Apple releases iOS 16.2 alongside with software updates for the Apple Watch, iPad

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iOS 16.2 is here
Apple has released iOS 16.2 to all eligible iPhones that received iOS 16 in September. Alongside it, the iPad lineup also gets updated with iPadOS 16.2, and finally, we get watchOS 9.2 for the Apple Watch lineup. Let's kick it up with iOS 16.2:

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iOS 16.2: The new features


Freeform



Some of the new features that arrive with the latest software update include a brand new cross-platform collaborative app, dubbed Freeform. It's essentially a virtual sketchboard that allows you to write, draw, insert various predefined shapes, lists, links, and so much more. 

The app allows multiple users to collaborate on the same document in real time with updates synced instantaneously, making this one a killer creative space app that would do wonders for teams during brainstorming session. Best thing is, it works well alongside FaceTime, so you can be on a call with someone and share ideas in real-time. How cool is that?

Apple Music Sing



Another interesting new feature is actually an addition to Apple Music, dubbed Sing. We've already told you about the surprising karaoke functionality that was to be added to Apple Music a few days ago, but the gist of it is that Apple Music subscribers can now essentially adjust the volume of the vocals on a song or completely mute them in real-time, singing along in an improvised karaoke session. While the feature won't work with any song on Apple Music, there are plenty that support the new feature, and Apple has actually made a few dozen playlists with songs that are perfect for a karaoke get-together. Apple Music Sing is supported on the following devices: iPhone 11 and newer, iPad Pro 11" 3rd Gen and newer, iPad Pro 12.9" 5th Gen and newer, iPad Air 4th Gen and newer, iPad 9th Gen and newer, iPad mini. 

Limited AirDrop from Everyone


Up until now, once you allow everyone with an iPhone to send you anything over AirDrop, the setting remained enabled for virtually forever. However, due to one reason or another, iOS 16.2 puts the kibosh on that one: you will only be discoverable by other AirDrop users for up to 10 minutes. Don't worry, people in your contacts list will be able to send you AirDrops without anything required on your part. 


Advanced Data Protection


Moving on to some more important privacy features, we get Advanced Data Protection in iOS 16.2. This one is rather straightforward, expanding end-to-end encryption to any messages, iCloud backups, iCloud Drive, Notes, Photos, Safari data and bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, Wallet content and passes, Reminders, and Voice Memos that you've backed up to your iCloud space. Essentially, everything backed up is encrypted, with the exception of the data used in Mail, Contacts, and Calendar, due to some legacy issues that prevent Apple from encrypting this particular data. 


Advanced Data Protection is an opt-in feature with a rather serious caveat: if you somehow lose the encryption key (password) to your encrypted iCloud data, Apple wouldn't be able to restore your information. During the setup of Advanced Data Protection, you are prompted to add an alternate recovery method, just in case. On the upside, the new security feature will keep your data safe even in the case of a cloud breach, which has definitely happened to Apple's iCloud in the past. The feature is currently available in the US only, but will rollout to the rest of the world in early 2023, says Apple. 

New lockscreen widgets


With iOS 16.2, iPhone users now have access to a new sleep widget that shows the graph for your most recent sleep, as well as a new medications widget that will remind you to take your pills on time. 


Improved Always On Display functionality


If you have an iPhone 14 Pro or an iPhone 14 Pro Max, you will be able to toggle the wallpaper and notifications when your Always On Display is active. This change is a pretty major one, as it allows your iPhone to still show you vital information such as the current time and your mini widgets, if you have opted for any, without distracting you with your wallpaper or any incoming notifications. Yay for more choices!


Upgrade to Home


Apple's Home hub app is getting a rather big revamp with the arrival of iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2. The underlying architecture of the app is upgraded so that it is compliant with the Matter smart home standard. As a result, the performance of your connected home gadgets and appliances should be improved, though you might need to update your HomePods and other smart gadgets that you've got paired into your Home app. 

ProMotion app-switching lag fix


Although ProMotion on the iPhone is not a new feature, Apple is continuously fixing bugs and addressing some shortcomings. iOS 16.2 will finally eliminate stuttering transitions between apps as SwiftUI layout changes finally score support for 120Hz refresh rates. So, expect that your iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro, or iPhone 14 Pro Max to be smoother following the iOS 16.2 update. 

Crash Detection optimizations


After you update to iOS 16.2, your new iPhone will no longer attempt to call emergency services while you're enjoying a roller coaster ride or skiing down the slopes. Just in time for winter, perfect! The same optimizations have made their way to eligible Apple Watches as well. 

iPadOS 16.2: What's new?


Just like iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2 scores the Freeform app, allowing you to more easily collaborate with the help of an Apple Pencil. Powerful iPads with an M1 or M2 chip on deck now also score external display support up to 6K resolution, as well as support for drag-and-drop files and windows to a connected display. You can also use four apps on your iPad and up to four on an external display at the same time, so a total of up to eight apps at the same time for the ultimate Stage Manager multitasking setup. The devices that support those features are the iPad Pro 12.9" (5th Gen) and newer, iPad Pro 11" (3rd Gen) and newer, as well as the most recent iPad Air (5th Gen)

WatchOS 9.2: What's new?


There are lots of quality-of-life updates included in WatchOS 9.2, but nothing too fancy. When you embark on an outdoor running workout to a nearby running rack, your Apple Watch  can now detect that and will automatically start a workout. You can also compete against your previous workouts on a specific route thanks to Race Route. We like features that game-ify real life! Apple has also optimized the Crash Detection feature on Apple Watch SE 2, Watch 8, and Apple Watch Ultra, as well as improved the accuracy of gesture controls. 

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