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App Development
6 minutes read

Top iOS 16.1 Update Features That Your Business Should Know About

By Mario Tatis
By Mario Tatis
App Development
6 minutes read

iOS 16.1 has been rolled out to much fanfare from enthusiastic Apple users. The latest iOS update brings users a sleek, reimagined lock screen experience and several new photo features, such as enhanced sharing and editing tools. 

However, while iOS users are most excited about the interface’s new design and capabilities, there are several other essential features included in the latest iOS update that businesses might be interested to learn more about. 

This post will explore a few of the more exciting features for businesses that were included in the iOS 16.1 update. If your business has a native iOS app, it is vital to take advantage of the latest iOS update and implement new features to delight your users and improve application capabilities. 

Top Three iOS 16.1 Updates That May Have a Big Impact on Your Business  

The iOS 16.1 update brought several new things to iPhone and iPad, but out of all the new features and capabilities the update provides, three things stand out most for businesses:

  • Support for Matter 
  • Third-party application live tracking 
  • Upgrades to the Wallet App 

Support for Matter 

Matter is the smart home connectivity standard that all smart home devices, such as Alexa, Google Assistant, etc., use to connect with smartphones and other devices. To this point, Apple has not supported Matter, so if you had an Alexa or other non-Apple smart device in your home, you couldn’t control it directly from your iPhone. So this is a BIG CHANGE with the launch of iOS 16.1, iOS now iOS supports Matter

First, this is an excellent step for consumers who want to own and use various devices and not feel like they have to be locked into the iOS device ecosystem. Furthermore, iOS support for Matter is a huge win for businesses that produce smart devices or IoT connected services. An entirely new audience is now available to use and interact with their products and services. 

Android might dominate the global market share of smartphone users, but in the United States, UK, and Japan, iOS represents a significant portion of the smartphone market. As a result, businesses that want to expand their connectivity offerings or branch out into IoT will benefit significantly from Apple’s recent support of Matter. 

Third-Party Application Live Tracking 

One of the most significant features of iOS 16.1 from a business perspective is the expansion of Live Activities integration with third-party applications. What does this mean? With Live Activities, users can track the progress of real-time events from their lock or home screens. So, for example, if you just booked an Uber to come and pick you up, instead of going to the Uber app to get real-time updates on your driver’s whereabouts, Live Activities gives you the ability to track this status from the lock or home screens. 

Apple users with an iPhone 14 or newer will be able to track Live Activities in the Dynamic Island on their home screen or their lock screen. Users with an iPhone 13 or earlier models can track Live Activities from their lock screen. In addition, third-party integration with the Live Activities feature enables businesses to produce new and exciting User Experiences that delight and drive additional value to their company. 

If you are having trouble understanding what Live Activities would look like for your users, imagine a dynamic push notification that changes in real-time to reflect the current status of a real-world event, such as a food order, flight status, game result, etc. The possibilities for this new feature are practically limitless. If your business provides services or products through its mobile app, Live Activities integration is a feature that should be thoroughly explored. 

Upgrades to the Wallet App 

Key sharing is one of the most incredible new features added to the Apple Wallet app. On a trip and want to share the key to your hotel room? Perhaps, you want to share the keys to your car so a friend can come and pick you up from the airport? Using the Wallet app, users can securely share hotel, car, and other vital keys through iMessage or WhatsApp

The new Wallet upgrades do not end at key sharing, there is also some important news related to FinTech. For example, users with an Apple Card can now roll their Apple Cash into a high-yield savings account from Goldman Sachs. In addition, businesses that want to promote touchless transactions and failsafe room or vehicle access to their customers can utilize the Wallet upgrades from iOS 16.1 to deliver modern customer experiences. 

Additional Highlights of the iOS 16.1 Update 

iOS 16.1 has been one of the most consequential iOS updates in recent memory. We have highlighted three great features of the update that we think can provide businesses with a lot of immediate value. However, there are even more great aspects of iOS 16.1 that we think should be highlighted as well, including:

  • New lock screen features
  • Clean energy charging 
  • Fitness + support 
  • iCloud shared photo library 

New Lock Screen Features 

iOS 16.1 is delivering a reimagined lock screen experience to users. Now they can add widgets and other interactive elements to their lock screen and toggle between different lock screen options. Businesses and app developers will be able to create lock screen widgets for just about everything. There is a lot of potential here to add value to your iOS application and develop new customer experiences. 

Clean Energy Charging 

The clean energy feature included in iOS 16.1 is only available in the US. However, when this option is toggled, it can help iPhone users reduce their carbon footprint by selectively charging the device when low-emission electricity options are available. So, while the world collectively rethinks energy consumption, Apple is offering users a chance to reduce the impact of their carbon footprint. 

Fitness + Support 

If you have an Apple Watch, Fitness + is a great tool you can access. Thanks to the iOS 16.1 update, users no longer need an Apple Watch to access Fitness +. Users won’t be able to track real-time metrics like heart rate or calories burned, but they can use the app to track their fitness goals and access workouts, meditations, and other fitness content. 

iCloud Shared Photo Library 

Sharing photos with friends and family can sometimes be tricky as you try to text or Airdrop them to everyone. The iOS 16.1 update simplifies photo sharing by introducing the iCloud Shared Photo Library. The iCloud Shared Photo Library can be shared with up to 5 additional people who can upload, edit, or delete photos in the shared library. 

Final Thoughts 

The iOS 16.1 update has many exciting new features and capabilities for users. If your business has a native iOS app, it is time to start thinking about how your organization can best utilize the latest update to improve its application and User Experience. If you need help developing an iOS app, updating your current iOS, or just want to learn more about iOS 16.1, reach out to an experienced app development partner.

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