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Apple is working on iOS 16.6 for iPhone ahead of iOS 17

Published Apr 14th, 2023 11:41AM EDT
iOS 16.4 beta
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple is currently testing iOS 16.5, but those thinking this would be the last major software update before iOS 17 arrives can wait way more. Although WWDC 2023 keynote is set for June 5, Apple will only preview iOS 17, which is set to be released three months later, around September, with the iPhone 15 event.

That being said, technically, iOS 16.5 would have to last for almost five months before we could officially download iOS 17 – which won’t happen. According to MacRumors, the publication’s analytics log shows that Apple is already internally testing iOS 16.6, as the company’s employees have accessed MacRumors running this unreleased build.

The publication has previously said that Apple was internally testing iOS 16.5 at least six weeks before making the first developer beta available. Interestingly enough, the company had released .6 beta updates before WWDC, meaning iOS 16.5 will likely land around a month from now, and then Apple will start testing iOS 16.6 before announcing iOS 17.

Since iOS 16.5 has fewer features being tested, it’s possible that iOS 16.6 will also be a mild update before a major revamp with iOS 17. In addition, registered developers and then public beta testers will likely focus on iOS 17 testing rather than iOS 16.6.

MacRumors notes that iOS 16.6 could be readying the iMessage Contact Key Verification feature, as Apple will likely announce its Apple Card Savings account next week. In addition to that, the company could finally unveil which car models will use the revamped CarPlay experience or what has changed since the company demoed this software update during the WWDC 2022 keynote.

iOS 17 is expected to add interactive widgets, a revamped Control Center, improve stability, and fixes to recurring bugs.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.