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iOS 16.2 arrives with improved always-on display and iCloud end-to-end encryption

iOS 16.2 arrives with improved always-on display and iCloud end-to-end encryption


The latest iOS update also includes Apple Music Sing, a karaoke mode with real-time lyrics.

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Photo of an iPhone on top of multi-colored pastel circles.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Apple’s latest iOS 16.2 update is now rolling out and includes a number of new and improved features for iPhone users. iPhone 14 Pro owners will benefit from improved always-on display settings, which let users turn off the mode’s wallpaper and notifications if they’re distracting. Other new features include end-to-end iCloud encryption, the Apple Music Sing karaoke mode, and much more.

End-to-end iCloud encryption is being branded as Advanced Data Protection in iOS 16.2 and means data like Notes, iCloud backups, and Photos are now protected with end-to-end encryption. The protection covers 23 “data categories” now, up from 14, and includes device backups, messages backups, iCloud Drive, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, Voice Memos, and Wallet Passes.

Apple Music now has a karaoke mode that can quieten the main vocals of a song

If you’re a karaoke fan, then Apple Music is getting its own karaoke mode with iOS 16.2. Apple Music Sing launches today and includes real-time lyrics and the ability to adjust the volume of vocals so you can better hear your own voice. Background vocals can also appear independently of the main ones, and there’s also a duet view if you want to sing with a friend. The feature is available for the iPhone 11 and later.

Over on the iPad side, iPadOS 16.2 also adds external display support for Stage Manager and includes a new freeform app where you can take notes and share files on a single canvas. This whiteboard-like app also works through FaceTime, so it’s ideal for small teams wanting to communicate and track notes and changes in meetings.

Finally, iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 both include a revamped HomeKit architecture that Apple had originally planned to introduce with iOS 16. The architecture improvements should improve performance and come just after Apple started supporting the Matter smart home standard in iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1.