Apple releases iOS 16.1 beta 2 to developers, here’s what’s new

Apple releases iOS 16.1 beta 2 to developers, here’s what’s new

Apple revealed iOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9 during the main keynote of WWDC22. These major software updates come packed with visual changes and handy features that further enrich Apple’s products. For example, the iPhone Lock Screen is now almost fully customizable. That’s not to mention widget support on said screen. Meanwhile, the Mac now has a more streamlined user interface that better matches that of iPadOS. Now that the Cupertino firm has publicly launched iOS 16.0, it has started working on next minor release. Lo and behold — iOS 16.1 beta 2 is now available to registered developers around the world.

XDA VIDEO OF THE DAY

We expect iOS 16.1 to include the Freeform app by the time it goes public. For the unfamiliar, Apple teased this app back in June, and it should launch later this year. It’s a limitless whiteboard with collaboration support. Think of it as a canvas to jumpstart your creative juices and plan ahead. It supports text, doodling, media and file insertion, etc. This way you can create the ultimate brainstorming thought web. The app still isn’t included in beta 2, though.

What’s new in iOS 16.1 beta 2

iOS 16.1 beta 2

Fitness Plus without an Apple Watch

iOS 16.1 beta 2 introduces the ability to subscribe to Fitness Plus without needing an Apple Watch. The company shared that this change would occur during its Far Out event.

Game Center splash screen

Game Center splash screen iOS 16.1 beta 2

iOS 16.1 beta 2 brings a new Game Center splash screen when visiting the respective section for the first time in the Settings app.

Lock Screen tweaks

iOS 16.1 beta 2 brings back the momentary battery percentage on the Lock Screen when you plug in your iPhone.

Battery Percentage tweaks

The initial form of the iOS 16 battery percentage in the status bar used to show the same visual level — regardless of the actual battery percentage, as long as it’s above 20%. iOS 16.1 beta 2 now includes updated visuals to reflect the actual battery level/percentage.

We’re still in the process of digging through this build to uncover the other notable additions it may include. We will update this article once (and if) we discover anything else of value in iOS 16.1 beta 2. In the meantime, you can check Apple’s official Release Notes — where it has highlighted some of the known bugs and fixes.

Beta 1

Live Activities

Live Activities iOS 16.1 beta 1

iOS 16.1 beta 1 adds support for Apple’s Live Activities feature. Live Activities are similar to persistent notifications on Android OS. So if there’s an ongoing event happening in a certain app, the relevant information will surface on your Lock Screen. They also support animations and refresh continuously to make sure you’re up to date with what’s happening.

Faster Home Screen wallpaper edits

iOS 16.1 beta 1 now allows users to quickly change the Home Screen wallpaper — without going through the Lock Screen one first. It’s certainly a very welcome addition that spares users some time.

Matter foundations

iOS 16.1 beta 1 includes a section dedicated to accessories that support the Matter smart home standard.

Clean Energy Charging

Clean Energy Charging on iOS 16.1 beta 1

Credit: @RealFerst

Clean Energy Charging is available in the U.S. and aims to reduce your carbon footprint by charging your iPhone during specific hours. These hours depend on when your grid is using cleaner energy sources.

Battery Percentage support for more models

iOS 16.0 allows users with Face ID iPhones to show the battery percentage in the status bar. Though, that excluded the iPhone XR, 11, 12 Mini, and 13 Mini for some reason. The original implementation likely needed extra display space — considering that the addition was unavailable only on iPhones with smaller screens. iOS 16.1 beta 1 finally expands support to include these smaller iPhones, too.

Deletable Wallet app

iOS 16.1 beta 1 introduces the ability to delete the built-in Apple Wallet app. If you change your mind, you could always download it again from the App Store.

Music app tweaks

The Music app on iOS 16.1 beta 1 includes an icon of the connected audio accessory on the Now Playing screen. Prior to this build, it used to show the generic AirPlay icon.

Are you running this beta build on your iPhone? Why or why not? Let as know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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