All of the New Features in iPadOS 16.2 and iOS 16.2: Freeform App, Stage Manager External Display Support, Accidental Emergency SOS Reports and More
Apple today provided the first betas of iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 to developers, introducing even more new features that have been promised for the iOS 16 update.
We've outlined all of the changes found in the iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 betas so far in this guide.
Apple debuted a new cross-platform Freeform app in iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1. Designed for collaboration, Freeform can be used for jotting down notes, sketching, drawing, saving links, and more.
Multiple people can work on the same Freeform document, with updates synced for all participants in real-time. Apple says that Freeform can be used for sketching projects, designing mood boards, and brainstorming ideas, with the app serving as a creative space.
Stage Manager External Display Support
With iPadOS 16.2, Stage Manager on M1 and M2 iPads can be used with external displays once again. This is functionality that Apple removed in the first version of iPadOS 16 in order to expand Stage Manager to A12X and A12Z iPad Pro models.
With external display support, Stage Manager supports up to eight apps for multitasking purposes, rather than four. This functionality is limited to M1 and M2 iPads.
For the M1 or M2 capable iPads, there is also an option to drag and drop a window from the iPad to the external monitor that is connected to your device. Dragging a window from one device to another is new in the iOS 16.2 update.
New Home App Architecture
Paired with HomePod 16.2 software, iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1 add support for an updated Home app architecture that comes following the addition of the Matter smart home standard.
Apple says that the new Home app architecture will bring faster, more reliable performance in homes with many smart accessories, but it requires every device that accesses the home to be running the iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS Ventura 13.1, tvOS 16.2, and watchOS 9.2 betas, along with the HomePod 16.2 beta software.
Expanded 120Hz ProMotion Support
On devices that support ProMotion, Apple says that SwiftUI animated layout changes will support a 120Hz refresh rate, functionality that was previously missing.
Unintentional SOS Calls
Apple appears to be collecting data on accidental SOS calls with the update, and one user has reported an Apple inquiry about the call that collects system data.
New iOS 16.2 accidental Emergency SOS call report features, I accidentally triggered emergency SOS and the police 👮♂️ actually ended up in my house. 😳 @9to5mac @MacRumors pic.twitter.com/w0OOaK9W7E — iDeviceHelp (@iDeviceHelpus) October 25, 2022
Disable Wallpaper and Notifications for Always On Display
iOS 16.2 adds two toggles for disabling wallpaper and notifications when always on display is active. The feature makes for a simpler always on display interface that only shows the time and any widgets that are enabled.
Battery Status Shortcut
There is a new Battery Status Shortcut available that provides information about the iPhone's battery and any charger that's connected.
Apple has made a small tweak to the Software Updates section of the Settings app, which is available under General. The text of the software version that's installed is now bolder, making it more apparent.
Lock Screen Sleep Widget
iOS 16.2 adds a Sleep widget to the Lock Screen, which draws from data stored in the Health app and collected by the Apple Watch or other sleep tracking devices. It provides information such as time spent in bed and sleep quality, with three variants available.
A simple one tile widget shows the amount of time that you spent in bed, and two multi-tile options display either a bar chart that shows sleep quality or a larger widget that shows time in bed along with a visual representation. Tapping on the widget opens up the Sleep section of the Health app.
Lock Screen Medication Widget
In addition to a new Sleep widget, Apple has also added a Medications widget. There are two options, one that is a single pill icon and a second that lets you know when you need to take a medication. It will alert you if all your medications are logged or if you have no more medications for the day.
5G in India
iOS 16.2 unlocks 5G service in India, and multiple carriers in the country are now supporting 5G speeds.
TV App Live Sports Scores
The iOS 16.2 beta re-adds Live Activities integration for select sports games for the built-in TV app on the iPhone. Games can be tracked in real time on the Lock Screen or the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro models.
TV App Updates
With the iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, tvOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1 updates, Apple has tweaked the TV app. There's now a "Featured" section above the "Up Next" section, making it more difficult for users to get to the TV shows they want to watch.
The Featured section content replaces Up Next in the "Watch Now" tab of the Apple TV app, with featured TV shows and movies right at the top of the interface.
Weather App News
The Weather app now integrates with Apple News, displaying relevant Weather-related news information based on your region.
Live Activities in the TV App
There is an option to get more frequent Live Activity updates from the TV app for following sports games. More frequent updates can result in faster battery drain, so you might want to disable it if you're concerned about battery life.
Siri Silent Responses
In the Accessibility section of the Settings app, there is an option to set Siri to "Prefer Silent Responses" so that Siri will confirm requests on-device rather than out loud.
ProMotion Lag Fix
The iOS 16.2 update appears to address long-running issues affecting the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro models with ProMotion. These devices can experience lagging and stuttering system animations when closing and switching between apps, and multiple reports from beta testers indicate the performance has been improved in the update.
Other New Features
Know of a new feature in iOS 16.2 that we left out? Let us know in the comments below.