Should I update my iPhone to iOS 10.1?

iOS 10.1

Now that iOS 10.1 has been released, many iPhone owners are wondering if they should install the update. Of course, all updates are recommended by Apple. Usually this is because updates to iOS contain important security improvements. iOS 10.1 is no different, but these security fixes mostly happen in the background. What else is included in the latest and greatest version of iOS?

Most of the news has centered around Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus camera. While the Plus is required to fully take advantage of the portrait feature, iOS 10.1 is said to improve portrait taking on all compatible devices. iPhone 7 Plus users will see the most significant change, with the dual-lens setup being used to simulate out-of-focus DSLR bokeh behind portrait subjects. This makes portraits taken on the Plus appear closer to professional quality.

There are important bug fixes when it comes to the Camera app as well, such as issues with iCloud Photo Library and the launching of the app itself. Messages gets several bug fixes and improvements, including an option to replay screen effects. Users of Reduce Motion can also switch on screen effects in Messages without turning off Reduce Motion. Previously, when Reduce Motion was enabled screen effects could not be viewed at all.

Several other items are improved or fixed, such as minor bugs with Weather, Bluetooth connectivity, the front-facing FaceTime camera, Safari, Mail, calling extensions and HomeKit, among others. In fact, the official list is a lengthy one. There are various additions and improvements to the Maps app as well, including transit fare comparisons, underground maps, and support for Japanese transit systems.

The short answer is yes, updating to iOS 10.1 brings many worthwhile refinements to iOS 10. Here are the official release notes:

Camera and Photos

-Introduces Portrait Camera for iPhone 7 Plus that creates a depth effect that keeps your subject sharp while creating a beautifully blurred background (beta)
-People names in the Photos app are saved in iCloud backups
-Improved the display of wide color gamut photos in the grid views of the Photos app
-Fixes an issue where opening the Camera app would show a blurred or flashing screen for some users
-Fixes an issue that caused Photos to quit for some users when turning on iCloud Photo Library


-Transit support for every major train, subway, ferry, and national bus line, as well as local bus systems for Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Okinawa
-Sign-based transit navigation including layouts of all underground structures and walkways that connect large transit stations
- Transit fare comparison when viewing alternative transit routes


-New option to replay bubble and full screen effects
-Messages effects can play with Reduce Motion enabled
-Fixes an issue that could lead to contact names appearing incorrectly in Messages
-Addresses an issue where Messages could open to a white screen
-Addresses an issue that could prevent the report junk option from displaying with unknown senders
-Fixes an issue where videos captured and sent in the Messages app could be missing audio

Other improvements and fixes

-Improves Bluetooth connectivity with 3rd party accessories
-Improves AirPlay Mirroring performance when waking a device from sleep
-Fixes an issue where playback would not work for iTunes purchased content when the “Show iTunes Purchases” setting is turned off
-Fixes an issue where certain selfie apps and face filters used with the FaceTime HD Camera on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus did not display a live preview
-Fixes an issue in Health where individual strokes are converted to separate characters when using the Chinese handwriting keyboard
-Improves performance of sharing websites from Safari to Messages
-Fixes an issue in Safari that caused web previews in tab view to not display correctly
-Fixes an issue that caused certain Mail messages to be reformatted with very small text
-Fixes an issue that caused some HTML email to be formatted incorrectly
-Fixes an issue that in some cases caused the search field to disappear in Mail
-Fixes an issue that could prevent Today View Widgets from updating when launched
-Fixes an issue where Weather widget sometimes failed to load data
-Fixes an issue on iPhone 7 where Home Button click settings would not appear in search results
-Fixes an issue that prevented spam alert extensions from blocking calls
-Resolves an issue that could prevent alarm sounds from going off
-Fixes an issue where audio playback via Bluetooth would cause the Taptic engine to stop providing feedback for some users
-Resolves an issue preventing some users from restoring from iCloud Backup
-HomeKit motion sensors with cameras in room now show the image when the motion sensor was tripped rather than a live video stream in the enhanced notification