Apple has confirmed the iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura operating systems will become available to download on October 24.
The public launches of the final software will also see the release of the iPhone-centric iOS 16.1 update, which includes a host of new features Apple had held back from the original launch.
Apple had also decided to hold iPadOS 16.1 (skipping iPadOS 16 altogether) back until October to finalise key features like Stage Manager, which had proved problematic during the development phases. iPadOS 16.1 also includes new features like full external display support, desktop-class apps, and a new Reference Mode.
It was the first time Apple had broken up the iPhone and iPad operating systems into separate release schedules, but they should meet up again next Monday, with the launch of both iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1.
macOS Ventura also includes the multitasking feature Stage Manager, explaining why it hasn’t been available until late October too. Once the new operating systems launch, Apple will have completed its major software updates for 2022.
However, iOS 16.1 will also include a host of new features for iPhone users. The release candidate, shared with developers today, includes support for the iCloud Shared Photo Library feature previewed earlier this year, as well as the recently announced Apple Card high interest savings account option.
iOS 16.1 also brings access to the Live Activities API to bring sports scores and more to your lock screen, key sharing in the Apple Wallet app, support for the Matter smart home connectivity standard, and the eco-friendly Clean Energy Charging feature. The latter is designed to optimise charging your device at times when the grid may be using lower carbon emission electricity. iOS 16.1 will also bring support for Apple Fitness+, even if the iPhone owner doesn’t have an Apple Watch to track their workouts.
Overall, it’s a very significant early-cycle update for iPhone owners with a host of fun new features. I’m hoping iOS 16.1 sorts the battery life worries on my iPhone 12 Pro Max, which has been draining significantly faster since downloading iOS 16 last month. However, there’s nothing within the release notes to suggest battery optimisations are on the way.