Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 16.1 to public beta testers on Thursday. The beta brings a handful of new features that didn’t make it into the public release of iOS 16 on Monday.
Public builds of iOS 16.1 can be downloaded via the Apple Beta Software Program website by users signed up to take part in the testing program. If you’re interested in trying out the betas of the upcoming operating systems you can sign up for the program by clicking the same link.
Clean Energy Charging
iOS 16.1 adds a toggle to enable “Clean Energy Charging” which is designed to lessen the iPhone’s carbon footprint when charging the device.
The “Battery” section of the Settings app, includes a “Clean Energy Charging” toggle switch that when enabled, selectively charges your device when lower carbon emission electricity is available in an effort to provide a more green charging method.
Apple says that the iPhone will still receive a full charge before it’s needed based on a user’s daily routine, and the feature can be toggled off if desired. The feature is enabled by default.
Lock Screen/Home Screen Customization
Now, tapping on the “Customize” interface on the Lock Screen shows an option to choose between customizing either the Lock Screen or the Home Screen, making it easier to customize the look of your iPhone from one location, no longer requiring users to go through multiple steps.
A new “Matter Accessories” section is now included in the Settings app, indicating that Apple is preparing for the fall launch of the Matter smart home standard.
The Matter Accessories section indicates that it will display all Matter accessories that have been added to a connected service. “These can also be added to additional services with an app that supports Matter,” reads the text.
Matter is designed to allow interoperability between smart devices from different companies, allowing HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant devices, as well as other devices, to work together.
In the release notes for the update, Apple says that pairing Matter accessories first requires a profile installed on your device. There are also several other known issues with the Matter standard at the current time, with workarounds available on Apple’s site.
- To pair Matter accessories, a profile must first be installed on your device. (99832852)Workaround: Install the profile available at Developer Downloads.
- Removing Apple Home from the Matter accessory Connected Services menu in Home doesn’t remove the accessory tile. (77681079)Workaround: Use the Remove Accessory option from the Accessory details view.
- You might receive an alert to turn on Wi-Fi when pairing a Matter accessory. (98460235)Workaround: Ensure your device is connected to your Wi-Fi network.
- Adjusting the color or color temperature might result in an unexpected color set on a Matter accessory. (98578966)
- Accessory details might not open if a Matter accessory is unreachable. (99232316)
- You might be unable to pair using a Matter ECM code via the Matter Support Framework pairing API. (99232681)Workaround: Use More Options in the QR code pairing flow to select the accessory you’d like to pair.
- Uncertified accessory notifications might appear when pairing Matter accessories. (99502842)
- You might be unable to pair a Matter accessory if the accessory is already paired to a third-party ecosystem. (99671133)
- The device that initiates the pairing needs to use the same iCloud account as the home hub. Only the owner of a home, not an invited user, can pair Matter accessories. (76012945)
Live Activities API
iOS 16.1 brings back the Live Activities API that was available for testing purposes during the extended iOS 16 beta. Live Activities are currently unavailable to users, as there are no apps that support it, but developers can begin working on support.
Delete Wallet App
iOS 16.1 now allows users to remove the Wallet app from the iPhone entirely. In iOS 16 and earlier versions of iOS, the app could be removed from the Home Screen, but not deleted. It can now be completely deleted.
Battery Percentage in Status Bar
iOS 16.1 bring battery percentage to the battery icon in the status bar on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, and iPhone 13 mini, all of which did not support the feature in iOS 16.
There are sure to be other new features and fixes to be found in the coming days, and we’ll share any new features that are discovered.