Apple today seeded release candidate versions of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers ahead of their public release planned for Monday, October 24. The RC versions come one week after the release of the previous beta versions.
iOS 16.1 introduces support for Live Activities, the interactive notification feature that lets you keep an eye on things happening in real time right from the Lock Screen and, on the iPhone 14 Pro, the Dynamic Island.
Live Activities cannot be used at the current time as developers still need to update their apps to add support, but it will be available when iOS 16.1 launches. Developers have access to an ActivityKit API to begin getting their apps ready.
The update also introduces a new Clean Energy Charging feature in the United States that is designed to selectively charge when lower carbon emission electricity is available, plus it lays the groundwork for Matter, a new smart home standard that Apple plans to begin supporting this fall.
Matter will allow for interoperability between smart devices from different companies, and Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon, and others are working on support.
On the iPad, iPadOS 16 will expand the Stage Manager feature to the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models, and it is no longer limited to the M1 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Air. The beta removes the external display function of Stage Manager, and this feature will return in a later beta. External display support will remain limited to the M1 iPad models even though older iPad Pro models are now able to use Stage Manager.
During the beta, Apple tweaked the design of the battery status bar icon, adding a visual indication of charge level. It also changed the battery font, updated the Lock Screen charging indicator, and fixed a copy and paste bug.
Other new features in the update include a deletable Wallet app, changes to the Lock Screen customizing interface, and more, with details available in our iOS 16.1 feature guide.