| Cult of Mac

Apple dives into testing iOS 16.3, macOS 13.2 and more

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iOS 16.3
The march toward the release of iOS 16.3 has just begun.
Graphic: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple already began beta tests for the next versions of iOS, macOS, iPadOS and watchOS. These were seeded to developers on Wednesday, just a day after the public release of their predecessors.

Even with the holidays coming up, Apple continues working on its operating systems.

Use Apple Music Sing to throw your own karaoke party

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Now you can sing along!
Apple Music now has a karaoke feature for singing along.
Image: Ronyyz/Wikimedia Commons, D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple Music just added a great feature for people who love to sing along as they listen. Apple Music Sing lets you turn down the lyrics so you can karaoke to your favorite hits with just one tap.

In fact, I’m using it right now to listen to some of my favorite music without the lyrics distracting me from reading and writing. Let me show you how it works!

10 new iOS 16.2 features to try right away

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Try out these 10 new iOS 16.2 features on your iPhone ASAP.
Try out these 10 new iOS 16.2 features on your iPhone ASAP.
Image: Cult of Mac

iOS 16.2, which Apple released Tuesday, brings many new features that make it a must-have update for all iPhone owners. From security advancements and productivity boosters to cosmetic tweaks and other fun stuff, it’s positively loaded with upgrades.

Here are the top new iOS 16.2 features you should try right now. (Note: Many of these features also appear in iPadOS 16.2, which Apple also released today.)

iOS 16.2 with Freeform, Apple Music Sing and more is just days away

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WWDC22: Freeform, coming in iPadOS 16, works like a collaborative white board.
Freeform will soon be available in iOS 16.2, macOS Ventura 13.1 and iPadOS 16.2.
Photo: Apple

Apple seeded the iOS 16.2 release candidate to developers Wednesday, taking a huge step toward giving iPhone users access to the Freeform collaboration app, the recently announced Apple Music Sing and other exciting new features.

The iPadOS 16.2 release candidate also went out with nearly the same feature set. Plus, Apple seeded the macOS Ventura 13.1 RC, watchOS 9.2 RC and tvOS 16.2 RC to devs, too.

iOS 16.1.2 aims to fix iPhone 14 Crash Detection feature

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iOS 16.1.2 aims to fix iPhone 14 Crash Detection feature
iPhone 14 Crash Detection feature should only be set off by a real crash.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Pixabay/Pexels

The new iOS 16.1.2 update is intended to make the iPhone 14 stop calling for an ambulance when the user takes a tumble. It includes “Crash Detection optimizations” according to Apple.

The update released Wednesday also makes some other tweaks so it’s worth installing on all compatible iPhones.

iOS 16.2 allows disabling wallpaper and notifications on iPhone 14 Pro’s Always On Display

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The iPhone 14 Pro is in the wild on launch day. Just be sure you update to iOS 16.01 before activating with your cellular carrier to avoid problems.
iOS 16.2 beta 3 lets you customize iPhone 14 Pro's Always On Display to a certain extent.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple added new customization options for the iPhone 14 Pro’s Always On Display in iOS 16.2 beta 3. Until now, you could only enable or disable the feature on the new iPhones.

The latest iOS 16.2 beta, released to developers Tuesday, provides toggles for disabling wallpaper and notifications in Always On Display mode, enabling a much simpler look.

New bug fix patches are out for iOS, macOS and iPadOS

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iOS 16.1
An update to iOS 16.1 is out. The same is true for iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple on Wednesday released iOS 16.1.1, iPadOS 16.1.1 and macOS 13.0.1 to fix bugs and close a couple of security holes. These updates don’t add any new features, but are nevertheless recommended for all users.

There are no such patches for watchOS or tvOS.

How to use the Dvorak keyboard on iPhone

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Apple’s digital Dvorak keyboard.
Apple’s digital Dvorak keyboard brings the alternative layout to iPhone.
Image: Michael Bunsen/Wikimedia Commons and D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The Dvorak layout is a different way of arranging the 26 letters on the keyboard. Dvorak puts all of the most common letters right on the center row for increased typing speed. It also balances the most common letters across all ten fingers for reducing strain. Physical Dvorak keyboards have been available for computers forever, but finally, you can get it on your iPhone and iPad. Now, you Dvorak aficionados can have a consistent keyboard across all of your devices.

Apple News will be shoved into the Weather app

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News in the Weather app.
If you're in the right city, and the weather is notable enough, and you're on the 16.2 beta, and all the stars are aligned, you just might see the News section of the Weather app.
Image: Dmitry Makeev, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons and D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Weather app for iPhone, iPad and Mac soon will incorporate local news sourced from the Apple News service.

In the latest beta of iOS 16.2, certain cities have an additional section for weather news, slotted between the 10-day forecast and the air quality meter. On iPadOS and macOS Ventura, this section occupies an even larger widget in the corner.

How to use Focus Modes in iOS 16

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Buckle down and focus up
Keep your distractions at bay with Focus modes — easier to set up than ever in iOS 16.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac and Nenad Stojkovic, CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, you need your iPhone and your Mac to be very different tools throughout the day — Focus modes are all about customizing them for everything you do.

Apple’s Focus modes are a powerful way to change how your iPhone, iPad and Mac look and feel whether you’re driving, sleeping, relaxing or working. It’s all about fully immersing yourself in whatever you’re doing. You can change all kinds of things: from who can reach you and which apps send notifications to custom lock screens, home screens and more.