Apple has reportedly confirmed that iOS 16.1 will be released as a free update on October 24, which means it could appear as a download option for users in India as soon as Monday night. iOS 16.1 will be available to all the same devices that iOS 16 is currently able to run on, which means all iPhones powered by the A11 Bionic SoC and later, starting with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. iOS 16.1 will include the usual bug fixes and behind-the-scenes improvements, but a number of the headlining features of iOS 16 which weren’t ready at the time of its release are also expected to roll out.

iPhone users can navigate to Settings > General > Software Update to check for iOS 16.1 on their device, or wait for a prompt, if they have automatic updates enabled. 

iOS 16.1 features

iOS 16.1 will introduce some very visible new features, most notably Live Activities which are notifications that can stay pinned to users’ lockscreens to show live updates of ongoing activities. These could include sports scores, breaking news, and even status updates for delivery apps. The Live Activities API will allow third-party app developers to create integrations with the iOS lockscreen and even the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max devices. 

iCloud Shared Photo Library was announced when iOS 16 was first previewed. This feature will allow users who use iCloud family sharing to save photos and videos directly to a joint library. Up to six family members can access this photo library, and choose which of their existing photos and videos to add to it.

The much-requested battery percentage icon also returns in iOS 16.1 in a more useful avatar that actually indicates the battery level visually. It will also be visible on eligible iPhone models smaller and lower-res screens, which weren’t able to display it in iOS 16.

Matter, the emerging smart home and IoT device communication standard, will be supported starting with iOS 16.1. This could help spur the adoption of smart home accessories, creating a unified ecosystem that’s easy to manage and add to.

Clean Energy Charging might not be available in India yet, but this will allow users in countries with variable energy sources to choose to prioritise drawing power when the grid is being fed by clean, renewable sources.    

Some of the default iOS apps will also see minor tweaks. Users will be able to delete the Wallet app if they don’t want to use it. The wallpaper settings and screenshot editing UIs are also expected to be slightly improved.

The current version of iOS is 16.0.3. Apple introduced iOS 16 with the launch of the iPhone 14 series in early September, with a dramatic overhaul of the lockscreen UI, the introduction of lockscreen widgets, the ability to edit iMessages, improved search in the email app, more Siri commands, text recognition in videos, a Fitness app that works even without an Apple Watch, and multiple bug fixes. The incremental releases since then have also mainly focused on squashing bugs and improving security.

Which iPhone models support iOS 16

iOS 16.1 will be compatible with the recently launched iPhone 14 series, which includes the iPhone 14iPhone 14 PlusiPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 13 series models are also all eligible: the iPhone 13iPhone 13 miniiPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max are still popular and widely available in India.

Apple’s iPhone 12iPhone 12 miniiPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max as well as the iPhone 11iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max will also receive an update to the newest version of iOS.

The oldest eligible devices are the iPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XRiPhone XiPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. The more affordable iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone SE (2022) will also be able to run iOS 16.1. Apple dropped support for older models dating back to the iPhone 6S and even the last iPod touch model for the first time since iOS 13 was released. 

How to install iOS 16.1

Installing iOS 16.1 should be as easy as tapping a few buttons on screen. Some people might jump on the update as soon as it is available, while others might wait a few days or weeks so that unexpected bugs can be detected and ironed out.

  1. All users are advised to back up their data using iCloud or a PC/Mac as well as the online features available within several apps. The best way to protect your data is to be proactive about backups in case anything goes wrong.
  2. Make sure you have enough space for the update. Older iPhones tend to have less free storage. Those who are running short of space must delete some data or apps for the update process to work.
  3. Charge your iPhone to at least 80 percent and make sure to connect to Wi-Fi before you begin the download.
  4. You can quickly ‘Download and Install’ the iOS 16.1 update or also schedule it or get a reminder later if that’s less disruptive.
  5. Reboot, and then tap through the steps that might be displayed on screen to configure new options or update your preferences. iOS 16.1 will then be ready for use on your iPhone.

Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and the iPad (2022) alongside the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company’s latest products, along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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