iOS 16.2: Apple Music Sing, Freeform, and everything else new to iPhone

Space Black iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

The iOS 16.2 update is now live, an it's a fairly big one, adding a number of new features and making tweaks to existing ones. And while it's no iOS 17, there is still plenty to sink the teeth into.

Top of the list for many will be the addition of Apple Music Sing, but whether you fancy yourself as a pop star or are more interested in collaborative note-taking, there's something in iOS 16.2 for everyone.

Apple Music Sing

Apple Music Sing on iPhone, iPad, and TV

(Image credit: Apple)

If singing along to your favorite song is your jam, Apple Music Sing will be right up your street. You'll need an Apple Music subscription of course, but once that's all squared away you can sing your way through tens of millions of songs — and Apple has more than 50 playlists full of karaoke-ready ones, just ready to be test driven.

Apple Music Sing lets you isolate the singer and then reduce the volume as much as you like, either removing them entirely or leaving them hanging just enough to drown out your off-key warbles. Whichever you choose, Apple Music Sing is a big addition to iOS 16.2.

Freeform collaborative note-taking

Freeform on iPadOS 16.2

(Image credit: iMore)

Freeform is available on all of Apple's devices including the iPad and Mac, but on its iPhone debut comes with iOS 16.2. The app offers a collaborative note-taking experience that allows people to write and draw on a virtual whiteboard with other people.

Freeform also supports photos, videos, PDF files, and more and there's support for Appel Pencil when you switch over to the iPad, too.

And everything else

There's so much going on with iOS 16.2 that it almost feels like a bigger iOS update than it really is. There are plenty of changes that iPhone users should be aware of, although not all of them are available on all devices.

Let's dive in.

  • New Lock Screen widgets — New Medications and Sleep Lock Screen widgets mean you can keep tabs on your meds and how well you slept without even unlocking your iPhone.
  • iPhone 14 Pro Always-On Display tweaks — Apple's iOS 16.2 update allows you to remove your wallpaper when the iPhone 14 Pro Always-On Display is active. It's replaced by a black screen, while a similar option also removes the notifications as well.
  • Advanced Data Protection — Apple's Advanced Data Protection improvements ensure that people can choose how secure their data is by putting it behind end-to-end encryption. The feature is coming to the United States initially and will launch internationally in early 2023.
  • AirDrop privacy setting — Apple's iOS 16.2 update limits the "Everyone" AirDrop setting to just 10 minutes before returning to "Contacts Only."
  • 5G support in India — Indian iPhone owners can now make use of 5G connectivity for the first time, so long as they have a 5G plan and are connected to a 5G-capable carrier.
  • The Weather app gains Apple News support — the Weather app can display news articles when they are related to ongoing weather conditions.

And somehow, that isn't quite everything. Apple has also added SharePlay support to Game Center while the Messages app is now better than ever at finding photos based on their content when using the search feature.

If you haven't yet updated to iOS 16.2, now is a good time to do it — you'll find the update waiting for you in the Settings app.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.