California-based tech giant Apple has just launched the iOS 16.3 beta for compatible devices, allowing users to publicly test out the update for the first time. Although the update was rolled out to developers on December 15, it will now be available to public beta testers, starting December 16.
With regards to updates, Apple is fairly proactive and releases a patch every few months to keep their devices up-to-date, fix bugs, and strengthen security. That said, iOS 16.3 doesn't seem to be a major update in comparison to iOS 16.2. The latter's final public version was officially released just a few days ago.
iOS 16.3 includes minor bug fixes and improvements, alongside some security updates and a new splash screen. For some, it may not even seem worth the data and time. That said, installing it will help maintain your iPhone's security and avoid bugs. Let's take a closer look at the update, the process to install it, compatible devices list, and more.
Everything you need to know about Apple's iOS 16.3 beta and how to download it
Downloading an iOS update is a simple task. All you need to do is head over to your phone's iPhone's Settings app, scroll down and tap on the General tab. Here, click on Software Update to find available updates.
In the case of iOS 16.3, things are slightly different. Being a public beta release, the update requires users to be in the beta software program to activate. You can sign up for the program on Apple's website [beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram]. Once accepted, you'll be eligible to test out pre-release software, including the iOS 16.3 public beta, from the company and provide feedback.
If you're already a beta tester and are looking to download the update, you will be able to find it under Setttings > General > Software Update, just like you would for an official update.
The latest public beta update for iPhones includes some interesting features that Apple fans are likely to enjoy. For starters, iPhones will now support physical FIDO-certified security keys, which will act as an additional layer of security for an Apple ID.
In layman's terms, you will be required to provide a physical security key to sign into your Apple ID once you activate this new feature. The already-established two-factor authentication doesn't seem to be enough, considering the rising threats on the internet.
In addition to this new security key feature, the update carries a new splash introductory screen that users can see when using the Music Handoff feature between an iPhone and a HomePod. Furthermore, the update also includes bug fixes and security improvements, which Apple hasn't publicly disclosed. In fact, the company is yet to provide the full release notes for the beta update.
While Apple hasn't officially announced the list of devices compatible with the update, we can easily make a solid guess. iOS 16.3 will likely be available for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and the newer iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, 14, and SE (2,3) series. While the update isn't mandatory, it's certainly recommended to opt for the latest iOS version for the best user experience.