Apple launched iOS 16 on Monday, September 12, and is now going ahead in testing the next update to its new operating system. The Cupertino tech giant released iOS 16.1 (Beta) to developers on September 14, and it comes with some interesting and notable new features and updates. Here are a few of them –
Updated Home Screen/ Lock Screen customization
Tapping on the “Customize” interface on the Lock Screen will now give a new option to select between customizing either the Lock Screen or the Home Screen in iOS 16.1 Beta instead of only the Lock Screen. Thus, it makes it easier for users to customize their iPhones’ look from one place without going through multiple steps.
Adding support for Matter
iOS 16.1 Beta introduces a new “Matter Accessories” section in the Settings app. Hence, this hints that Apple is gearing up for the fall launch of the Matter smart home standard. The standard will enable interoperability between smart home devices from different companies. For instance, Matter will allow HomeKit, Google Assistant devices, and Alexa to work harmoniously.
Furthermore, tapping this section will display all Matter accessories added to any connected service. Apple claims, “These can also be added to additional services with an app that supports Matter.”
Moreover, in the release notes for the update, the company says that pairing Matter accessories first requires a profile installation on users’ devices. In addition, there are currently several known problems with the Matter standard, but workarounds are available on Apple’s website. These are some of the key points users should remember when using the Matter standard with iOS 16.1 Beta –
- If one removes Apple Home from Home’s Matter accessory Connected Services menu, it doesn’t remove the accessory tile.
- One might get an alert to turn on Wi-Fi when pairing a Matter accessory.
- Accessory details might not open if a Matter accessory is unreachable.
- One might be unable to pair using a Matter ECM code through the Matter Support Framework pairing API.
- A user might see an uncertified accessory notification when pairing Matter accessories.
- If a Matter accessory is already paired to a third-party ecosystem, one might be unable to pair it.
- The device that initiates the pairing needs to use the same iCloud account as the home hub. Lastly, only the owner of a home, not an invited user, can pair Matter accessories.
Clean Energy Charging feature
iOS 16.1 Beta comes with a toggle to enable “Clean Energy Charging” in the Settings app’s Battery section. It will reduce a device’s carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available. Apple claims that the iPhone will still reach 100% charge before users need to use it based on their daily charging routine. In addition, users can turn off the feature if they wish. However, users should note when updating iOS 16.1 that Clean Energy Charging is on by default.
Re-introducing the Live Activities API feature
iOS 16.1 Beta added the Live Activities API, which was available to developers for iOS 16 Beta testing. But, it is not currently available to iPhone users as no apps support the feature. However, developers can start implementing support.
Option to remove the Wallet app
iOS 16.1 offers the option to remove the Wallet app from the iPhone. In iOS 16 and previous iOS versions, users could remove the app from the Home Screen but not delete it entirely. However, now, users who do not want to use Apple Pay or other Wallet features can delete the app entirely.
Interestingly, Apple added this option as it faces a lawsuit accusing it of violating antitrust law by making Apple Pay the only available mobile wallet for tap-to-pay payments on the iPhone.
The appearance of battery percentage in the status bar
With iOS 16.1, Apple adds the battery percentage to the battery icon in the status bar of the iPhone XR, 11, 12 mini, 13 mini, and all the other models that did not support the feature in iOS 16.
Updated Screenshot UI
In iOS 16.1 Beta, users will see an updated interface in the upper right corner when they close the Screenshot editing tool. It gives them these options – delete, copy and delete, or save a screenshot. In the previous iOS versions, this menu was at the bottom, almost taking over that part of the iPhone’s display. So, the change is sleeker and less conspicuous.