Apple iOS 16.3: Everything We Know About The New iPhone Update
— Updated on 1 February 2023

Apple iOS 16.3: Everything We Know About The New iPhone Update

— Updated on 1 February 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

It seems Apple is moving further away from relying on passwords and moving toward, not just biometrics like Face ID and Touch ID, but also physical keys. That’s the main takeaway when mining the new iPhone features offered by Apple’s iOS 16.3 update, a software refurbishment that includes a number of security fixes for users concerned about privacy.

Other than that, it’s the usual bug fixes and quality-of-life updates we’ve come to expect from these smaller iOS releases.

If you’re wondering what they they are, here’s everything you should know about Apple iOS 16.3 before you update your iPhone.

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What We Know About Apple Using Security Keys

The new features aren’t anything most Apple users would care about, but they should still change the way your iPhone works.

But let’s talk about the physical security keys first, because that represents the biggest change in how Apple may be approaching your data in the future.

The first thing you need to know is that physical keys form part of the two-factor authentication process, essentially replacing the current six-digit code that’s often e-mailed or texted to you.

Security Keys, like the Yubico YubiKey, are physical hardware keys that you have to actually insert into your iPhone much like a USB stick. In general, they are much more reliable than just using passwords in a similar way to paper wallets for cryptocurrency.

The issue here is, of course, that you’d need to have your key on your person before you do certain things. Fortunately, we aren’t talking about a security key to unlock your phone each and every time, but rather one that is attached to your Apple ID for simpler and more reliable authentication.

Most likely, the move toward Security Keys has been dictated by the FIDO Alliance, which Apple is a member of. It’s an organisation built to reduce the reliance on passwords and increase the use of harder-to-crack biometrics – like Face ID and Touch ID – and those security keys.

The cryptography used for these security keys means they are much less vulnerable to phishing, which is on the rise with cyber attackers using phony emails and text messages to get people to reveal their details.

After the iOS 16.3 update, you simply have to go to Settings > Apple ID > Password and Security. You’ll see an option there to add a security key.

All The Other New iOS 16.3 Features

Fixes for at least 13 different security issues come with the iOS 16.3 updates, primarily addressing vulnerabilities in Safari that have been utilised by cyber attackers recently.

This includes Advanced Data Protection finally being available outside of the US, basically expanding end-to-end encryption to more services in iCloud.

The other new iPhone features and updates are as follows

  • New wallpaper options to celebrate Black History Month.
  • Emergency SOS calls now require holding the side button with the up or down volume button and then releasing them. This helps prevent accidental SOS calls.
  • Support for the newly announced Apple HomePod (2nd generation).
  • Siri is now better at understanding requests in CarPlay.
  • Horizontal lines no longer temporarily appear when waking an iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • Siri now responds faster and more accurately to music requests.

How To Install iOS 16.3

It’s all business as usual here. With the iOS 16.3 update now available, you simply need to go into Settings > General > Software Update to being the process. After this, you’ll be prompted to reboot your device to apply the changes.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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