Apple has released the final versions of macOS 13.1, iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 to the public after a few weeks of beta testing. In addition to standard bug fixes and security patches, these updates include the Freeform collaborative app that was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, increased use of end-to-end encryption for iCloud data and (for iPhone) the voice-reducing function Apple Music Sing compatible with karaoke.
Freeform uses your AppleID and iCloud to sync changes on a large bulletin board-like canvas between multiple users in real time. Input can include typed text, images, files and documents, shapes, and handwritten text or images made with an Apple Pencil, creating something similar in shape to a shared note or document but with greater input flexibility. Users can have multiple boards shared with different groups of people, communicating in real time via Messages or FaceTime.
The additions to iCloud’s encryption are grouped under the “Advanced Data Protection” banner and expand on the service’s use of end-to-end encryption. Device backups for iPhone and iPad can be fully encrypted, as can bookmarks and Safari data from Photos, Notes, Voice Memos, Reminders, Shortcuts, and Wallet apps. Mail and calendar data remain unencrypted “due to the need to interact with global mail, contact, and calendar systems.”
Advanced data protection also includes support for two-factor authentication physical keys, as well as key verification for iMessage contacts so people having private conversations can be sure they’re talking to the person they think they’re talking to. speak.
Like the Lockdown Mode feature introduced in iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, Advanced Data Protection features are turned off by default and must be turned on after upgrading. When you enable it, you can also designate an emergency contact and generate a recovery key if you’re locked out of your account, as Apple won’t have your encryption key and won’t be able to help you recover your data otherwise.
For owners of older devices, Apple has provided security updates for macOS Monterey and Big Sur (12.6.2 and 11.7.2 respectively), as well as a separate update for Safari 16.2. Older devices that can’t upgrade to iOS 16 can install iOS 15.7.2, which includes many of the security-only updates included in iOS 16.2.
Apple has also released software updates for most of its other products: watchOS 9.2 adds a few new workouts and “optimizes” the Crash Detection feature on hardware that supports it; tvOS 16.2 includes Apple Music Sing support for the latest Apple TV 4K and video previews for Apple TV+ shows; and HomePod Software Update 16.2 adds “performance and stability improvements” and supports “a new underlying architecture” for the Home app.