iOS 16.3 Coming Soon: New Features That Could Hit Your iPhone

iOS 16.3 Coming Soon: New Features That Could Hit Your iPhone

Apple’s next iOS update is expected to arrive as early as this week, and it’s likely to bring a handful of new features, bug fixes, and some Black History Month Designs for your iPhone. Public beta testershowever, they already got access to the iOS 16.3 beta.

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As always, we recommend only downloading the beta on something other than your primary device. Since this is a beta version of iOS 16.3, features may be buggy and your device’s battery life may be reduced, so it’s best to keep the beta version on a secondary device.

If you’re a public beta tester, here’s what’s new in the iOS 16.3 beta software. Note that the beta is still ongoing, so these likely won’t be the only new features that will appear on your iPhone when iOS 16.3 is officially released.

Apple Maps helps you find nearby parking options

Apple Maps parking options near Cincinnati's Music Hall

Reserve parking before you leave your home so you don’t have to drive around looking for a spot.

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

If you use Apple Maps to get directions to a location, you can now find nearby parking in Maps. When you’re looking for a place to go, you can tap More (…) and tap on Parking. This will open SpotHero, an online service that helps you find, reserve and pay for a parking space in a nearby garage or parking lot. You can also reserve a seat through SpotHero. However, this feature is only available in selected cities.

New ways to use emergency SOS via satellite

Emergency SOS via satellite was introduced at Apple 2022 event in September. The new beta software brings new ways to use the service on your iPhone.

In iOS 16.3 beta 2, Call on hold the option has been replaced Call on hold and release. If you allow Call on hold and release, you can hold down the side button and volume button to start the countdown and alarm. After the countdown, release the button and your iPhone will automatically call 911. Before s Call on hold, pressing the side button and volume button will show the emergency SOS call slider first. If you continue to hold the buttons, the countdown will start and the alarm will sound. After the countdown ends, your phone will make an emergency call.

There is also an option Call quietly in SOS emergency mode. When you enable this option, your phone won’t flash or sound an alarm when you try to make an SOS emergency call.

Security keys come to Apple ID

With the beta software, users will be able to use third-party security keys for their Apple ID instead of two-factor authentication.

Security keys are very similar to your home keys. You still use passwords, but this extra layer of security can protect you from phishing scams and hackers.

“Hardware security keys are very, very secure,” said Diya Jolly, chief product officer at authentication services company Okta. CNET’s Stephen Shankland.

Security Keys screen in iOS 16.3 beta

Security keys increase the protection of your device.

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

Apple’s Security Key feature only works with FIDO Alliance certified security keys.

New HomePod Handover Challenges

Beta testers who have Apple HomePod new messages will appear when you try to use it Hands off to stream music, podcasts or phone calls to the speaker. The messages go on to explain how Handoff works with your HomePod.

One message tells you to bring your iPhone closer to HomePod to view controls or stream audio to HomePod. Another message says you can bring your iPhone closer to the HomePod later to view the same controls or stream music.

These are the main new features beta testers will see in iOS 16.3 beta. That doesn’t mean these are the only features coming in the next iOS update. Apple is likely to add more features before iOS 16.3 is released.

For more iOS 16 news, check out the new features in iOS 16.2 and iOS 16.1. Here’s how to do it sign up to beta test Apple iOS softwarealso.


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