This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2023, CNET's collection of news, tips and advice around Apple's most popular product.
Updating your iPhone to the latest software is always exciting when Apple's added new features -- and iOS 16 certainly has some cool new features. It comes with a new lock screen customization (with widgets), the ability to unsend and edit text messages, improved privacy and security features and so much more.
And that should be enough to get you to update to the latest iPhone OS from Apple, but there are always one or two reasons to hit the pause button for just a bit and stick with the OS you're currently running.
If you haven't yet updated to iOS 16, here's why you may want to wait -- for now.
However, if and when you are ready to jump in, here's how to download and install iOS 16 and the first things to do after you install iOS 16.
Your iPhone battery might drain faster than usual
There really isn't a single general reason why battery drain occurs right after a major software update like iOS 16, but it happens to some people pretty much every year.
If your battery health level is already in bad shape (Settings > Battery > Battery Health), you might want to refrain from updating to iOS 16 for a bit.
Here are a couple reasons why iOS 16 may be draining your battery:
- Your phone is working overtime in the background. New features may need to index your files to work properly, such as the improved Search feature and the duplicates feature in the Photos app.
- Your apps don't support iOS 16. Developers are given plenty of time to update their apps to the latest update, but if they don't, the apps could drain more battery because they're outdated.
And of course, there are always software bugs that could be using up your battery life in the background.
Even if you wait for future iOS 16 updates, you may still encounter some battery drain for the first few days, but that generally disappears once your iPhone gets settled with the software update.
You might encounter bugs that can cause issues on your iPhone
No matter how polished a software update may seem, a few bugs are bound to slip through the cracks. It's why Apple sometimes releases a "point update" shortly after a major update, to fix issues like:
- Battery drain
- Apps force-closing
- Phone restarting
- Unusable features
There already seems to be an iOS 16.0.1 update for the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro to fix some activation and photo issues -- even though the phone hasn't even been officially released yet.
If you're concerned about issues such as these, you may want to wait until most of the major bugs are squashed in subsequent iOS 16 updates.
You can stop others from unsending text messages
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is the ability to unsend and edit text messages. You have two minutes to recall a text message and 15 minutes to edit an already sent text message, but if you're on iOS 15, the feature won't work as expected, which might be a good thing for you if you're not a fan of unsent and edited messages.
If you're on iOS 15 and a person running iOS 16 attempts to recall a text message they sent to you, they won't be able to. Instead, they'll receive a message that says "You unsent a message. They may still see the message on devices where the software hasn't been updated."
Essentially, they won't be able to unsend any text messages to you as long as you stay on iOS 15.
Staying on iOS 15 also affects the editing text messages feature, although not by much. Instead of editing the message, it just sends additional texts for every single edit made.
You might not get all the new iOS 16 features you want
And not every iPhone running iOS 16 will get all the new features, like the battery percentage icon in the status bar or real-time captions for videos and FaceTime calls.
Unfortunately, older iPhone models, like the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone XR, will not receive every single new feature that's available in iOS 16. If you want to check out the full list of features and unsupported devices, you can read more here.
Read more: The Much-Missed Battery Icon Has Returned in iOS 16. So Why Are iPhone Users Annoyed?
Apple has already released a developer version of iOS 16.1, which adds support for the battery percentage feature to the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini. If that's a feature you're looking forward to, you might want to wait until iOS 16.1 is released to the general public.
For the most part, you should probably update to iOS 16
Regardless of any hesitations you might have, if you do want to jump in, there are plenty of reasons to just go ahead and update to iOS 16. Aside from all the new features you may benefit from, Apple's major software updates may fix bugs and other issues in previous iterations.
Note: Apple released iOS 15.7, which fixes several security issues without you having to update to iOS 16.
However, major updates don't just fix issues, they also bring new privacy and security settings that improve your safety and better protect your personal information.
On iOS 16, you have a few major privacy and security features to look forward to:
- Safety Check: Helps people in domestic abuse situations by quickly restricting access that they've granted to others.
- Pasteboard permission: Apps must now request access to your clipboard when you copy and paste between apps.
- Rapid Security Response: Installs important security improvements faster.
- Lockdown Mode: Provides better protection to those who are targeted by mercenary spyware.
And then there are all the new accessibility features, which can be incredibly beneficial to those with disabilities:
- Live Captions: Transcribes phone call conversations and provides real-time captions to those that may be hard of hearing.
- Door Detection in Magnifier: Helps those who are visually impaired by allowing them to use their camera to locate a door, read instructions or labels around the door and get instructions on how to open the door.
For more, here's our take on the iPhone 14 Pro and Max and its shape-shifting cutout.