iOS 16 Release: Should You Update to Apple's Latest iPhone OS?

The new version of iOS is here, bringing a lot of exciting new features, but also a lot of bugs. Does the good outweigh the bad? Should you update to the new version immediately or hold out for a more stable release that might also include delayed features? We'll break down the pros and cons here.

Should You Update Your iPhone to iOS 16?

There's a lot of benefits to updating to iOS 16 right away, primarily being able to check out some of the fun new features as soon as possible. If you like to be on the absolute cutting edge of new iPhone system software, there's a good chance you've already gone ahead and installed the iOS 16 beta a while ago. If you're not in that boat, you're probably a more thoughtful person, curious about new features, but concerned that there may be downsides to updating too early. In short, you wouldn't be wrong to be concerned.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of features and bugs, however, it's important to be sure upgrading is even an option for you. This is an easy question to answer, fortunately. As long as you're using an iPhone model that's no older than an iPhone 8 or iPhone SE 2nd generation, you'll be able to update to the latest iOS. For a full list of supported iPhone models, you can check this list of iOS 16 compatible iPhones.

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Current & Upcoming New iOS 16 Features

iOS 16 is bringing a large number of new features, though some of them are now being delayed until later this year or even next year. Sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter for quick guides on new features like creating new Lock Screens. Some of the most notable new features include:

A few notable features that have been announced but delayed include:

  • The iCloud Shared Photo Library, to make it easier than ever to share photos with family and friends.
  • The new app, Freeform, which offers a flexible canvas for brainstorming and collaboration.
  • Support for Matter, the smart home connectivity standard.

So, there's a lot of useful, fun, and interesting new things that are either here, now, with iOS 16, or slated to come later this year. Check out the full list of iOS 16 features for more details on these and other features. If any of these things sound appealing, you might want to update your iPhone now, but it's not all good news.

Reported Bugs in iOS 16

Unfortunately, the release of iOS 16 has been far from bug free. Some of the worst bugs in iOS 16 that have been reported include:

  • Faster battery drain.
  • iPhone overheating issues.
  • The touch screen becoming unresponsive.
  • The volume or brightness levels jumping suddenly.
  • App crashing issues.

I haven't encountered any of these, personally, and I have been using iOS 16 on my iPhone 13 since the beta was made publicly available.  I have encountered strange and annoying but more minor bugs, however, including the keyboard opening upside down at the top of the screen, what seemed to be placeholder text appearing in a particular setting screen, AirDrop completely failing to work, and CarPlay no longer working. All but the last of these were eventually resolved with updates, and I figured out a work around to get CarPlay working again. For me, personally, the CarPlay problem was the only issue I had with iOS 16 that made me want to look into how to go back to iOS 15, but if I'd run into more severe bugs, I might have felt differently. My experience with iOS 16 has been pretty stable.

The Verdict

So should you update to iOS 16? It's really a personal choice that comes down to whether you prioritize a stable experience with as few bugs as possible, or getting to use new features as soon as you can. With the bugs that I've personally experienced, I don't regret installing iOS 16. If the idea of crashes or other significant bugs being more likely is a worry to you, however, sticking with the stable iOS 15.7, for now, is probably not a bad idea. You can always keep an eye on Apple's official page for iOS 16 updates until it looks like more of the significant bugs have been ironed out.  If you do want to update to iOS 16 now, or when you are ready, check out our guide on updating to walk you through it.

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Author Details

Brian Peters's picture

Author Details

Brian Peters

Brian Peters is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life, a creative writing hobbyist, and general technology enthusiast. He has a bachelor's degree in English, and has completed National Novel Writing Month multiple times. He lives in the Austin, Texas, area with his wife, two dogs, and two cats.