Apple releases iOS 16.2 – iPhone J.D.

IOS16Yesterday, Apple released a pretty major update to the iPhone and iPad: iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2.  Going from 16.1 to 16.2 may not seems like a big increase just based on the number, but there are a large number of new features in this early Christmas present from Apple.  I’m sure I’ll be discussing them in much more detail in the future, but here are the highlights:

Built-in Whiteboard

Freeform is a new built-in (and free) whiteboard app.  You have a huge white canvas, and you can write or draw whatever you want. It is easy to add shapes, change your pens, insert pictures, etc. The tools are all familiar to anyone who has used other Apple apps like Notes, Keynote, etc., except for a neat new drawing tool called Blotch that lets you draw the outline of a shape and then it fills it with color that appears behind text.

Better yet, there are lots of sharing tools.  For example, much like you could previously share Notes with others, you can share a Freeform board with someone else and, if you let them, they can make edits.  Or you can show off the whiteboard to others in a FaceTime call, perhaps as you explain what is going on.

I can envision lots of uses of this for lawyers and others who collaborate on projects.


As I previewed last week, if you subscribe to Apple Music and you have a new enough device, you can now use Apple Music Sing to see improved lyrics on songs and to sing along, even turning down the vocal track as you do so.  It’s an interesting feature that my daughter instantly started using as soon as I showed it to her last night … and then I had to hear her complain that her iPhone SE isn’t new enough to use this feature.

Better encryption on iCloud

Another new feature that I discussed last week is Apple’s new Advanced Data Protection.  Once you turn this on, your information on Apple’s servers—such as the iCloud backup of your iPhone and iPad—can be encrypted in a way that not even Apple can access your data.

New options on the iPhone 14 Pro Lock Screen

If you use the always-on display on the new iPhone 14 Pro, iOS 16.2 adds new options such as new widgets you can use. Also, there is a new option to not display the wallpaper when the screen dims; only the time (plus widgets if you have them enabled) against a black background.  This is a neat look, and I may consider turning this mode on while I’m sleeping.

AirDrop privacy

The change to AirDrop in iOS 16.2 is either a feature or a restriction, depending upon your perspective. Before iOS 16.2, you could enable AirDrop for only folks in your Contacts or you could enable it for Everyone.  The Everyone function made it very easy for someone else to send you a file, which is useful when you want to use AirDrop.  However, it also meant that a stranger could try to send you a file, which you could reject.  

Now, when you turn the Everyone function on, it only stays on for 10 minutes.  This is good for your privacy.  However, if you liked the way it worked before, it is more cumbersome to have to turn on Everyone so that someone you know can send you a file.  I may just switch to the Contacts selection since most folks who AirDrop files to me are in my Contacts. 

I talked about this more extensively a few weeks ago at the end of Episode 78 of the In the News podcast.


There are also many smaller improvements and bug fixes in iOS 16.2.  For example, once you update to iOS 16.2 and your iPhone finishes indexing your Messages app, you can search for photos that you sent or received in Messages based on the content of the photos, such as photos showing dogs.  I can see this being useful when you know that a friend sent you a picture but you cannot remember when and you didn’t save the picture to your photo roll.  Also, the crash detection feature for the new iPhone 14 models was once again improved.

With a brand new app, several big new features, and some nice small new features, this is a packed update for the iPhone and iPad.