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Apple iOS 16.5 RC Update Released - What's New?

iOS 16 Test Widgets
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Apple rolled out the iOS 16.5 Release Candidate to testers and developers today. The availability of the RC firmware translates to the high likelihood of Apple releasing the public and final iOS 16.5 version to compatible iPhone models or iPad via iPadOS 16.5 as early as next week. Here's what's new in this update.

Similar to iOS 16.4 which was released over a month ago, iOS 16.5 intends to deliver optimizations and bug fixes to iPhones. In addition, there are also minor to modest changes and new features included in this software update.

Laggy Spotlight and CarPlay on iOS fixed

In iOS 16.4, there were reports of users who faced the unresponsive Spotlight feature, even to the point of the keyboard not showing up when tapping the search bar. Apple addressed the issue via iOS 16.5. The same goes for Screen Time where certain instances saw the data and settings fail to synchronize with other connected Apple devices. Safe to say, the iPhone manufacturer has resolved this problem.

Another notable issue that was rectified is the laggy operation or content that will not show on the PodCasts app for Apple CarPlay displays at times. Evidently, Apple has worked to improve the service's operation while also introducing necessary fixes.

iOS 16 CarPlay
iOS 16.5 fixed the PodCasts app on CarPlay. / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

What are the new features in iOS 16

The main iOS 16.5 features include hands-free activation of screen recording via Siri. Unlike before, you can only begin recording by first activating the feature from the settings and manually going to Control Center. In this latest build, users can now summon the voice assistant to initiate and end screen recording without fiddling with the iPhone or iPad.

Furthermore, Apple has enabled the installation of software updates when your iPhone's battery falls below 50 percent. It is also not necessary to charge your device during the downloading and installation process as long as the battery life remains above 20 percent.

Tagged alongside this iOS 16 update is a collection of static and animated Pride Celebration wallpapers to highlight and support the LGBTQ+ community. These wallpapers are customizable and will work with the iPhone's Lock Screen. There are also watch faces based on the same wallpapers intended for the Apple Watch.

Already available in the early beta versions of iOS 16.5, the official Apple News app will receive a dedicated Sports section. Apart from receiving live updates and scores for different sports, opening and watching current games can be automatically casted to a connected Apple TV or TV 4K device.

Which Apple iPhone can update to iOS 16.5?

The final iOS 16.5 version is compatible with iPhones that run on iOS 16, which means that it is available on the iPhone 14 (review) and iPhone 14 Pro (review) all the way to iPhone 8 and iPhone X. You can check our iOS 16 update tracker to see all compatible models that will receive this update.

Do you anticipate installing iOS 16.5 right away when it becomes available? Which features do you look to the most? Tell us in the comments.

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Jade Bryan

Jade Bryan
Junior Editor

I still remember how amazed I was when I first got hold of the Nokia 3210 back when I was a kid, and it was during that time I developed my love for technology, particularly for mobile phones. I started sharing my knowledge through writing in different blogs and forums back in Nokia Nseries era. I even make videos before where I put different phones side-by-side. Today, I'm still an avid enthusiast of smartphones, but my interests have evolved into smart devices and electric vehicles.

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