5 new iOS 16.1 features to try right away | Cult of Mac

5 iOS 16.1 features to try right away

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iOS 16.1 new features
iOS 16.1 packs plenty of useful features.
Image: Cult of Mac

Although Apple announced iOS 16 at WWDC22 and released it on September 12, not all promised features made their way into the first public build.

With iOS 16.1, which just became available Monday, Apple delivered many such promised features. Once you install it on your iPhone, check out the five iOS 16.1 features you should try right away.

1. iCloud Shared Photo Library

iOS 16 at WWDC22: The new iCloud Shared Library makes it easy to collaborate on photo albums.
The new iCloud Shared Library makes it easy to collaborate on photo albums.
Photo: Apple

Announced at WWDC22, iCloud Shared Photo Library was a part of the initial betas before being pulled. The feature is finally rolling out to the public with iOS 16.1. As the name indicates, you can create a shared photo library in iCloud Photos. After that, invite your friends and family with iPhones or iPads to view or add photos to them.

You can add up to five people to a shared photo library. Note that you can only join one Shared Library at any given time.

2. Live Activities

Another major iOS 16 feature demoed at WWDC22 that’s finally debuting with iOS 16.1, Live Activities lets apps show relevant real-time information on the iPhone Lock Screen so you don’t have to keep jumping into the app. For example, you can view a football score, track your food delivery status, and more using Live Activities from the Lock Screen.

The feature will further enhance the Dynamic Island experience on the iPhone 14 Pro series. Third-party apps can take advantage of the Live Activities API to show relevant information on the Dynamic Island, the animated screen cutout on iPhone 14 Pro models.

3. Clean Energy Charging

Want to do your bit to save the environment by reducing your carbon footprint? iOS 16.1 adds a new Clean Energy Charging option to your iPhone to help you achieve this. The feature optimizes your iPhone’s charging times to take place when the power grid uses cleaner energy resources.

From an individual viewpoint, you may think the feature might not make that big of a difference. But considering there are more than a billion iPhone users worldwide, the Clean Energy Charging option could have a notable impact collectively.

4. Apple Fitness+ without Apple Watch

Apple Fitness+ hits iPhone on Oct. 24 with Taylor Swift in tow
You don’t need an Apple Watch to use Apple Fitness+ now.
Image: Apple

iOS 16.1 provides users with access to the Apple Fitness+ app on their iPhones. Up until now, the app was exclusively available to Apple Watch users. Now, iPhone owners can subscribe to the service and enjoy guided workouts. The only problem? You won’t see your health metrics on the screen, since there’s no Apple Watch to track them.

If you have not used Apple Fitness+ before, you can enjoy a one-month free trial before you have to start paying for it.

5. Share keys in Apple Wallet

With key sharing in Wallet, you can safely share your car or hotel keys with friends and family over messaging apps like Messages and WhatsApp.

The Wallet app in iOS 16.1 also enables a new Savings account for Apple Card users. This will allow them to earn interest on their Daily Cash by depositing it in a high-yield savings account.


Some other features in iOS 16.1 worth checking out include Matter support in the Home app and an enhanced reading experience in the Books app. Besides these upgrades, iOS 16.1 packs several bug fixes and stability improvements.