iOS 16.2, which was released to the public in December, appears to have once again broken gapless playback for iPhone and iPad users. According to complaints from a number of users on Apple’s support forums and Reddit, gapless playback with the Music app has been broken since iOS 16.2 was released.
iOS 16.2 and gapless playback
Gapless playback, for those unfamiliar, is when one song seamlessly transitions into the next without a break. This is particularly notable on albums created with gapless playback in mind, such as the second half of Abbey Road by The Beatles or musical soundtracks such as Hamilton, as well as live concert recordings.
One thing to note is that gapless playback is different than crossfade, which allows a song to fade in (gradually increase its volume) while the previous song is fading out. Gapless playback has been supported by Apple across all of its platforms for years, while crossfade is still not supported by Apple Music on iPhone.
In iOS 16.2, however, it seems like gapless playback is completely broken for many iPhone and iPad users. This means that there’s a multi-second gap between songs, even when the album was meant to be listened to without gaps. One user on Apple’s support forums says:
Is anyone else having issues with gapless playback on iOS 16.2? (I have an iPhone 14 Pro Max, if that’s relevant.)
Every couple of songs in a gapless album, I’ll get a moment of silence between tracks that’s really annoying when the songs are supposed to flow smoothly into each other.
I can’t believe that we’re ending 2022 and Apple still haven’t provided a robust gapless playback to Apple Music. One iOS update will fix the bug and then another one comes along and breaks it again. It makes for such an annoying and unenjoyable listening experience. Given how much we pay in subscriptions, you’d hope that Apple developers could have found a solid fix by now and given it the attention it deserves.
The issues also seem to extend to the HomePod:
Yes I have this too. I use the HomePod for endless white noise for sleeping and it’s so annoying that every few minutes it stops for like a second or two. I thought it might have had something to do with the new HomeKit Architecture upgrade but maybe it’s just an iOS/HomePod 16.2 issue.
A number of complaints have also emerged in multiple threads on Reddit, where users lament Apple’s inability to reliability support gapless playback on iPhone and iPad. The feature is also still borked for most users in the latest betas of iOS 16.3 and iPadOS 16.3.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because something eerlily similar happened with the release of iOS 15.4 last year.
Between (repeated) bugs like this and the lack of crossfade, you have to wonder if there are some serious underlying audio engine issues affecting Apple Music on iPhone and iPad. We don’t really know how much of the Apple Music architecture on iPhone is based on the legacy foundation from the iTunes days.
How to enable ‘More Frequent Updates’ for Live Activities in iOS 16.2
A neat under-the-radar feature coming to iPhone with iOS 16.2 is the ability to customize Live Activities for “More Frequent Updates.” But even though the capability is valuable, you may not want it turned on for all available apps, more on that below. Here’s how to enable Live Activities more frequent updates on iPhone.
New Live Activities customization when the initial iOS 16.2 beta was released – which was before the feature showed up in Settings.
Now in the iOS 16.2 RC and public release that’s expected this week, you can find the toggle to turn on Live Activities “More Frequent Updates” on iPhone.
Here’s how Apple describes it: “Allowing more frequent updates lets you see more real time information, but can drain your battery faster.”
How to enable Live Activities more frequent updates on iPhone
Make sure you’re running iOS 16.2 (install the free beta if you don’t want to wait)
Open the Settings app on your iPhone
Swipe down and choose an app with Live Activities support (using the TV app below)
Note: developers need to build support for the feature, so it may take time for the option to show up for third-party apps after the public iOS 16.2 release
Choose Live Activities
Tap the toggle next to More Frequent Updates
Live Activities will need to be allowed to see the new option
Using the feature will drain your battery faster, so you may want to be careful how many apps you turn it on for
Here’s how it looks to find the feature for Apple’s TV app:
While the “More Frequent Updates” Live Activities option is showing up for Apple’s own TV app, I haven’t seen it show up yet for a third-party app. Expect developers to launch support for it over the coming weeks.
Interestingly, in the iOS 16.2 RC, More Frequent Updates is turned on by default for Apple’s TV app.
How to turn on end-to-end encryption for iMessage, iCloud, iPhone backups in iOS 16.2
Apple is launching a big security enhancement with iOS 16.2 that brings the long-requested feature of full encryption for iMessage in iCloud, iPhone backups, and eight other apps/categories. As part of the process, you’ll need to set up a recovery contact/key – here’s how to turn on iPhone end-to-end encryption for iMessage, iCloud, device backups, Notes, Safari, Photos, and more.
While end-to-end encryption (E2E) has been already present for Apple’s Messages, iCloud Keychain, Health data, and more, the update brings E2E to your Messages Backup (Messages in iCloud) your iPhone iCloud backup, iCloud Drive, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, Voice Memos, and Wallet Passes. Read more on the fine details in our full coverage and Apple’s support document.
How to turn on iPhone end-to-encryption for iMessage, iCloud backups
Make sure you’re running iOS 16.2 (install the free beta if you don’t want to wait)
You’ll also need to update your Mac, iPad, HomePods, etc. to the latest update to use the feature
Open the Settings app on your iPhone
Tap your name at the top
Now choose iCloud
Swipe to the bottom and tap Advanced Data Protection
Tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection
If you don’t have a recovery contact or recovery key set up, you’ll be prompted to do that first
If you just finished setting up a recovery contact/key, head back to Settings app > iCloud >Advanced Data Protection and tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection
Follow the prompts
You may be asked to update your other devices signed into your iCloud account before you can enable the end-to-end encryption (E2E)
Alternatively, you can remove devices that are on old software to move forward with the process
Here’s how the process looks to turn on iPhone end-to-end encryption with Advanced Data Protection:
If you don’t have a recovery contact or key set up already, you’ll do that first:
After finishing the recovery contact/key setup, head back to the Advanced Data Protection screen and tap “Turn On Advanced Data Protection”.
One more thing to keep in mind, you may need to update your other Apple devices to the newest release to enable end-to-end encryption – or need to remove them from the main Apple ID screen in the Settings app.
What do you think about end-to-end encryption coming to Messages in iCloud, backups, and more? Will you be turning the feature on? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Hands-on: How to use Apple Music Sing karaoke feature in iOS 16.2
After announcing its fun new karaoke feature yesterday, Apple Music Sing is live with the iOS 16.2 RC build. Follow along for a hands-on look at how to use Apple Music Sing karaoke including adjusting vocal volume, seeing the Duet view, and more.
iOS 16.2 is currently finishing its testing as a developer and public beta. The release candidate was made available today, so it won’t be long until it’s released to the public.
However, if you don’t want to wait for Apple Music Sing and other great features like a customizable always-on display for iPhone 14 Pro, major end-to-end encryption update, and more, you can learn how to install the free public beta in our full explainer:
What Apple Music Sing offers
Adjustable vocals: Users now have control over a song’s vocal levels. They can sing with the original artist vocals, take the lead, or mix it up on millions of songs in the Apple Music catalog.
Real-time lyrics: Users can sing along to their favorite songs with animated lyrics that dance to the rhythm of the vocals.
Background vocals: Vocal lines sung simultaneously can animate independently from the main vocals to make it easier for users to follow.
Duet view: Multiple vocalists show on opposite sides of the screen to make duets or multi-singer tracks easy to sing along to.
How to use Apple Music Sing karaoke feature in iOS 16.2
Make sure you’re running the iOS 16.2 RC
On your iPhone, open Apple Music and find a song you want to listen to
Apple Music Sing is also available on recent iPads and the Apple TV 4K (not on older Apple TV hardware)
Compatible devices include iPhone 11 and later, iPad 9/10, iPad mini 6, iPad Air 4/5, M1 and M2 iPad Pro
After starting a song, tap the lyrics button (quotation mark icon) in the bottom left corner
Now look for the microphone + stars icon (non-compatible songs won’t show the icon)
After tapping the mic, Apple Sing is turned on
Now you can drag to adjust the vocal volume and sing along with the beat-by-beat lyrics
Tap the Sing icon to turn the feature off
Here’s how it looks to use Apple Music Sing:
For songs that include duets, you’ll see the special view automatically kick in with the different parts on the left and right sides of the screen:
What songs work with Apple Music Sing?
Apple hasn’t shared exactly what songs are compatible with Apple Music Sing
But the feature is launching with support for “tens of millions of songs”
For now, you’ll have to listen to a song and tap the lyrics button to see if it works with the Apple Music Sing karaoke feature
The feature is a bit buggy for some users at the moment with the pre-launch in the iOS 16.2 RC – e.g. the button showing up and disappearing for songs
You can now share your car key in Apple Wallet with Android users,
starting with Google Pixel
If you happen to be an owner of one of the very few cars on the market with Car Key support, you are now able to share that car key credential with non-iPhone users for the first time.
Apple is working with the IETF and industry members to standardize cross-platform car key sharing. The first implementation of this support has landed today for Google Pixel owners. Google is working on rolling out support for all Android 12+ devices soon.
The Car Key feature allows Apple Wallet to treat unlocking your car in the same manner as you can conduct contactless payments with Apple Pay: Walk up to your car and then present your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock it.
You can share car keys by using the Share button inside the Wallet app. You could previously send the key to other iPhone users. On iOS 16.1 or later, the Wallet app generates keys that also work with other supporting platforms, most notably Android users.
Share using the system share sheet with your favorite app like Messages, Mail, and WhatsApp. You can secure the process using an optional one-time code.
At any later time, you can revoke access to a shared car key. Simply open the Wallet app, select your car key and tap on the People icon to manage the current list of shared keys for that vehicle.
Apple’s partnership with the IETF was first announced at this year’s WWDC. The group is still working on a final specification to make publicly available for adoption by anyone. But for now, only Apple and Google have access to the necessary protocols and are working on the respective implementations privately.
It’s a really cool technology that furthers Apple’s goal to replace the wallet in your pocket, alongside other initiatives like Digital ID and Apple Pay. Hopefully, more Car Key compatible vehicles will be available soon.
Apple releases iOS 16.2 beta 4 to developers ahead of expected launch this month
Following the release of iOS 16.1.2 to iPhone users on Wednesday, Apple released iOS 16.2 beta 4 to developers on Thursday. Along with iOS 16.2, Apple has also been testing new betas for watchOS 9.2, tvOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1. Read on as we detail what’s new in these updates.
iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 include some notable changes. The Freeform collaboration app is now available to iPad, iPhone, and Mac users. There are also changes to the Home app, updates to the Weather app, and more.
On November 28, Apple also released a “Rapid Security Response” update for users running iOS 16.2 beta. Once the feature becomes available to everyone, Apple will be able to quickly fix security exploits without having to release a new version of iOS just for this.
In addition to iOS 16.2 beta 4, Apple has also made the following updates available to all developer beta testers: