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How iOS 16.1 Beta 2 fixes and enriches the iOS 16 experience

Two weeks after the large-scale rollout of iOS 16, Apple is rolling out the second open beta of iOS 16.1. This new version brings some long-awaited features, but also more than welcome patches to gradually refine what deserves to be.

Apple iPhone 14 (7)
The iPhone 14 under iOS 16, for illustration // Source: Frandroid – Anthony Wonner

With iOS 16.1, Apple intends to improve the experience offered by the new version of its system, which does not yet benefit from all the features promised at WWDC 2022. If some of the main expected functions will arrive later in 2022, or even in early 2023some of the new features promised are almost ready to be deployed… and are therefore on the menu for beta 2 of iOS 16.1, now open to everyone.

Dubbed “20B5050f,” this new build is coming alongside iPadOS 16.1 beta 3, watchOS 9.1 beta 2, tvOS 16.1 beta 2, HomePod 16.1 beta 2, and macOS Ventura 13 beta 6. All of these builds are publicly available and therefore open to all users enrolled in the Apple beta program.

iOS 16.1 public beta 2: what’s new?

Without further ado, here is the list of new features contained in the public version of iOS 16.1 beta 2:

  • Live Activities: A star feature introduced to great fanfare at WWDC 2022, Live Activities keeps you up to date with what’s happening in real time, right from your lock screen, and with persistent, dynamic notifications. Convenient for following a sports meeting, an order being delivered or a race without necessarily going through a VTC application.
  • The Live Activities API: the new API for developers wishing to create content related to the Live Activities function.
  • Apple Maps app can be removed: As promised, OS 16.1 now allows users to remove the Maps app for the first time. A novelty that allows Apple to show its credentials to regulatorsand which does not impact the user too much since the application can be easily reinstalled from the App Store.
  • Matter support: Matter is a new smart home connectivity standard that notably allows a given device to offer cross-compatibility with Apple Home, Alexa, and Google Home (among others).
  • iCloud shared photo library: this new function makes it possible to create a single, shared space on which the photos and videos taken, for example, by the different members of a family will automatically be saved.
  • Clean energy charging: This clean energy charging aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the iPhone by optimizing charging times when the network uses less polluting energy sources.
  • Battery Percentage Available on More iPhones: First launched with the latest beta stages of iOS 16.0, the battery icon including battery life percentage is now available on iPhone XR, iPhone 11 , iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini. Four models who, strangely, had been deprived of them.

With iOS 16.1 beta 2, Apple is also taking the opportunity to fix a few bugs including a problem related to the copy / paste function, and another related to gestures performed with three fingers. This beta 2 finally reintroduces the charging indicator for the lock screen, previously available on iOS 15.

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