iOS 16.1: Update your iPhone today to get these new features

iPhone 14
(Image credit: Future)

Apple is set to release iOS 16.1, the next iPhone software update that delivers a selection of new features and a few bug fixes. This includes a new way to charge your iPhone, using its subscription-based Apple Fitness+ without needing an Apple Watch, an update to the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island, and more.

Confirmed (opens in new tab) to roll out on October 24, iOS 16.1 is also set to release alongside other software updates, including iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura. We're sure to hear more about these updates at a new October event Apple is taking part in, with executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak.

Check out how to update to iOS 16.1 and the new features it brings below. Plus, for a deeper look at how to use Live Activities in iOS 16.1, we've got you covered. 

How to update to iOS 16.1

iOS 16.1 is now available, which rolled out on Monday, October 24.

To update, your iPhone may have a "Software Update Available" option at the top of Settings to make it easier to download. If not, you'll need to head to Settings > General > Software Update.

New iOS 16.1 features

While iOS 16.1 comes with a few bug fixes, this update packs in a few more interesting features — especially for those interested in Apple Fitness+, reducing their carbon footprint, and Live Activities.

Apple Fitness+ coming to iPhone users

Starting October 24, Apple Fitness+ will be available to iPhone users to subscribe to, even if they don't have an Apple Watch. It will be fully integrated with the Fitness app. Users without an Apple Watch will not be able to see their on-screen metrics like heart rate and calories during workouts, but will still be able to follow along. 

(Image credit: Apple)

Clean Energy Saving

A new battery-charging feature will be available on iPhones, known as Clean Energy Saving. Available in Settings and only in the U.S. for now, the feature will "try to reduce your iPhone's carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available." This could lead to a slower charge, but aims to decrease your carbon footprint.

Live Activities for third-party apps

Want to check on the score in a sports game or see how far out your ride is at a glance? iOS 16.1 brings Live Activities to third-party apps, which lets iPhone users watch real-time events right on their lock screen and, for those with an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max, on Dynamic Island.

Live Activities will be shown at the bottom of the lock screen on iPhone 14 and 14 Max models and earlier, while the iPhone 14 Pro models will have the feature set on the top of the screen, which functions with the new Dynamic Island. 

Check out how to use iOS 16.1's Live Activities and all the third-party apps that support it (so far)

(Image credit: Apple)

iCloud Shared Photo Library

iOS 16.1 lets users easily share photos and videos with up to five other people thanks to the iCloud Shared Photo Library feature. Setting up a shared library, users can allow photos they take to be sent straight to the library, and allow users in the group to add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos.

Matter coming to the Home app

The new smart home connectivity standard, Matter, will now be supported in the Home app. This allows a wider selection of smart home accessories to work together, whether it be Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and of course Apple's Homekit.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Dynamic Island Reachability support

For those with an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max, iOS 16.1 will bring Reachability support to make it easier to access with one hand. It lowers the top of the iPhone's display by users swiping down at the bottom of the screen. It's an optional feature that can be switched on via the Accessibility settings.

Key sharing in Apple Wallet

iPhone users will be able to share their car, hotel room, and other keys with iOS 16.1's Key sharing feature. This can be shared through messaging apps including Messages and WhatsApp. What's more, Apple Card customers will be given access to a savings account that will automatically deposit "Daily Cash" cashback rewards into a high yield savings account.

We're excited to see these new updates in action. Wondering if you should upgrade your iPhone? Check out our iPhone 14 review

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.