Though iOS 16 was just released on Monday, Apple is already moving on to testing the next update to the operating system. iOS 16.1 was seeded to developers today, and it introduces a handful of new features that are worth noting.
Lock Screen/Home Screen Customization
When tapping on the „Customize“ interface on the Lock Screen, there’s now an option to choose between customizing either the Lock Screen or the Home Screen, rather than just the Lock Screen. This makes it easier to customize the look of the iPhone from one spot without having to go through multiple steps.
iOS 16.1 introduces a new „Matter Accessories“ section to the Settings app, suggesting that Apple is preparing for the fall launch of the Matter smart home standard.
Tapping into the Matter Accessories section suggests that it will display all Matter accessories that have been added to a connected service. „These can also be added to additional services with an app that supports Matter,“ reads the text. Matter will allow interoperability between smart devices from different companies, so HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant devices, for example, can work together.
In the release notes for the update, Apple says that pairing Matter accessories first requires a profile installed on your device. There are also several other known issues with the Matter standard at the current time, with workarounds available on Apple’s site.
- Removing Apple Home from the Matter accessory Connected Services menu in Home doesn’t remove the accessory tile.
- You might receive an alert to turn on Wi-Fi when pairing a Matter accessory.
- Accessory details might not open if a Matter accessory is unreachable.
- You might be unable to pair using a Matter ECM code via the Matter Support Framework pairing API.
- Uncertified accessory notifications might appear when pairing Matter accessories.
- You might be unable to pair a Matter accessory if the accessory is already paired to a third-party ecosystem.
- The device that initiates the pairing needs to use the same iCloud account as the home hub. Only the owner of a home, not an invited user, can pair Matter accessories.
Clean Energy Charging
iOS 16.1 adds a toggle to enable „Clean Energy Charging“ in the Battery section of the Settings app. Clean Energy Charging will try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available.
Apple says that the iPhone will still reach full charge before you need to use it based on your daily charging routine, and the feature can be toggled off if desired. It appears to be enabled by default when updating to iOS 16.1.
Live Activities API
iOS 16.1 re-adds the Live Activities API that was available for developers for testing purposes during the iOS 16 beta. iPhone users cannot access Live Activities at the current time as there are no apps that support it, but developers can begin implementing support.
Delete Wallet App
iOS 16.1 adds the option to remove the Wallet app from the iPhone entirely. In iOS 16 and earlier versions of iOS, the app could be removed from the Home Screen, but not deleted. It is now able to be deleted entirely for those who do not want to use Apple Pay or other Wallet features.
The option comes as Apple is facing a lawsuit accusing it of violating antitrust law by making Apple Pay the only available mobile wallet for tap-to-pay payments on iPhone.
Battery Percentage in Status Bar
iOS 16.1 adds battery percentage to the battery icon in the status bar on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, and iPhone 13 mini, all iPhones that did not support the feature in iOS 16.
When you close the Screenshot editing tool, there is an updated interface in the upper right corner that gives the options to delete a screenshot, copy and delete, or save it. This menu used to be at the bottom of the iPhone, so this new implementation is sleeker and less in your face as it does not take over the bottom of the display.