In late October, Apple began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, making beta versions available to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we have four betas, with the fourth beta going live earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected to be released before the end of the year, and we thought we’d try to narrow down the launch timeframe.
With only four betas released since October, iOS 16.2 still has some testing time left before we can expect a release. At the very least, we’ll have a release candidate before iOS 16.2 launches, but there’s a chance we’ll also see another beta.
We usually see five or more betas before release candidates, but schedules get affected during the holiday season. Last year, Apple only made four betas of iOS 15.2 before RC and subsequent releases, so we could see something similar this year. If that’s the plan, Apple may provide us with the iOS 16.2 release candidate next week, most likely on Tuesday, December 6th.
With that in mind, we could see iOS 16.2 launch in the week of December 12th. The week of December 19th is also a possibility if there are more betas on the horizon, but that’s during Hanukkah and closer to Christmas. iOS 15.2 launched last year on Monday, December 13, after Apple introduced the fourth beta on December 2 and RC on December 7.
bloombergMark Gurman said we can expect iOS 16.2 to be released in mid-December, which would line up with an estimate for the week of December 12th. Apple has confirmed that some of the features in the update, such as the Freeform app, will indeed be coming before the end of the year.
We can even expect to see a first beta of iOS 16.3 before the end of December.
iOS 16.2 is a major update that brings a number of notable new features to iPhone and iPad, with the biggest changes described below.
- Free application Freeform is the cross-platform open whiteboard app that can be used to take notes, draw, draw, save links, and more, with built-in collaboration features. It is available on the latest iPhone, iPad and Mac betas.
- External display support for Stage Manager iPad owners who have an M1 or M2 iPad can once again use Stage Manager with external displays. Up to eight apps can be used for multitasking purposes, and there’s a handy new option for dragging a window from iPad to an external display and vice versa. While older iPads can use Stage Manager, external display support is limited to Apple’s silicon models.
- New home applications engineering iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1 updates add support for the updated Home apps architecture introduced by Apple after Matter debuted. The new app architecture will provide faster and more reliable performance in homes with many smart accessories, but it requires that your entire suite of devices be updated to the latest software.
- Always on display updates For iPhone 14 Pro models, there are two new toggle to disable wallpaper and notifications when the Always On Display feature is activated. This reduces what is displayed on the screen when it is turned off to reduce distractions.
- Sleep lock screen tool – The lock screen has made a sleep widget for those who use the sleep function on the Apple Watch.
- Screen lock widget – There is also a medication widget that lets you know when you need to take a medication.
- News in the weather app – When there is news related to the weather in your area, such as information about a hurricane or a fire, you will see the news headlines in the weather app.
- 5G in India iOS 16.2 will bring 5G connectivity to India.
We have a complete list of all the features available in the iOS 16.2 update in our dedicated iOS 16.2 guide.