iOS 16.6 Features: Everything New in iOS 16.6

Apple on July 24 released iOS 16.6, the newest version of the iOS 16.6 operating system. iOS 16.6 is a smaller update than we've had in the past in terms of features, but that doesn't make it any less important.

iOS 16

Security Fixes

Apple seems to have released iOS 16.6 to push security fixes to iPhone users, and it addresses 16 total vulnerabilities. It fixes bugs with the Apple Neural Engine, Find My, the kernel, WebKit, and more.

A full list of fixes and details about them can be found in Apple's security support document, but what's important to know is that two of the vulnerabilities may have been actively exploited in the wild. A kernel vulnerability is known to have impacted devices running versions of iOS earlier than iOS 15.7.1, but it sounds like it could impact newer versions of iOS, attackers just hadn't gotten around to it.

The other vulnerability that was exploited was first addressed with a Rapid Response Security update, iOS 16.5.1 (c), but if you didn't install that you're still open to attack.

Because this update has so many security improvements, it is a good idea to install it as soon as possible. You won't get fun new features for your phone, but iOS 16.6 keeps your data safer by bolstering the underlying software architecture.

iMessage Contact Verification Groundwork

While Apple did not introduce iMessage Contact Key Verification, this update did add some under-the-hood functionality that suggests we could see it in the not too distant future.

Apple advanced security iMessage Contact Key Verification screen Feature
As a refresher, iMessage Contact Key Verification lets 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. In a conversation between two or more people who have enabled iMessage Contact Key Verification, Apple will send an alert if the cloud servers are ever breached and a conversation is vulnerable to an intrusion.

At one point in the iOS 16.6 beta, iMessage Contact Key Verification showed up in the settings app, but Apple pulled it in a later beta. Still, work on the option appears to be progressing. This feature will not be for everyone when it launches, and Apple intends it to be used by ‌iPhone‌ users who are facing "extraordinary digital threats," such as journalists, human rights activists, government officials, and others who are in danger of malicious digital attacks.

What's Next for iOS

iOS 16.6 focused on under-the-hood improvements because Apple is developing iOS 17, which is the update that will bring a ton of new functionality to the ‌iPhone‌ this fall. Apple is saving feature additions for iOS 17, and the update brings a new StandBy mode for the Lock Screen, interactive widgets, improved autocorrect, major new features for Messages, FaceTime, and Safari, plus tons more.

Full details on all of the features coming in ‌iOS 17‌ can be found in our iOS 17 roundup.

Popular Stories

Multi Display CarPlay 1

All-New Apple CarPlay Launching Later This Year With These 5 New Features

Friday September 29, 2023 11:29 am PDT by
At WWDC 2022 last year, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple said the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience would be announced in late 2023, but it has still not shared any additional...
BMW Logo iPhone 15 Pro

Warning: BMW Wireless Charging May Break iPhone 15's Apple Pay Chip

Sunday October 1, 2023 6:14 am PDT by
If you have an iPhone 15 and drive a BMW, it might be best to avoid charging the device with the vehicle's wireless charging pad for now. Over the past week, some BMW owners have complained that their iPhone 15's NFC chip no longer works after charging the device with their vehicle's wireless charging pad, according to comments shared on the MacRumors Forums and X, formerly known as Twitter. ...
iPhone 15 Pro lineup

Apple to Address iPhone 15 Pro Overheating Issue With iOS 17 Update

Saturday September 30, 2023 9:28 am PDT by
Apple plans to release an iOS 17 update to address a bug that may contribute to the reported iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max overheating issue, according to a statement the company shared today with MacRumors and Forbes reporter David Phelan. Apple also says some recent updates to third-party apps have overloaded the system and contributed to the overheating issue. The report notes that...
iphone se 4 modified flag edges

iPhone SE 4 Details: Action Button, USB-C Port, Face ID, and More

Wednesday September 27, 2023 1:34 pm PDT by
Significant changes are expected to arrive with Apple's fourth-generation iPhone SE, in terms of both design and hardware, MacRumors has learned. The iPhone SE 4, known internally under the codename Ghost, is expected to receive a new design derived almost entirely from the base model iPhone 14. According to our sources, the iPhone SE 4 will use a modified version of the iPhone 14 chassis...
iPhone 16 Side Feature

iPhone 16 and 16 Pro: Preliminary Weights and Dimensions

Friday September 29, 2023 12:34 pm PDT by
MacRumors has obtained preliminary information on the weights and dimensions planned for the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max. The information corroborates previous reports suggesting that the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max will feature larger displays. iPhone 16 and 16 Plus Current information suggests that the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will maintain the same...
uk bank account apple wallet 2

Apple Wallet's New Bank Account Feature Likely to Expand to U.S.

Friday September 29, 2023 8:11 pm PDT by
Starting with the iOS 17.1 beta released this week, iPhone users in the U.K. can add debit and credit cards from select banks in the country to the Wallet app and view their available balances and latest transactions for those accounts. Apple calls this feature Connected Cards, and it's currently available in the U.K. only, but there is now evidence to suggest it will expand to the U.S. in...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

Apple Says iPhone 15 Pro's Titanium Frame Does Not Contribute to Overheating Issue

Saturday September 30, 2023 11:10 am PDT by
Apple today said it plans to release an iOS 17 software update with a bug fix for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max overheating issue, and the company has since shared additional details about the matter with MacRumors. Importantly, Apple said the issue is not related to the titanium frame. Contrary to a report this week, Apple said the iPhone 15 Pro's design does not contribute to...