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5 Things to Know About the iOS 16.3 Update

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Apple’s released a new iOS 16.3 update for iPhone and the software comes with some intriguing enhancements.

iOS 16.3 is the company’s third milestone upgrade for iOS 16. Like its predecessor iOS 16.2, the software delivers new features, bug fixes, and security updates that should improve the iPhone experience.

With that in mind we want to take you through everything you need to know about iOS 16.3, Apple’s latest and greatest iOS 16 update for the iPhone.

In this guide we’ll walk you through iOS 16.3’s features, the firmware’s performance, the current state of iOS 16.3 problems, the iOS 16.3 jailbreak status, and more. We’ll start with some quick thoughts on iOS 16.3’s performance.

iOS 16.3 Review

If your iPhone is currently running iOS 16.2, you’ll see the smallest iOS 16.3 download size when you go to install the new software in your Settings app.

The exact size of the iOS 16.3 download depends on your iPhone model and the version of iOS it’s currently running. If your device is running a really older version of iOS 16, or an older version of iOS, you’ll likely see a bigger download because iOS 16.3 will have the changes from the updates you skipped on board.

If you’re moving your iPhone up from iOS 16.2, the installation process should take 10 minutes or less to complete. It took about seven minutes to install on an iPhone 12 Pro.

We’ve been using the iOS 16.3 update on an iPhone 12 Pro for a few days now and here’s what we’ve learned about the software’s performance thus far:

Connectivity

  • Battery life is stable.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
  • Bluetooth is working normally.
  • GPS and cellular data are both stable.

App Performance

  • Third-party apps including Netflix, Dark Sky, Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are working fine at the moment.
  • First party apps like Safari and Podcasts are also stable.

Speed

  • iOS 16.2 feels as fast as iOS 16.3 did. We haven’t noticed an increase in lag and animations and transitions are crisp right now.

If you’ve been dealing with bugs and/or performance issues on iOS 16.2 or an older version of iOS 16, you should probably install the iOS 16.3 update on your iPhone.

If you need help making a decision about an upgrade, check out the best reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 16.3 update on your iPhone right now.

iOS 16.3 Problems

iOS 16.3 is causing problems for some iPhone users. Some of these problems are brand new, others have carried over from older iOS firmware.

The current list of iOS 16.3 problems includes abnormal battery drain, installation issues, Wi-Fi problems, Bluetooth bugs, UI lag, issues with Face ID, and issues with various first and third-party apps.

If you encounter a problem with the software, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS 16 issues. We’ve also released some tips that could help you improve your phone’s performance and some tips that could help you fix iOS 16 battery life issues.

Apple stopped signing on iOS 16.2 which means you can’t move your iPhone’s software back to the previous version of iOS 16 in an effort to improve its performance. You can’t downgrade to older versions of iOS either.

Keep this in mind if you’re having a good experience on your current version of iOS. Once you make the move to iOS 16.3, you won’t be able to get back.

For more on the downgrade process, check out our guide.

iOS 16.3 Features

Apple’s milestone updates (x.x) almost always bring new features, enhancements, security patches, and bug fixes to iPhone users and that’s what you’ll get from iOS 16.3.

Here’s the full iOS 16.3 change log:

Features

  • New Unity wallpaper honors Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month.
  • Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process on new devices.
  • Support for HomePod (2nd generation).
  • Emergency SOS calls now require holding the side button with the up or down volume button and then releasing in order to prevent inadvertent emergency calls.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards.
  • Addresses an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the Lock Screen.
  • Fixes an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear while waking up iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display Home app status.
  • Addresses an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests.
  • Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly. (This fixes a bug that prevented Find My app from working properly with CarPlay.)

While unlisted, it looks like iOS 16.3 lets iPhone users add lock screen widgets to classic wallpapers.

The software also brings new security patches to the iPhone and you can read more about those changes over on Apple’s security website.

iOS 16.3 Jailbreak

If you still jailbreak, make sure you avoid the iOS 16.3 update.

Developers have released a new jailbreak that works with iOS 15.0-iOS 16.2. Unfortunately, the jailbreak doesn’t work with iOS 16.3 and it’s only compatible with the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.

We’ll let you know if that changes.

What’s Next

iOS 16.3 was the last known iOS software upgrade in Apple’s pipeline so it’s unclear when the next version of iOS 16 will roll out to iPhone users.

While unconfirmed, it looks like Apple is testing a new iOS 16.3.1 update for release ahead of the company’s next milestone upgrade.

We suspect Apple will put a new milestone update, dubbed iOS 16.4, into beta testing in the near future so keep an eye out as we cruise through the month.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 16.3 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 16.3 for Better Security

Install iOS 16.3 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.3 update right away.

iOS 16.3 brings 12 new security patches (including one for the Weather app) with it and you can learn more about all of those right here

In addition, the software comes with support for physical security keys for Apple ID. These will beef up your account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process. Learn more about the change right here.

If you skipped iOS 16.2, you'll get its changes with iOS 16.3. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site

The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide

If you decided to hold off on installing iOS 16.1.2, you'll get its solitary security patch with your upgrade. Learn more about it right here.

If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.

If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.

If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.

If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.

iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.

In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others." 

The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.

Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks. 

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