Apple Releases iOS 16.6 Beta 1 with Potential New iPhone Security Tool

iOS 16.6 beta

Apple has surprised its public beta testers by releasing iOS 16.6 beta 1 just days after the launch of iOS 16.5. Although iOS 16.6 is not expected to introduce many new features, it sets the stage for a potential new iPhone security tool. This release comes ahead of Apple’s highly anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, where the company is expected to unveil iOS 17.

While major new features may not be the focus of iOS 16.6, it serves as a groundwork for a forthcoming iPhone security tool. Beta testers can now explore and provide feedback on this tool, which is aimed at enhancing security measures for iPhone users.

When it comes to beta testing, Apple recommends downloading the beta software on a device other than your primary phone to mitigate any potential issues. The company also provides beta testers with the Feedback app, allowing them to report any problems or bugs they encounter. This feedback is invaluable in helping Apple address issues and refine the software before its general release.

Now, let’s take a closer look at one feature that could potentially be coming to iPhones with the iOS 16.6 update:

iMessage Contact Key Verification
Apple initially announced iMessage Contact Key Verification in December 2022, and early indications suggest that the framework for this tool is included in the iOS 16.6 beta. According to Apple’s previous news release, iMessage Contact Key Verification aims to empower users facing digital threats by enabling them to verify the authenticity of their messaging contacts.

While the feature does not appear to be fully functional in the current beta, users can navigate to Settings and search for “Contact Key Verification” in iOS 16.6. This should reveal an option related to the feature, although tapping on it will only direct users to their Apple ID settings at this time.

As of now, Apple has not announced an official release date for iOS 16.6. It is worth noting that more features may be added to the update before its release, and there is no guarantee that Contact Key Verification will be included in this particular update.

For the latest iOS news, users can also explore the new features introduced in iOS 16.5 and understand why downloading that update is recommended.

As we eagerly await Apple’s WWDC event, where the company is expected to unveil iOS 17, the release of iOS 16.6 beta 1 provides a glimpse into the potential security enhancements and features that could be in store for iPhone users.


Daven Klarsen is a technology writer and researcher. He's also an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the LAL. When not working, you can usually find him tweaking his Android devices or watching soccer news.


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