Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 to Developers
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming two weeks after the release of the first betas.
Registered developers can opt in to the betas by opening up the Settings app, going to Software Update, tapping on the “Beta Updates” option and toggling on the iOS 16 Developer Beta. Note that an Apple ID associated with a developer account is required to download and install the beta.
iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 lay the groundwork for iMessage Contact Key Verification. It is meant to let Apple device owners verify that they are messaging with the people they intend to message rather than a malicious entity that has intercepted a message or is eavesdropping on a conversation.
The feature is designed for Apple users who are facing “extraordinary digital threats.” Apple intends for iMessage Contact Key Verification to be used by journalists, human rights activists, government officials, and others who are in danger of malicious digital attacks from state-sponsored attackers or other malicious actors.
Apple said that iMessage Contact Key Verification would be available on the iPhone and other Apple devices at some point in 2023, and it is one of the last features we are expecting to see in iOS 16. In the first beta, hints of iMessage Contact Key were available, but the option was not fully enabled.