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Apple releases iOS 16.3 RC ahead of public release next week

Apple on Wednesday confirmed that iOS 16.3 and other software updates will become available to the public next week. Ahead of this, the company has just released RC (Release Candidate) builds to developers and public beta users.

iOS 16.3 RC will be available today to registered developers and beta testers. As the update rolls out over the air, you’ll be able to install it by going to the Settings app, choosing General, then choosing Software Update.

Alongside the iOS update, Apple is also rolling out the following RC updates for its other platforms: 

  • iPadOS 16.3 RC
  • watchOS 9.3 RC
  • macOS 13.2 RC
  • tvOS 16.3 RC

What’s new in iOS 16.3?

There isn’t much new about iOS 16.3. The update includes the ability to use physical security keys to protect Apple IDs. This means you will have a physical hardware device that you can set up to serve as the second layer of two-factor authentication for your account.

iOS 16.3 also includes a new tutorial to show users how to take advantage of the Handoff features between iPhone and HomePod. That’s because this is also the update that includes support for the second-generation HomePod announced by Apple today.

Another thing coming with today’s updates is a new Black Unity wallpaper and watch face for iPhone and Apple Watch users. The company also announced a new special edition Black Unity watch band for the Apple Watch.

Full release notes

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:

  • New Unity wallpaper honors Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month
  • Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two-factor authentication sign-in process on new devices
  • Support for HomePod (2nd generation)
  • Emergency SOS calls now require holding the side button with the up or down volume button and then releasing in order to prevent inadvertent emergency calls
  • Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards
  • Addresses an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the Lock Screen
  • Fixes an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear while waking up iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display Home app status
  • Addresses an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests
  • Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly

Spot any changes in today’s release of iOS 16.3 RC or other software updates? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @9to5Mac.

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