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iOS 16.6: Everything new in the latest iPhone update

Updated Jun 28th, 2023 7:23AM EDT
iOS 16.4 beta
Image: Apple Inc.

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By the end of May, Apple released iOS 16.5. Just after that, the company seeded the first beta of iOS 16.6. As it seems this could be the latest major iOS 16 update, as the company is already testing iOS 17. That said, here’s what Apple still has on its sleeve about this operating system update, which is currently in beta.

First and foremost, there are no visible changes on iOS 16.6 beta so far. After a small iOS 16.5 update, Apple is most likely saving the biggest features for iOS 17.

One of the fewer changes was spotted by iOS developer Steve Moser. He shared on his Twitter that Apple has added references for Contact Key Verification with the first beta build of iOS 16.6. It used to show as a search result, although it was inactive, and later, Apple removed the references.

iMessage Contact Key Verification is a feature announced by the company at the end of 2022. While Apple has already rolled out Security Keys for Apple ID and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud during the iOS 16 cycle, the firm still had to release that other function.

For those unaware, iMessage Contact Key Verification lets users verify if they are communicating only with whom they intend. This is especially helpful for journalists, human rights activists, and government members.

Apple says that “conversations between users who have enabled iMessage Contact Key Verification receive automatic alerts if an exceptionally advanced adversary, such as a state-sponsored attacker, were ever to succeed breaching cloud servers and inserting their own device to eavesdrop on these encrypted communications. And for even higher security, iMessage Contact Key Verification users can compare a Contact Verification Code in person, on FaceTime, or through another secure call.”

As of now, it’s unclear if iOS 16.6 will bring this feature, but Apple has already started testing it. In addition, Steve Moser says Apple continues to work on Sports related features in the TV app, although he couldn’t disclose what’s new.

Apple is also beta testing iPadOS 16.6, watchOS 9.6, macOS 13.5, and tvOS 16.6. As of beta 4, Apple still doesn’t acknowledge release notes with the security fixes or improvements this update will bring.

BGR will let you know throughout this beta cycle what’s new – if there is.

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.