What’s New in iOS 16.1

iOS 16.1 was released to developers yesterday in the form of its first beta. Hopefully, this new beta has brought several further improvements and features to the platform, all of which will make it into the final release. The final release of iOS 16.1 is expected to be in October. Here are some of the key highlights of new features coming in the release.

Battery Percentage Indicator on iPhone 13 Mini and Older iPhones

After not being supported in the 16.0 release, the new Battery Percentage Indicator is coming to the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 11, and iPhone XR. The larger iPhones in the 12 and 13 lineups are supported in 16.0, and there was plenty of public uproar over the smaller devices and older iPhones not getting the new feature. That seems to be resolved now.

The new feature lets you see the battery life remaining percentage in the battery icon on your iPhone. It is enabled in the Battery settings on your iPhone. Personally, I don’t find it particularly helpful but you do you.

iOS 16 Battery Percentage
iOS 16.0/16.1 Battery Percentage

Matter Support

Matter is a new industry-wide standard for smart home devices. The new standard is supported by Apple, Google, and Amazon and will allow easy management and cross-platform functionality. In 16.1, the underpinnings for Matter support can be found in Settings>General. While they don’t do anything now as HomePods haven’t been updated to support it, it will once Apple fully rolls it out.

Matter Accessories Setting in iOS 16.1
Matter Accessories Setting in iOS 16.1

Improved Screenshot Menu

If you take screenshots of your iPhone, the new menu layout in 16.1 will be welcomed. The menu has been moved from the bottom to the top-left corner. It is far easier to read and use than in 16.0 and earlier.

Improved Screenshot Menu in iOS 16.1
Improved Screenshot Menu in iOS 16.1

Apple Wallet Can Be Fully Deleted

If you do not use Apple Wallet, in iOS 15.x and 16, you have been able to remove it from your Home Screen and bury it in your App Library. With 16.1, you can now completely delete the app.

Delete Apple Wallet in iOS 16.1
Delete Apple Wallet in iOS 16.1

Live Activities API is… Live

One of the banner features of iOS 16 is Live Activities. It allows live information to be shared on your Lock Screen or in the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro, such as keeping track of your Uber, an MLB baseball game, or flight with Flighty. In 16.1, Apple enabled the API to support Live Activities. This means that app developers can start developing support for the feature. Right now, they can only test in Test Flight, but Apple indicates that by the time the Release Candidate is available, they will be able to submit their apps for approval in the App Store.

Live Activities in iOS 16. (Image Courtesty of Apple)
Live Activities in iOS 16. (Image Courtesty of Apple)

iOS 16.1 is expected to be launched in October, likely at the same time iPadOS 16.1 is launched with the new lineup of iPad devices.

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