Apple released iOS 16.3 on January 23, and the update brings new features, bug fixes, and security updates For people with an iPhone 8 or newer. One of the biggest new features in iOS 16.3 is that you can now use security keys to protect your Apple ID.

This update was released alongside updates for other Apple software such as iPadOS, Safari, and previous versions of iOS. It comes about a month after the latest iOS update was released iOS 16.2.

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Here are the new features coming to your iPhone with iOS 16.3.

Security keys come to your Apple ID

Users can now use third-party security keys for their Apple IDs instead of two-factor authentication.

Security keys are very similar to your house keys. You still use passwords, but this extra layer of security can help protect you from phishing scams and hackers.

Security Keys screen in iOS 16.3 beta

Security keys add more protection to your device.

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

“Hardware security keys are very, very secure,” said Diya Jolly, chief product officer at authentication service company Okta. CNET’s Stephen Shankland.

Apple’s security keys feature only works with FIDO Alliance certified security keys.

Support for the second generation HomePod

Apple’s iOS 16.3 will support the software second generation HomePod, will be available on February 3 for $299 (£299, AU$479). Apple announced the release of the new HomePod four days before the latest iOS firmware was released.

New Unity wallpaper for Black History Month

Green, black and red wallpaper

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

The latest iOS update includes a new iPhone wallpaper as part of Apple Black Unity Collection. The collection celebrates Black History Month with a special edition Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop, a mosaic watch face and a new iPhone wallpaper. Apple also plans to release an option for Black History Month Apple TV, Fitness PlusMusic, Maps, Books, Podcasts and the App Store as part of the Collection.

New ways to use Emergency SOS via satellite

Emergency SOS was delivered via satellite Apple event in September. In iOS 16.3 Call with hold replaced by the variant Call with hold and release. If you enable Call with hold and release, you can press and hold the side button and volume button to start the countdown and alarm. After the countdown, you release the buttons and the iPhone will automatically call emergency services. A year ago Call with hold, pressing the side button and the volume button will bring up the Emergency SOS call slider first. If you continue to hold the buttons, the countdown will start and the alarm will sound. After the countdown ends, your phone will make an emergency call.

There is also an option Call quietly In an emergency SOS. By enabling this option, your phone won’t flash or sound an alarm when you try to make an emergency SOS call.

Here is a list of new features and changes included in iOS 16.3.

  • The new Unity wallpaper celebrates Black history and culture while celebrating Black History Month.
  • Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their accounts by requiring a physical security key as part of the two-factor authentication sign-in process on new devices.
  • Support for HomePod (second generation).
  • For emergency SOS calls, press and hold the side button with the volume up or down button and release to prevent accidental emergency calls.
  • Fixes an issue where some freeform strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger are not visible on shared boards.
  • Fixes an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the lock screen.
  • Fixes an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear when iPhone 14 Pro Max wakes up.
  • Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display the status of the Home app.
  • Fixes an issue where Siri was not responding correctly to music requests
  • Addresses issues where Siri requests are not understood correctly in CarPlay.

For more iOS 16 news, see what new features are added iOS 16.2 and iOS 16.1. Here’s how you can do it Sign up to try Apple’s iOS beta programalso.

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