iOS 16.5 is now available to download on any iPhone newer than the iPhone 8, and despite being an incremental update, it’s an important one for your iPhone’s security.
Thought to be the last iOS 16 update before the iOS 17 beta goes live in June, iOS 16.5 patches a nefarious loophole that allows anyone to access your contacts book from your iPhone’s lock screen (an issue that presumably arose as a result of Apple’s decision to improve lock screen customization in iOS 16 proper).
Previous versions of iOS 16 have patched similar vulnerabilities concerning access to Messages and the Wallet app through the iPhone lock screen, so iOS 16.5 looks to have fixed the final threat in this particular set of security risks.
Elsewhere, iOS 16.5 adds three security patches for issues related to WebKit, the browser engine used in Apple’s Safari app. These patches – which defend against threats regarding personal data leakage – were introduced with Apple’s first iPhone Rapid Security Response update in early May, but now anyone who missed that time-sensitive rollout can benefit from the security improvements.
As for the non-security-related features introduced with iOS 16.5, the new update adds a series of Pride celebration lock screen wallpapers and a dedicated Sports tab in Apple News. The latter provides easier access to stories, scores, and standings for the teams and leagues you follow, with score cards now taking you directly to game pages.
iOS 16.5 patches various issues relating to Spotlight, CarPlay, and Screen Time, too. The full list of updates can be viewed on Apple’s dedicated iOS 16.5 release notes page.
To download iOS 16.5, head to Settings, General, then Software Update, and follow the on-screen prompts. Alternatively, read our guide on how to update your iPhone to iOS 16, which contains more detailed instructions for the same steps.
As mentioned, Apple is expected to debut its next major revision to iOS – iOS 17 – at WWDC 2023 in early June. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman had previously reported that development on the Apple VR headset would lead to “fewer major changes” for iOS 17, but the seasoned Apple expert has since claimed that the upcoming update will actually provide several of users’ “most requested features.”
In practice, this will likely mean a range of significant upgrades to existing iPhone features and apps, like CarPlay, Siri, and Messages. A series of rumored updates to Apple Maps, for instance, might finally make you switch from Google Maps.
Leakers are, however, divided over which iPhones will be compatible with iOS 17. Some report that iOS 17 will drop support for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, while others have counterclaimed that iOS 17 will be compatible with all iPhones capable of running iOS 16.
At this stage, then, there's little certainty around which iPhones will be supported by iOS 17 – but we're sure to find out at WWDC 2023 come June 5.