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iOS 16.2: What new features can we expect in Apple's smartphone ecosystem?

iOS 16.2: What new features can we expect in Apple’s smartphone ecosystem?

Apple plans to release the next major update for iOS soon — possibly later this week. iOS 16.2 delivers a number of features that Apple promised when it launched iOS 16 back in the summer but now only manages to deliver, including new apps, internal features, and improvements. These things go beyond what one would actually expect from a point release – showing that Apple developers clearly need more time. However, some features were only announced recently.

So-called live activities, with which apps can communicate current temporary states and keep users up to date in a small window – say when a car with a shuttle arrives, has been around for a long time. With iOS 16.2, sports scores are also now added, which Apple provides to the screen from the Apple TV app. For example, you can view scores from baseball, basketball, football, or soccer games that update dynamically. Either you’ll end up in a window below or the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max on Dynamic Island. To use this feature, you must first “follow” your team in the TV app. It is still not clear if the results of the European leagues will also be shown or if it will only be for the American teams.

In the Home app, Apple mainly promises in-house innovations. This gets a new internal architecture that should improve overall performance — as well as support for the new Matter standard that started with iOS 16.1. To do this, the HomePod, HomePod mini, and Apple TV as a home hub must receive an update. The lock screen (lock screen) is changing, especially on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max: they’re getting tweaks to the always-on display. So you can decide if the background image should be darkened or the screen should remain black. Notifications can also be turned off if desired. All iPhones also get two new tools for the Health app: to track sleep and take medication.

Perhaps iOS 16.2 will bring three more innovations. This is how the new freeform mind mapping app will finally come out. This is also available on iPad and Mac and allows cloud collaboration. Allows you to draw and write documents on a whiteboard-like surface. Beta tests have been running here for a long time. Moreover, there is now the Apple Music Sing karaoke service for iPhone, which is part of the Apple Music app. Here the vocals fade away so you can sing along; At the same time the lyrics can be seen.

With iOS 16.2, Apple will also introduce new end-to-end encryption for iCloud. Advanced Data Protection (ADP) secures photos and backups for the first time, enables iMessage to be used in the cloud without access, and is fully end-to-end encrypted. Only Apple Mail, Calendar, and Contacts remain unencrypted. ADP is only available in the US at launch, with Europe and the rest of the world to follow in early 2023. Other innovations in iOS 16.2 concern AirDrop settings, which will automatically turn off future notification reception from all users in the region (a feature that’s not controversial). What’s more, the news app now finds images of specific content based on descriptions — if you enter the name of someone the system knows or search for a car, the app should find it thanks to AI indexing.

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