Apple iOS 16.3.1: Surprise Update With Crucial Features For iPhone Users

Apple iOS 16.3.1: Surprise Update With Crucial Features For iPhone Users

Apple has just released iOS 16.3.1, a mere three weeks after iOS 16.3. It’s a smallish update, just 334MB on my iPhone 14 Pro Max, but it has some key changes and improvements in it. Here’s what’s in it, and how to get it.

Make Forbes your destination for all-things iOS. Read full details of what’s in the release from me the moment it lands. Kate O’Flaherty looks at the security considerations of each new release. And then read Gordon Kelly’s analysis of whether you ought to install or wait.

Which iPhones can run iOS 16.3.1?

Apple iOS 16.3.1 runs on all iPhones from iPhone 8 onwards, and this update includes features relevant to all those handsets.

How to get it

Updating is straightforward: open the Settings app on the device and then choose General, then Software Update. Once you’ve clicked on Download and Install, you’ll be golden in no time—it’s not a weighty update.


What’s in the release

Improvements to Crash Detection are promised in this update. Apple describes them as “optimisations” and they apply to the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Crash detection, as you’ll know, is a clever feature found on the latest iPhones which recognize when you’ve been in a crash and can alert emergency services. However, there have been reports of the phones throwing up false positives from non-crash situations (skiing and rollercoasters were early culprits for this). Nevertheless, emergency services were generally in favor of the feature being left on, except when on a theme park ride. This update will address this issue, and hopefully solve it.

Fixes to iCloud settings are also here. Some users have reported that they have had problems turning automatic iCloud backups on or off for the iPhone and iPad, and this issue, which arose since the last release, iOS 16.3, should be fixed now.

Siri requests for Find My: if you’ve been using Siri to find stuff and it hasn’t been working, this is something that’s been sorted, we hope, with this update.

Oh, and if you’re a HomePod user, there’s an extra feature for you.

HomePod updates: related to iOS 16.3.1 is the release of new HomePod software, confusingly numbered 16.3.2 (it’s ahead of the curve already!). Apple says, “This update addresses an issue where asking Siri for smart home requests may fail, and also includes general performance and stability improvements.”

Apple’s release notes follow:

This update provides important bug fixes and security updates for your iPhone including:

  • iCloud settings may be unresponsive or display incorrectly if apps are using iCloud
  • Siri requests for Find My may not work
  • Crash Detection optimisations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:


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