Apple Ships iOS 10.1

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 10 Comments

Apple Ships iOS 10.1

Apple today shipped iOS 10.1, a minor update to its flagship mobile OS. Key among the new features is Portrait mode for the Camera app on iPhone 7 Plus.

And on that note, if you were holding out for Portrait mode, you’re going to be disappointed. The feature hasn’t improved in any meaningful way since I first wrote about it a month ago, and because it uses software tricks and relies on only one of the iPhone 7 Plus’s two cameras, meaning it can only be used in certain situations.

I’m not the only one who has pointed out this issue. In his overview of iOS 10.1 today, the Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler experienced similar problems. He noted that its fake bokeh effects “often failed, sometimes in hilarious ways.”

But others seems satisfied with it—9to5Mac calls it “impressive” and Techcrunch reminds us that Portrait mode is still in beta: “It’s going to get better over the coming months,” they claim. Point being, your mileage will vary.

Portrait mode pictures can be nice, but the feature has trouble with edges.

Portrait mode pictures can be nice, but the feature has trouble with edges.

Of course, iOS 10.1 isn’t just about Portrait mode. It also adds the following new features:

Camera and photos.

  • 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, and Nagoya
  • 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

Apple Watch

  • Adds distance and average pace to workout summaries in the Activity app for outdoor wheelchair run pace and outdoor wheelchair walk pace
  • Fixes issues that may have prevented Music playlists from syncing to Apple Watch
  • Addresses an issue that was preventing invitations and data to appear in Activity Sharing
  • Fixes an issue that was allowing Activity Sharing to update over cellular when manually disabled
  • Resolves an issue that was causing some third-party apps to crash when inputting text

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
  • Various security fixes

And iOS 10.1 certainly isn’t only for the iPhone 7 Plus. It will also install on the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, and iPhone 7; the iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, iPad 4th generation, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro 9.7 inch and iPad Pro 12.9 inch; and the 6th generation iPod touch. You can download it now for free from Settings, General, Software Update on your i-device.

Finally, Apple has also updated watchOS to version 3.1 and macOS to version 10.12.1. If you’re into those kinds of things.


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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Apple Ships iOS 10.1”

  1. 4267

    obSnark: I just bought a portrait lens (85mm) for my DSLR, and it works beautifully. Great bokeh, no trouble with edges.

    Seriously, you can't fix what isn't there in the first place. Blur of background will increase gradually as distance increases. A real portrait-length telephoto lens will blur the foreground that's on the close side of the focusing distance, and that's something that will never happen with this two-lens kludge. This is what the Surface team would call a difficult computer science problem.

    Yes, I'll buy an iPhone plus model when my current 6-plus is ready for retirement. I'll look forward to having the second lens for what it is, a non-wide-angle lens. But I won't use Portrait.

    • 442

      In reply to cyloncat:

      I second the agreement.  The iPhone 7 has really soured my taste in Apple.  I'll hold out fully until the iPhone 8 though to see if they continue to take user unfriendly changes going forward.

      I found an article recently that said "just replace the battery in your 6/6s/plus" instead of retiring it.  Obviously snubbing Apple's newest hardware.  Funny.

  2. 1475

    Anyone else experience the Outlook app crashing the entire iOS shell when using the Word Flow keyboard after upgrading to iOS 10? Let's see if 10.1 fixes it...

  3. 4925

    I am so excited it may fix my bluetooth woes.  I will know tomorrow if my car fails to connect. Again.  I love this device so much but this is gettign annoying.

  4. 4261

    And 10.1 installs on EVERY single iPhone model of the past 4 years!  Take that Android, LOL.  There are some really interesting and exciting Android phones out there, but the Android OS update situation keeps me from ever considering any of them.  I like Apple's focus on customer privacy, and accept the fact that this limits some of the functions of things like Siri, rather than the new Google Assistant which works well because being in the Google universe means that you have to not care about privacy at all and they know EVERYTHING about you.   I am finding that my new iPhone 7 has very excellent battery life compared to my old 6, Apple has made great strides in that department with their new chips and software combo.  I never seem to worry about having battery at the end of the day at all any more, which is a great relief. 

    • 442

      In reply to wocowboy:

      That's more of an OEM/Carrier issue than a Google issue, IMHO.  I believe Google's on the path to fix it, at least in Google OEM hardware.  We'll see how long the old Nexus devices stand up to new releases...

  5. 442

    I always wondered why Apple didn't make the "Reduce Motion" setting a slider with different levels.  Heck, even in the single basic level they have the motion is way too much in many cases.  The full screen thing in iMessage was stupid to block to begin with though.

    And, I bet if Apple gave up on the two camera gimmick, they'd have room for an audio jack. :)  On top too, where it works best.

  6. 5842

    I like iOS. When update comes out we get the list of fixes and enhancements. When anything from Microsoft comes out we get the list of new bugs, discontinued features and limitations that cannot be fixed for years and years.

  7. 1777

    I just tried the new portrait mode and like Paul, wasn't overly impressed. That said, if it works correctly, it does make the photos look better. But it currently can't compete with a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a fast lens.

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