iOS 16 and watchOS 9 are now ready for your iPhone and Apple Watch | Cult of Mac

iOS 16 and watchOS 9 are now ready for your iPhone and Apple Watch


Apple makes a multitude of changes with iOS 16.
iOS 16 is finally here!
Photo: Apple

Apple today released iOS 16 and watchOS 9 for all compatible iPhones and Apple Watch. The public release of these operating systems comes after months of beta testing.

iOS 16 introduces a customizable new Lock Screen, Mail and Messages app enhancements, an improved Focus mode, and more.

Time to update your iPhone and Apple Watch

You can download iOS 16 on your compatible iPhone by going to Settings > General > Software Update. The download may not show up immediately on your device or might be slow due to excess server load.

iOS 16 drops support for iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 series. The update is available for iPhone 8 and newer iPhones launched since then.

If your iPhone is on the iOS 16 public beta program, you are already running the stable build that Apple has released today. The Release Candidate and the public release have the same build number.

Do note that not all iOS 16 features will be available today. Freeform, iCloud shared photo library, Live Activities, Matter support, and more will arrive in a future point release of the OS.

The watchOS 9 update will show up for your Apple Watch once the paired iPhone has been updated to iOS 16. It is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer models.

This is the first time since the inception of iPadOS that Apple is not releasing its new build alongside iOS. The company has pushed back iPadOS 16’s release to improve Stage Manager further. It should now release in October alongside macOS Ventura.

Check out these iOS 16 guides

Once you have installed iOS 16 on your iPhone, it is time to explore all the new features. To make the most out of all the new enhancements, check out the following guides:


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.