Gadgets & Tech

iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 add hardware security key support

Enlarge / The backs of the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Samuel Axon

Apple released iOS and iPadOS 16.3, macOS Ventura 13.2, and watchOS 9.3 today. The updates focus primarily on bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements, but there is one notable addition: Apple ID got support for hardware security keys.

Once they’ve updated to the new software, a user can opt to make a device like a YubiKey a required part of the two-factor authentication process for their account. It’s unlikely most users will take advantage of this, of course, but for a select few, the extra security is welcome.

Other additions in iOS 16.3 include support for the upcoming new HomePod model, a tweak to how Emergency SOS calls are made, and a new Black History Month wallpaper.

On the Mac side, hardware security key support is joined by the rollout of Rapid Security Response, a means for urgent security updates to be delivered to Macs without issuing a major software update. The watchOS update is oriented around bug fixes.

Here are Apple’s release notes for iOS 16.3:

This update introduces a new Unity wallpaper to honor Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month, Security Keys for Apple ID, and includes other enhancements, bug fixes, and security updates for your iPhone.

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:

  • New Unity wallpaper honors Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month
  • Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process on new devices
  • Support for HomePod (2nd generation)
  • Emergency SOS calls now require holding the side button with the up or down volume button and then releasing in order to prevent inadvertent emergency calls
  • Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards
  • Addresses an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the Lock Screen
  • Fixes an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear while waking up iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display Home app status
  • Addresses an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests
  • Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:

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