iOS 16.3 has been available for download since Monday evening. And brings the most important Apple security feature in years. The time for the update should have another reason.

As always, the updates come at once. Apple released new systems for the iPhone, iPad and its Mac computers on Monday evening. They don’t just contain bug fixes. Instead, they bring several new functions with them. The most important: Apple’s end-to-end encryption of its cloud services is now also available in Germany.

iOS 16.3: Encryption now also in Germany

What may sound unspectacular is probably one of the group’s most important security measures in recent years. If a user loads his data, contacts and photos into Apple’s iCloud cloud service, they are basically well protected there. But they are not yet encrypted. If an unauthorized person – or the law enforcement authorities – gains access to the data, they have full access to it. This is now changing with the function called “Extended data protection”. All data can then only be opened by devices that are assigned to the account.

The function was initially limited to a few countries, but with the update it also works in Germany. To set them up, you must first open Settings and then select “Apple ID”, the “iCloud” and there the option. When you turn it on for the first time, you also have to generate a special code or designate a trustworthy person. The background: If access to the account is lost, not even Apple can retrieve the data. However, the key generated via the rescue function still allows it.

It’s also in the update

The system becomes a must due to the closed security gaps. Apple lists a dozen bugs in the older system versions that can be exploited by attackers and have now been fixed.

However, the reason for the update should be the new Homepod. The smart speaker just introduced will be available in stores next week and requires an update for the connected devices to set up. Great: The new software also gives older devices functions such as smoke alarm detection and access to the built-in thermometer. You can read about what the new speaker is good for and whether it actually sounds as good as Apple promises in the detailed test on

iOS 16.3: Many innovations in detail

In addition to the two major innovations, Apple has also revised all sorts of small stuff. To trigger the emergency call function, the power button and one of the volume buttons must be pressed and then released again. Apple wants to reduce the number of false alarms somewhat.

The update also fixes bugs. Apple cites an issue where background images are shown as almost completely black. iPhone 14 Pro Max owners complained about horizontal stripes after switching on the device. Apparently there were also display errors in the Home smart home app. And last but not least, Siri is said to have had problems understanding when music requests were made to her via the Carplay car control. These errors should be fixed by the update.

How to install the update

If you have switched on automatic updates, the system automatically downloads the new version and installs it overnight if there is a power and WiFi connection. If you want to check manually whether an update is available, you can find this option in the settings under “General” and “Software update”.

What: Apple