Apple Releases iOS 16.1 With Support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities and More


Apple today released iOS 16.1, the first major update to the iOS 16 operating system. iOS 16.1 comes more than a month after the launch of ‌iOS 16‌, which was released in September.

iOS 16
The ‌iOS 16‌ update Apple’s can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. It can take a few minutes for the updates to propagate to all users due to high demand.

With this update, Apple is adding several features that did not make it into the launch version of ‌iOS 16‌. There is support for iCloud Shared Photo Library for managing a photo library with friends and family, plus it adds Live Activities to the Lock Screen and the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro models.

Apple Fitness+ can now be used on iPhone without an Apple Watch, and the update adds support for Matter, among other features. Apple’s full release notes are below.

This update introduces iCloud Shared Photo Library making it easy to keep your family photos up to date. This release also adds support for third party apps in Live Activities, support for Apple Fitness+ on iPhone even if you don’t have an Apple Watch, and includes other features and bug fixes for your iPhone.

iCloud Shared Photo Library
– Separate library for seamlessly sharing 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 the photos when you set up or join a library
– Library filters for quickly switching between viewing the Shared Library, your Personal Library, or both libraries together
– Shared edits and permissions let everyone add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos
– Sharing toggle in Camera lets you choose to send photos you take straight to the Shared Library, or enable a setting to share automatically when other participants are detected nearby using Bluetooth

Live Activities
– Live Activities from third party apps are available in the Dynamic Island and on the Lock Screen for iPhone 14 Pro models

– Apple Fitness+ is supported on iPhone even if you don’t have an Apple Watch

– Key sharing enables you to securely share car, hotel room, and other keys in Wallet using messaging apps such as Messages and WhatsApp

– Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard, is supported enabling a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across ecosystems

Clean Energy Charging
– New setting that can try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available

– Reader controls are automatically hidden as you start reading

This update also includes bug fixes for your iPhone:
– Deleted conversations may appear in the conversations list in Messages
– Dynamic Island content is not available when using Reachability
– CarPlay may fail to connect when using a VPN app

‌iOS 16‌ addresses a long list of vulnerabilities, including a kernel issue that Apple says may have been actively exploited. More information is available in Apple’s security support document.

iOS 16.1 is accompanied by iPadOS 16.1, the first launch of the iPadOS 16 software. Apple delayed iPadOS 16.1 because it wanted to do additional work on Stage Manager, a new multitasking feature. More information on all of the features introduced with the ‌iOS 16‌ update can be found in our roundup.


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