Apple iOS 16.0.3 has landed and, as predicted, it rushes to the rescue of iPhone 14 owners after an exceptionally buggy launch. The release also contains an important security fix for all iPhones. Here’s everything you need to know.
Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up-to-date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.
Who Is It For?
Apple iOS 16.0.3 has been released for all iOS 16 compatible devices, that’s the iPhone 8 and newer. iOS 16 dropped support for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 ranges, as well as the iPod Touch.
Earlier this year, Apple admitted to auto-update delays. So if you have not yet received a notification, it is best to trigger the update manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are running newer beta software (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your device before the update appears.
Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates, iPadOS or macOS, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides. You can read my iOS 15.7 Upgrade Guide here.
The Deal Breakers
The biggest issue with iOS 16.0.3 is the vast majority of issues in iOS 16 remain. The update primarily fixes bugs with the iPhone 14 range and provides just a single security update for older models (more below).
The good news is that the update does not appear to be causing further problems. I see isolated issues, including breaking voice dictation (fixed with a restart) and graphical glitches but nothing with any momentum. That said, it is noticeable that iPhone owners are starting to get frustrated with the lack of progress on longer-running bugs.
So What Do You Get?
Apple’s iOS 16.0.3 release notes describe the update as providing “bug fixes and important security updates” — the catch is the former are all specific to iPhone 14 models:
- Incoming call and app notifications may be delayed or not delivered on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
- Low microphone volume can occur during CarPlay phone calls on iPhone 14 models
- Camera may be slow to launch or switch between modes on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
While I’ve seen these issues reported previously, they pale in comparison to the number of reports about other problems, such as battery drain and bugs with the new lock screen and Dynamic Island. Perhaps they were easier fixes, but I’m surprised to see how limited the number of fixes are in iOS 16.0.3 and how more prevalent problems remain unaddressed.
iOS 16.0.3 Security
As for security, iOS 16.0.3 has one significant update:
- Mail crashes on launch after receiving a malformed email
Apple’s official security page confirms this is tracked as CVE-2022-22658, and it fixes a vulnerability in the Mail client where it could be hacked by a maliciously crafted email.
Apple iOS 16.0.3 Verdict: Does Little Harm, Some Good
As things stand, my advice for iOS 16.0.3 remains the same as for all iOS 16 updates to date: Upgrade if you are already running iOS 16. If not, stick to the warm, fuzzy, bug-free environment of iOS 15.7.
Note: bookmark this page because I will track user experiences and deliver my final verdict in a week.
The Road Ahead
iOS 16.1 has now hit beta four [10/12 edit: beta five is now out) and is expected to be released by the end of October. It represents the first feature-focused iOS 16 update, and will add a number of features that missed the iOS 16 deadline. These include: lock screen customizations, support for Matter accessories, ‘Cleaning Energy Charging,’ a battery percentage indicator for the status bar, a new screenshot UI and more.
You can also expect iOS 16.1 to have the most comprehensive array of bug fixes yet, so this is one to keep an eye on if you have been diligently sitting on iOS 15. If you want early access to iOS 16 updates, join the Apple Beta Software Program.
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