The American Tech Giant is preparing for its major release during WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) in June, i.e., iOS 17. Only a week or so is left for the event, and the company is preparing its possible last update to iOS 16: iOS 16.6. The iOS 16.6 is the latest iOS 16 operating system update as the company focuses on iOS 17.
That said, iOS 16.6 will not include any significant improvements or enhancements, unlike iOS 16.5, excluding one crucial security feature. We have discussed the feature in detail here. This article will discuss iOS 16.6, its availability and release date, and some expected features. Hence, if you are excited about the update, despite the iOS 17 launch being right around the corner, read the article until the end. Without further ado, let’s get started.
When can we expect iOS 16.6 to be Released?
- The iOS 16.6 stable update is expected to be released in July 2023.
Update June 28: Apple released the fourth beta of iOS 16.6 to public beta testers. This indicates that the software is nearing completion and is ready for official release. The build number of beta 4 is 20G5058d. This beta program allows testing out the software before officially being released.
Update June 16: Apple released the third public beta of iOS 16.6, labelled 20G5047d. The public beta of iOS 17 will be released in July 2023. Currently, the developer beta of iOS 17 is available. It is not recommended to install it unless you are a developer. The developer beta is known to have many bugs. So if you are not a developer, you can wait for the iOS 17 public beta.
Update June 1: Apple has released the iOS 16.6 beta 2 build to public beta testers. This update is available to anyone who has signed up for Apple’s beta testing program. The iOS 16.6 beta 2 version brings minor updates that don’t include any major new features. The build number is 20G5037d.
The company had already started the beta testing for iOS 16.6, just after the release of iOS 16.5. The iOS 16.6 Developer Beta was first released to the registered developers on May 19, and as mentioned, the iOS 16.6 Beta 1 was released on May 22. We don’t know if any subsequent beta launches or if this beta 1 will be the last update. Let’s see what the company holds, and we will update the article accordingly.
iOS 16.6 Expected Features:
iOS 16.6 is not expected to bring many features, which users must be waiting for. However, it may be an iterative upgrade compared to the previous version: iOS 16.5. This is because the company will reveal its new Operating System for their iPhones, unsurprisingly called iOS 17, at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in June. So, their primary focus is on the new iOS 17 instead of minor upgrades. However, it is too surprising to see Apple still providing iOS 16 updates despite the launch date for iOS 17 being so close.
Still, some features are expected to come with iOS 16.6, as seen from its Beta update. The usual improvements to refine and polish the software, tweaking to improve the user experience, and upgrading the features to enhance the usability of the same are always expected with an update. You can update from iOS 16.5 to iOS 16.6 Beta 1 if you have registered for the same. You can register for Beta updates by going to the Apple Beta page and applying with your Apple ID on your device.
In December 2022, the company introduced numerous features to increase security and protect their user’s confidential data. The main part of iOS 16.6 is the iMessage Contact Key Verification, which will likely be one of the last features of iOS 16.
iMessage Contact Key Verification: With the help of the feature, you will be able to message only the people you intend to avoid extraordinary digital threats, thus, improving security and keeping everything encrypted. This is another step and an improvement towards already existing end-to-end encryption in iMessage. This feature was already revealed in December 2022 by the company and is now available with the first beta of iOS 16.6.
Apple announced the feature alongside the Security Keys for Apple ID officially enabled in iOS 16.3. However, this feature doesn’t seem to work until you go to Settings and search for “Contact Key Verification” After installing the beta update, you should see the option. You will now see your Apple ID settings after tapping the feature. We hope that Apple provides an update to patch this and ensure the proper working of the feature.
Suppose the user enables the iMessage Contact Key Verification feature. In that case, they will be alerted spontaneously if an attacker or phishers tries to breach the user’s data or finds a way to observe sensitive and encrypted conversations. The company said the feature would be available on the iPhone and other compatible Apple devices sometime in 2023. It is possibly one of the last features in iOS 16, as iOS 17 is near.
Despite this feature, there are no signs of any other feature getting available with iOS 16.6. We will update this article as soon as possible if any new feature adds up.
How to Install the iOS 16.6 Public Beta?
If you want to experience iOS 16.6 without the official or general release, follow the below steps to register yourself for Beta softwares:
- Sign up on the Apple Beta page and register with your Apple ID on your iPhone.
- Log in to the Beta Software Program.
- Click Enroll on your iOS device to install iOS 16.6 Beta 1.
- Go to beta.apple.com/profile on your device and download and install the profile.
- Open the Settings application, then General, then Software Update.
- Install the Beta update (iOS 16.6 Beta 1) that should be waiting in the Beta Updates section.
Note: The Beta updates are not meant for general update releases for the end user; they may cause issues and bugs in your device whenever it is installed. The problems may include excessive battery drain, lagging experience, inoperative device behaviour, etc. So, we suggest you take precautionary measures to avoid such issues. Instead, we recommend you install Beta updates on your secondary device instead of a primary one so that your data on your primary device will be secure. Or else, if you are installing it on your primary device, back up your data on your iPhone.
iOS 16.6 is possibly the last iOS 16 update the company is pushing. As discussed, we don’t know any other feature except iMessage Contact Key Verification. If Apple has anything left regarding the features and will release the updates, we will include it as soon as possible and update the article accordingly.
Do you like the feature (iMessage Contact Key Verification)? What changes do you expect with iOS 16.6, and do you want the company to have something more leftover announced for iOS 16? Are you excited for iOS 17? Let us know by dropping the replies in the comments section below. We will update the article based on the latest developments, so follow and connect with us.