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4 exciting new iOS 16.1 features coming to your iPhone today

Updated Oct 26th, 2022 3:45PM EDT
iPhone 14 Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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If you’re not on the iOS 16 beta track, it’s probably been about a month since you updated your iPhone operating system with a major release. Apple released minor iOS 16.0.X updates to fix specific software issues after the iPhone 14 launch, but it didn’t release any new features. iOS 16.1 will change that on Monday, delivering a few exciting functionalities to your iPhone.

In this article, I’ll show you a few of the most useful new iPhone features in iOS 16.1.

iOS 16.1 enables Live Activities for third-party iPhone apps

iOS 16 completely changed the Lock Screen experience, allowing users to customize the design more than ever before. That includes adding widgets that can provide quick access to information. If you’re on an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, those widgets are always visible with the help of the always-on display.

But the new Lock Screen experience did not include support for Live Activities. iOS 16.1 will do exactly that. Live Activities will let you receive information in real time about a certain event. Like your next Uber ride, delivery order, and sports scores.

Also, if you rock the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, Live Activities will appear in the Dynamic Island when the handset is unlocked.

iOS 16 Live Activities: An example of live scores appearing on the Lock Screen.
iOS 16 Live Activities: An example of live scores appearing on the Lock Screen. Image source: Apple Inc.

Reachability support for the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island

The Dynamic Island is one of the best iPhone 14 Pro marketing tricks. It’s all everyone talked about after the handsets launched. And iOS 16.1 will improve the functionality by allowing you to interact with it while handling the phone with one hand.

iOS 16.1 delivers Reachability support to the Dynamic Island on the iPhone Pro models. That means you’ll be able to tap the Dynamic Island when lowering the screen UI while using the device with just one hand.

But you’ll have to enable Reachability from the phone’s Accessibility settings first.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island
iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island in action. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Key sharing in iOS 16.1’s Wallet

Key sharing is an iOS feature that lets you share digital access keys securely with your contacts. From time to time, you might want to pass the key to your car, hotel room, and other digital keys to your friends and family.

iOS 16.1 will enable the functionality. Key sharing will work via the Messages and WhatsApp apps as long as all the parties in the conversation are iPhone users.

Clean Energy Charging for iPhone

With energy being such an important topic this year, some iPhone users will certainly appreciate this iOS 16.1 feature. Clean Energy Charging is a new battery charging option coming to iPhone users on Monday.

This is the kind of feature you only need to enable once. According to Apple’s iOS 16.1 notes, it’s a “new setting that can try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available.”

You’ll find the feature in the Battery Health & Charging section of the Settings’ Battery menu.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Port
iPhone 14 Pro’s Lightning port. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Other iOS 16.1 features

These are just a few of Apple’s new iPhone features prepared for the iOS 16.1 update. In this release, you also get iCloud Shared Photo Library support, Apple Fitness+ on iPhone, Matter support in the Home app, and an Apple Card savings account. Updating can also eliminate the SiriSpy security flaw.

More Apple coverage: Check out the best Apple deals online right now.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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