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iOS 16.6: You Should Download This iPhone Update Now

Apple says the update patches some security issues that might be actively exploited.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
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Zachary McAuliffe
2 min read
Apple iPhone 12 in blue

iOS 16.6 brings a lot of bug fixes and security patches to your iPhone.

Apple, CNET

While most people are waiting for Apple to release iOS 17 after Apple's next event on Sept. 12, the tech giant still released iOS 16.6 on July 27. The update doesn't bring many new features to your iPhone, but it includes a lot of bug fixes and security patches, with some for a few issues Apple said might be actively exploited.

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To download the update, got to Settings > General > Software Update, tap Install Now and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Apple said the iPhone update patches two issues that might be actively exploited. One issue is in WebKit -- the engine that powers Safari and other third-party browsers on iOS -- and might lead to an arbitrary code execution. That means a third party could steal your data or hack your device for other nefarious purposes, according to the IT services company Okta. The second issue allowed an app to modify your iPhone's core iOS code, called the kernel.

The update also fixes other issues, including one with the Find My app where an app might be able to read your sensitive location information. Apple doesn't say this was actively exploited, but you should still download iOS 16.6 to fix this issue.

What else is new on iOS 16.6?

Other than patches and fixes, iOS 16.6 doesn't bring many new features to your iPhone. An early beta version of iOS 16.6 appeared to have some of the framework for iMessage Contact Key Verification. But that framework isn't included in the final version of iOS 16.6.

There are some new prompt messages in iOS 16.6 that you might see, like if you try to log into iCloud for Windows when your iPhone and Windows computer aren't on the same Wi-Fi network. 

The website Gadget Hacks also reports there are new alerts for Apple Card, Apple Card Family Sharing and Apple Card Savings. Some of those new alerts include a prompt asking you to verify a purchase with your Apple Card and a prompt asking you to complete your savings account information by including your employment status and source of income.

For more iOS news, check out when Apple might release iOS 17features we're most excited about in iOS 17 and five hidden iOS 17 features you should know about.

Watch this: We Tried iOS 17 for Ourselves and We're Impressed So Far