV, Fitness Plus, Music, Maps, Books, Podcasts, and the App Store as part of its Black Unity Collection in February 2023.

Black History Month is an annual observance in the US that occurs in February.

Apple HomePod iOS 16.3

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Second-generation HomePod support

Apple recently announced a new HomePod second-generation smart speaker, which is set to launch on 3 February for $299. Apple’s iOS 16.3 software will enable your iPhone to work properly with it. The ‌HomePod‌ 2 is similar in size and look to the original ‌HomePod‌, but it introduces new touch interface, support for humidity and temperature sensing, Thread connectivity, and more.

The original HomePod s first released in February 2018. It’s designed to work seamlessly with other Apple devices. Equipped with a high-excursion woofer and an array of seven beamforming tweeters, Pocket-lint found that it is able to deliver rich, detailed sound and powerful bass. But one of the key features of the HomePod is its integration with Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. You can ask Siri to play music, control smart home devices, set reminders, and answer questions, all with just your voice. It’s also tightly integrated with Apple Music and supports AirPlay 2.

Also, it has built-in HomeKit support, which means users can control their smart home devices such as lights and thermostats with the speaker.

The second-gen HomePod can do all this, too.

Emergency Services via satellite iOS 16.3

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Emergency SOS via satellite change

On iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models with iOS 16.1 or later, you can use Emergency SOS via satellite to alert emergency services when you’re outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. This feature uses satellite technology to connect to emergency services. When activated, it automatically calls emergency services and sends a message to your emergency contacts with your location information.

To activate the Emergency SOS via satellite change feature on an iPhone, press and hold the power button on the side of the device. This will bring up the power off slider and an “Emergency SOS” button. If you continue to hold the power button, an alert will sound and the emergency call will be automatically placed. You can also activate Emergency SOS by triple-clicking the side button.

With iOS 16.3, Emergency SOS via satellite has been tweaked to prevent accidental emergency calls. While calls can still be placed by holding down the side button with either the up or down volume button, if you enable Call with Hold and Release, the buttons must be released in order to place the call.

Apple Security Keys

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Apple ID gets Security Keys

You can now use third-party security keys instead of two-factor authentication for your Apple ID. Security Keys for Apple ID provide users with the option to add a third-party security key to their account, which they’ll need for authentication when logging into a new device or accessing their ‌Apple ID‌. You still use a password, but it’s an extra layer of security to help protect you against hackers.

Is there anything else new in iOS 16.3?

Here are the other changes included in iOS 16.3:

  • Resolves a problem in Freeform where some drawings made with Apple Pencil or fingers may not show up on shared boards
  • Addresses an issue where the Lock Screen wallpaper may appear black
  • Corrects a problem where horizontal lines may temporarily appear while waking iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Addresses a problem where the Home Lock Screen widget doesn’t display Home app status correctly
  • Resolves an issue where Siri may not respond correctly to music requests
  • Addresses issues with Siri requests in CarPlay not being understood correctly

How to install iOS 16.3

Installing iOS 16 on your iPhone is a simple process that can be completed in a few simple steps. But first, make sure your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, and that it has at least 50% battery life. You may also want to backup your device, just in case something goes wrong during the update process.

  1. On your iPhone, go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap on General and then tap on Software Update.
  3. You should see the iOS 16.3 update available for download.
    • If it’s not showing up, you may need to wait for a few minutes or try again later.
  4. If it’s available, tap on Download and Install.
  5. You’ll be asked to enter your passcode or Face ID to confirm the installation.
    • After you’ve confirmed, the download and installation process will begin.
  6. Once the download is finished, your iPhone will reboot and begin the installation process.
    • This may take several minutes to complete.
  7. Once the installation is finished, your iPhone will reboot again and the iOS 16 update will be complete.


Note: You can verify that the update was successful by going to “Settings” > “General” > “About” and checking the version number.

Want to know more about iOS 16?

So, iOS 16.3 is what’s known as a dot update, or point release, to the iOS operating system. Dot updates include bug fixes, security patches, and minor features. They are called “dot updates” because the version number of the iOS software is incremented by a decimal point, rather than a whole number. For example, going from iOS 16.2 to iOS 16.3 is a dot update. These updates are typically smaller. For more about the larger iOS 16 update that hit last autumn, check out: iOS 16: All the features for your iPhone.

We also have these guides for further reading:

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