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iOS 16.3 released – update for Security Keys and more

Apple has released iOS 16.3 and iPadOS 16.3, the third big update since iOS 16 first dropped last September. You can install it now as a free upgrade from the Settings app.

It’s not as meaty an update as the last one was, with Freeform and Apple Music Sing both added with the release of iOS 16.2 late last year. But iOS 16.3 nevertheless includes some interesting new features alongside some important bug fixes. So what’s new, exactly?

HomePod 2 support

Apple surprised the world last week with the release of a second-generation HomePod, and this latest iOS update includes support for it. That means you’ll want to grab iOS 16.3 if you plan on buying the new smart speaker any time soon.

Security Keys

Anyone with two-factor authentication set up will be familiar with the verification codes sent to a trusted device when you try to log in somewhere new. Anyone wanted to increase their digital security even further can grab a real-life FIDO certified security key, which is now supported by Apple with this latest iOS update.

That means when logging into a new device, instead of a verification code you’ll need to use your physical security key to verify your identity. The average person probably doesn’t need this level of security, but if you work in a role where account access needs to be as locked down as possible, this offers a clever new solution for iPhone users.

Anything else?

There are changes to Emergency SOS, making it less likely to accidentally place an emergency call. Turn on Call with Hold and Release in Settings > Emergency SOS if you find it activating by mistake in your bag or pocket.

Those with the latest and greatest iPhone 14 Pro Max may have seen a weird display bug that showed lines across the screen – that has been fixed with this update.

You’ll also discover smaller bug fixes, covering issues with Siri, CarPlay, Home, and more.

Finally, there’s a colorful new Unity wallpaper designed to celebrate Black History Month.

You can update by following the prompts in Settings > General > Software Update. Trigging the process manually is usually the fastest way to get the latest updates – automatic updates are staggered and sometimes don’t kick in for over a week after a new update drops.