Today, Apple has released iOS 16.3 and iPadOS 16.3 with both having a focus on security. For example, Advanced Data Protection is now here for much more countries than before, support for Security Keys has been added and some improvements have been made to the Emergency SOS feature – as well as much more.

New features

iOS 16.3 adds support for Advanced Data Protection globally for the first time, initially when the feature was announced it was only in the US to start with. This new feature mans that users can now choose to enable end-to-end encryption for Photos, Notes, Voice Memos, Messages backups, device backups, and more. This means no-one, not even Apple will be able to access the data you have stored. iWork collaboration, Shared Albums in Photos, and sharing content with “anyone with a link” do not support Advanced Data Protection. See here for more information about Advanced Data Protection.

iOS 16.3 adds support for the new HomePod (2nd generation) which was announced last week and some vital improvements have been made to the Emergency SOS feature to make it more reliable, now requiring users to hold the side button with the up or down volume button to activate the calls, in order to prevent any accidental emergency calls.

Release Notes

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:

  • 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
  • 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

iOS 16.3

iOS 16.3 and iPadOS 16.3 are both available now and can be updated by going to Settings > General > Software Update. For users still on iOS 15 and iOS 12, Apple has also released iOS 15.7.3 and iOS 12.5.7, both containing security updates.