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iOS 16.6 now available to iPhone and iPad users with several improvements

Published Jul 24th, 2023 1:12PM EDT
iOS 16.4 beta
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple started beta testing iOS 16.6 by the end of May. Two months later, the Cupertino firm is now releasing it to all users. While it was first expected that this software update could finally feature Contact Key Verification, Apple is only adding “important bug fixes and security updates.”

Interestingly, while iOS 16.5 was also a small update, at least it offered a few new features in iOS 16:

  • My Sports tab: iOS 16.5 brings the highly-requested My Sports tab to Apple News. You can follow your favorite sports, teams, leagues, and athletes there. It’s also possible to access scores, schedules, and standings for the top professional and college leagues.
  • Siri improvements: While users can ask for quite some time for Siri to take a screenshot of the iPhone screen, iOS 16.5 makes it possible for the assistant to start a screen recording for the first time. Users must say, “Hey Siri, start screen recording,” and the screen recording will begin.
  • Pride wallpaper: iOS 16.5 includes the recently-announced Pride celebration wallpaper for the iPhone. It has some interesting UI tweaks.

Unfortunately, iOS 16.6 doesn’t add anything visual to the table. As said above, Apple was testing Contact Key Verification, which was first announced by the company at the end of 2022, alongside Security Keys for Apple ID and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud.

Message 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.”

While we are still at least a month and a half away from Apple releasing iOS 17, it’s unclear if iOS 16.6 will be the last major iOS 16 update or if we’ll get version iOS 16.7 beta version in the near future.

Besides that, Apple is also releasing watchOS 9.6, macOS 13.5, and tvOS 16.6 to all users.

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.