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What’s New With the iOS 16.3 Update

Written by: Daniel Carmo, Agile Software Engineer, TribalScale

Originally published at

With the release of iOS 16.2 we saw support for Apple’s own Freeform app, an always on display, new Home App Architecture, Live Activities improvements, and other features you can check out in my last blog. Apple’s iOS 16.3 update is here, let’s check out what features and improvements you’ll find!

Emergency SOS Changes

The “Call with Hold” feature is now updated to the “Call with Hold and Release”. The updated functionality now requires that you release the Emergency Call button even after the countdown has completed. Here is the description provided by Apple:

Call with Hold and Release

If you continuously hold the side button and either volume button, a countdown begins and an alarm sounds. After the countdown, if you release the buttons, iPhone will call emergency services.

This comes with Apple asking users in iOS 16.2 for feedback on triggering the Emergency calling but it ended up being cancelled it in the end.

The wording has been changed for a few other emergency call features. These are “Call with 5 Presses” is now “Call with 5 Button Presses,” and “Countdown Sound” is now “Call Quietly.” The descriptions for each have also been updated. “Call Quietly” is toggled off by default, which is equivalent to “Countdown Sound” being toggled on.

Using Physical Security Keys for Apple ID Login

Apple has begun adding the option for users to use physical security keys to protect their Apple ID and iCloud data. This possibility was announced last year by Apple, and iOS 16.3 is seeing the introduction of this feature. Users can now set up a physical device as their 2FA device instead of the standard code that is sent to a device.

It’s worth noting that Apple will not be creating these devices at this time, but will be looking to third party hardware offerings. They are working with the FIDO Alliance to be compatible with cross-platform open standards.

Handoff Between iPhone and HomePod Prompt

Handoff between the iPhone and HomePod (and vice versa) is not a new feature, but iOS 16.3 comes with a new prompt to improve the user experience. It will better notify the user that they can transfer music control over to the HomePod. This prompt will be shown to users who have a HomePod, are on iOS 16.3, and are in range of their HomePod.

Apple Maps Improved Parking Space Feature in Maps

This isn’t new to iOS 16.3, but definitely worth a mention. Apple has partnered with SpotHero, a company established in 2011 in Chicago, that has parking information for over 8000 available locations in the U.S. and Canada. This will greatly improve the ability for users to find and book a parking space in about 300 cities in the U.S. and Canada. SpotHero also allows users to filter their search by date and time as well as parking spots with EV charging, wheelchair accessibility, valet services and more.

SpotHero CEO & co-founder Mark Lawrence has been quoted saying, “We’re constantly identifying new ways to bring easy, affordable parking to drivers. Working with Apple Maps is one way we’re doing this. Through our new integration, Apple Maps users can discover SpotHero parking right in the Apple Maps on iPhone and Mac.”

This service will be a great addition to Apple Maps helping to make it a one stop shop for all the needs of users as they are navigating the roadways.


These are some of the features that you’ll find with the launch of iOS 16.3. Improvements to security with the use of physical access keys for Apple ID accounts, better hand off processes from iPhone to HomePod, and improved emergency SOS will bring users a better experience with iOS 16.3 in their hands. The improvement to parking is an added bonus to streamline that process for Apple Maps users.

Daniel is an Agile Software Engineer with experience on a variety of platforms in both development and design. He also enjoys collaborative projects with clients, leading developer projects, and mentoring junior and intermediate developers on everything from code quality to programming knowledge. When he’s not coding, his hobbies include baking, running agility with his dog, raising chickens, and gaming.

TribalScale is a global innovation firm that helps enterprises adapt and thrive in the digital era. We transform teams and processes, build best-in-class digital products, and create disruptive startups. Learn more about us on our website. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook!



Not a massive development shop, VC firm, or design agency. But a unique group of skilled individuals, all feeding on one another’s talent. Empowering businesses to grow their success.

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