Apple iOS 16.0.2 Release: Should You Upgrade?

Apple iOS 16 is full of bugs and iOS 16.0.1 was limited to iPhone 14 models, so iOS 16.0.2 is the first dedicated bug fix for all iPhone owners. The problem is it’s causing as many problems as it fixes. Here’s everything you need to know.

Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up-to-date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.

Who Is It For?

Apple iOS 16.0.2 is exclusively for iPhone 14 models: that’s the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple has admitted to auto-update delays, so if you have not yet received a notification, it is best to trigger the update manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are running newer beta software (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your device before the update appears.

Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates, iPadOS or macOS, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides. You can read mine iOS 15.7 Upgrade Guide here.

The Deal Breakers

Worryingly, one day after release, iOS 16.0.2 appears to be causing significant problems. These include oversensitive brightness levels, lag video using the Apple HDMI Lightning adapter, login problems and severe touch response issues — including for those who did not have them before. Ironic when the update is specifically meant to fix this issue.

Upgraders are also reporting that the update does not fix the camera bug shake which it was specifically released to address. There are isolated reports of issues with popular apps too, including Halide and Instagramas well as complaining that most other iOS 16 bugs remain — although that should not be surprising as the update only lists a small number of fixes.

So What Do You Get?

Apple’s iOS 16.0.2 release notes describe the update as providing “bug fixes and important security updates”. The bugs it fixes are as follows:

  • Camera may vibrate and cause blurry photos when shooting with some third-party apps on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Display may appear completely black during device setup
  • Copy and paste between apps may cause a permission prompt to appear more than expected
  • VoiceOver may be unavailable after rebooting
  • Addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone X, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 displays after being serviced

The first of these has been headline news, causing the iPhone 14 primary camera to shake violently, so the fix was urgent but it does not appear to be successful for everyone. Setup, copy/paste issues and touch response issues were also widely reported — like the camera fix, the latter has not worked for everyone.

iOS 16.0.2 Security

Despite the iOS 16.0.2 release notes saying the update contains “important security updates”, Apple’s official security page states that there are no patches in the release. This is the first time I’ve known iOS release notes to be misleading, so I will continue to monitor the security page for updates.

Apple iOS 16.0.2 Verdict: A Buggy Release

iOS 16.0.2 appears to introduce as many bugs as it fixes and, considering it contains no security patches, that means it is not essential. My advice would be to update only if you are suffering from any of the five bugs iOS 16.0.2 claims to fix. But for everyone else, there is no reason to risk the additional problems this update may introduce.

As for those still on iOS 15, stay away, iOS 15.7 is significantly more stable.

Note: bookmark this page because I will track user experiences and deliver mle.y final verdict in a week.

The Road Ahead

iOS 16.1 is now onto its second beta, and will deliver a number of new features that were finished too late to make it into iOS 16. These include: lock screen customizations, support for Matter accessories, ‘Cleaning Energy Charging’, a battery percentage indicator for the status bar, a new UI screenshot and more. If you want early access to iOS 16 updates, join the Apple Beta Software Program.

That said, I expect iOS 16.0.3 to arrive before iOS 16.1 is released in mid-late October. Apple still has a lot of cleaning up to do.

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