iOS 16.5 RC Released – What You Need to Know

Apple has unveiled the Release Candidate (RC) build for iOS 16.5, marking an exciting turn for both registered developers and public beta testers.

This release is part of a broader rollout that includes RC builds for iPad OS 16.5, MacOS 13.4, Watch OS 9.5, TVOS 16.5, and Homepod version 16.5.

However, the focus of this article is to dive deep into what’s new in iOS 16.5 RC. Let’s find out:

iOS 16.5 RC, In a Nutshell
Update Size and Build Number – The update is around 5.5 GB with a new build number 20F65 and modem firmware version 1.70.02.
New Wallpaper – iOS 16.5 introduces a vibrant new Pride Celebration wallpaper with unique animation and a dark mode version.
Sports Tab and Other Changes – A new Sports tab has been added, but the screen recording via Siri feature seems to have been dropped from this RC build.
New Beats Studio Pro Headphones – The MacOS 13.4 RC code hints at the imminent launch of new Beats Studio Pro headphones.
Bug Fixes – Several bugs have been addressed, including an issue that made Spotlight unresponsive and content loading problems in Podcasts and Carplay. However, the “Select All” function in Safari still appears to be missing.
Performance and Battery Life – A slight drop in performance scores compared to beta 4 has been observed, but it’s not significant enough to affect the overall performance. Battery life remains largely unchanged.
iOS 16.5 Final & 16.6 Beta Release Date – The final version of iOS 16.5 is expected to be released in the week of the 15th, with the iOS 16.6 beta possibly released soon after. iOS 17 Beta 1 is expected to debut on June 5th, coinciding with the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Update Size and Build Number

The iOS 16.5 RC update is quite hefty, averaging around 5.5 gigabytes on devices such as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. This size is understandable given the jump from a beta version to an essentially final release. The new build number is 20F65, which is likely to remain unchanged for the final release. As for the modem firmware, it stands at version 1.70.02.

Read: iOS 16.4.1 (a) Security Update – Should You Update?

A Fresh Look with New Wallpaper

One of the most visually striking additions in iOS 16.5 is the new Pride Celebration wallpaper. This vibrant wallpaper mirrors the design of the recently announced matching watch band and watch face for the Apple Watch. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the wallpaper features a fascinating animation that adds a lively touch to your lock screen and home screen transitions. It also offers a dark mode version, subtly changing the wallpaper’s background for a pleasant viewing experience in low-light conditions.

Sports Tab and Other iOS 16.5 Changes

iOS 16.5 introduces a new Sports tab, a feature highlighted in the release notes. This addition provides a dedicated platform for sports enthusiasts to stay updated with the latest sports news and events. However, it’s worth noting that it primarily redirects users to the Apple TV application for more comprehensive coverage.

Interestingly, a previous feature of iOS 16.5, screen recording via Siri, seems to have been dropped from this RC build. Despite several attempts, this function seems to be non-operational, contrary to what some publications are still reporting.

New Beats Studio Pro Headphones

The MacOS 13.4 RC code has hinted at the imminent launch of new Beats Studio Pro headphones. While there’s no official announcement yet, it’s safe to expect the unveiling of these headphones soon, given their reference in the code.

Bug Fixes in iOS 16.5 RC

Apple has addressed several bugs in iOS 16.5 RC, including an issue that made Spotlight unresponsive. Other fixes tackle problems with content loading in Podcasts and Carplay and syncing issues across devices in Screen Time. However, the “Select All” function still appears to be absent in Safari with iOS 16.5.

Performance and Battery Life

Based on Geekbench 6 test results, there’s a slight drop in performance scores compared to beta 4. However, this decrease isn’t significant enough to noticeably impact performance. Battery life, on the other hand, doesn’t show much difference from previous versions, including 16.4 and 16.4.1. If you’ve been experiencing battery drain, this update might offer some relief, although user habits often influence battery life more than software updates.

iOS 16.5 Final & 16.6 Beta Release Date

Apple has announced that the final version of iOS 16.5 will be released in the week commencing the 15th. Typically, Apple releases public iOS software on Mondays, so it’s reasonable to anticipate the launch on that day.

The first beta of iOS 16.6 could also see the light of day as early as next week, possibly on the same day or shortly after the 16.5 release. While nothing is confirmed yet for iOS 16.6, we can look forward to the debut of iOS 17 Beta 1 a few weeks later, likely on June 5th.

This coincides with the Worldwide Developers Conference, which promises exciting revelations about Apple’s future developments.

Also Check: iOS 17 Compatible Devices: The Complete List of iOS 17 Supported iPhone Models

Final Thoughts

The release of iOS 16.5 RC brings numerous changes and enhancements that aim to improve the overall user experience. With its new Pride Celebration wallpaper, the Sports tab, bug fixes, and performance improvements, this update promises to deliver a smoother and more engaging iOS experience.

Although some features have been dropped, Apple continues to innovate and push the boundaries of what its devices can offer. The anticipated launch of iOS 16.5 is just the beginning, with further developments expected in the following weeks, including the introduction of iOS 16.6 Beta and the much-awaited iOS 17 Beta.

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