September 12 update below. This article was first published on September 10.
Apples iOS16 was launched after being confirmed to drop the iPhone maker an event. The latest iPhone software comes with a bunch of brilliant new features that will be game changers for your security and privacy. Here are the best iPhone features that come with iOS 16.
Rapid Security Response
Currently, Apple security updates come with feature upgrades, though the iPhone maker is increasingly releasing separate emergency patches such as iOS 15.6.1. Fearing iPhone bugs, many Apple users have to choose between security and functionality when a new version of iOS is released.
Enter iOS 16 Rapid Security Response, Apple’s answer to fixing security quickly and separately from general software updates. “Now your iPhone will get important security enhancements between regular software updates, so you’ll automatically stay up-to-date and protected against security issues,” Apple says.
Security keys make a lot of headlines, and for good reason. Available in iOS 16, passkeys are end-to-end encrypted and synced across Apple devices through the iCloud Keychain password manager.
Among the benefits, Apple’s solution for clearing the password prevents you from being phished and protects your credentials from leaking websites. “Your private key is never stored on a web server, so you don’t have to worry about leaks from websites compromising your accounts,” according to Apple.
Security keys should also be easy to use. Starting with iOS 16, you can sign in to websites or apps on other devices, including non-Apple devices, with your registered passkey by scanning the QR code with your iPhone or iPad and using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.
Cancel sending messages
Apple fans have been asking for the ability to unsend messages for some time, and with iOS 16, the iPhone maker has finally launched this feature. You can edit a message up to 15 minutes after you send it, and you can unsend a message up to two minutes after it was sent. Users can make up to five edits to a given message, but be aware that recipients will be able to see a recording of it.
Lock Mode is, in fact, something that grabbed Apple’s headlines when it launched iOS 16, but most of us won’t be using it. Apple says lockdown mode provides “extreme protection for the very small number of users who face serious, targeted threats to their digital security.”
The idea of this feature is to lock your iPhone to such an extent that it will not be targeted by spyware. Unfortunately, lock mode renders your device nearly unusable, so approach it with caution.
Safety Check is a useful privacy feature available in iOS 16 for people who may be exposed to a controlling or abusive partner. More broadly, it can be used as a quick check to help lock your iPhone. Using Safety Check, you can reset the access you’ve granted to others, change system privacy permissions for apps, and restrict messages and FaceTime to the device.
Several other privacy and security features of iOS 16 are also worth noting. First, apps will ask for permission before accessing the clipboard to paste content from another app.
Meanwhile, in Photos, your hidden and recently deleted albums are locked by default and can be unlocked using Face ID, Touch ID, or your password.
September 12 update:
Apple releases iOS 16 and iOS 15.7
Apple released iOS 16, and it comes with it iOS 15.7– which has puzzled many iPhone users. So should you update to iOS 16, or is it better to update to iOS 15.7 and wait for the bugs to be fixed?
In the past, it was important to immediately upgrade to important iPhone software updates, to make sure your iPhone was protected from security issues. This could leave lots of people complaining about bugs, or worse, refusing to update and exposing themselves to big security issues.
This time, the choice to update to iOS 16 is yours. But beware, the iOS 15.7 update is important, as it fixes 11 security issues, one of which is used by adversaries in real attacks against iPhones. The exploited flaw is in the iPhone kernel, the heart of the operating system, and it’s possible that it’s chained together with one of the other vulnerabilities to take over your iPhone.
Apple describes the flaw as allowing an application to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. “Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” the iPhone maker said.
Apple isn’t providing many details about the issues fixed in iOS 15.7, to give iPhone users a chance to update before other attackers can iron out the details. Two issues addressed in WebKit, the engine that powers Safari, could lead to code execution, Apple says on its support page.
If your iPhone is eligible, you should immediately update to iOS 15.7, especially if you are an enterprise user or someone who might be targeted.
With iOS 16, it’s more a choice: the update Fixes the same list of security issues as iOS 15.7, but it’s also Apple’s biggest iPhone feature upgrade in a year. I’ve already updated to iOS 16, but I’m ready for a few bugs so I can try out the cool new features.
So, update to iOS 16 or update to iOS 15.7. Luckily, whatever you decide, your iPhone will stay safe.