When iOS 16 is released later this year, anyone with an iPhone in their pocket will be in for a treat. Apple’s latest mobile operating system was teased during the annual WWDC conference, so you have plenty of time to comprehend what’s new before it’s beamed to your handset.
For 2022, customization reigns supreme, with substantial changes to the lock screen – but there are plenty of enhancements that should excite aficionados of photography, travel, and home automation. There’s a lot to cover, but we’ve got you covered if you don’t have time to see the speech in its full.
Here are the ten most exciting new features in iOS 16.
A whole new lock screen
It’ll be the first thing you see when you pick up your phone, thus it’ll be the most important. The lock screen on iOS 16 has been totally redesigned, with notifications pushed to the bottom of the screen to make room for more photos. For the first time, Widgets are supported, allowing you to display weather, calendar appointments, or the battery state of your AirPods without having to unlock the phone.
The time and date may be customized in terms of font and color, and some smart depth effects allow the subjects of your lock screen shot to slightly overlap the graphics. Built-in photo filters change the typefaces as you swipe through them, giving your phone a more personalized look. The Focus function now works with the Lock screen, allowing you to set up alternative lock screens depending on whether you’re working, travelling, or at home.
Apps that used to saturate your lock screen with several notifications (we’re looking at you, Uber Eats and Starbucks) can now employ Live Activities to replace them with a single, automatically updating notification/widget hybrid. It’s ideal for sports scores, according to Apple, and developers can start working on versions for their apps right now. Hopefully, this indicates that by the time iOS 16 is out, there will be plenty of support.
Message management that is more fluid
Why else would Apple give us an undo send button for Messages? We believe someone at Apple must have sent Tim Cook a text intended for their other half. We’ve all done it, so being able to delete those awkward unintentional sends with a long click of the message bubble will be quite useful.
In iOS 16, you’ll be able to edit messages after they’ve been sent. If you make a mistake, you can correct it by placing a “edited” flag next to the “delivered” one.
When you haven’t had time to make a reply and need a reminder to get back to your contact later, you can now mark chats as unread with a right swipe on the thread.
Messages now supports SharePlay, so you can start a session right inside the app and watch a video with your friends at the same time.
Dictation that is more efficient
Voice dictation appears to be getting a lot of positive feedback from iPhone users, and Apple is intending to improve it even more. The onscreen keyboard will now remain visible as you talk, allowing you to switch input methods on the fly. It now recognizes punctuation and emoticons, and all language processing takes place on the device, so you don’t have to worry about your ramblings being stored on a server.
Text detection in videos will also employ the iPhone’s Neural Engine, allowing you to pause a film, highlight any text, and paste it into another app. It’s a cool example, but we’re not sure how beneficial it will be for the vast majority of iOS users.
Visual Lookup will also be improved. Previously, the camera was used to recognize items; today, it isolates subjects from their surroundings and allows you to drag them into other programmes.
Family sharing that isn't a snooze
In iOS 16, limiting what your kids can do and for how long on their iOS devices has never been easier. Assigning user profiles to each child and enabling age-appropriate limitations can now be done across devices and from a single location, giving you fine-grained control over what ebooks, movies, TV series, and apps they have access to.
If you set screen time limitations but your kids only need ten more minutes (honest! ), you can use the Messages app to extend the duration.
Finally, a Family Checklist can serve as a reminder to examine what parental controls are in place, as well as assist you with deactivating or raising limitations as your children get older.
Photographs for the entire family
In iOS 16, sharing images with family members has never been easier. Instead of sharing individual photographs or albums, you may now share a single iCloud Shared Photo Library with up to five additional iCloud users. After you’ve set it up, you may choose photographs from your camera roll manually or utilise smart suggestions, which recognise people and offer photos that others would enjoy.
Edits, favourites, and deletes are all synced across all devices in a shared photo library because all users have the same rights.
Apple has also included a button in the camera app that allows users to submit new photographs immediately to a shared library. You may turn it on or off by default, or have it turn on automatically when you’re in the same room as your family.
The Home app has been updated
Apple is one of several well-known tech companies to endorse the Matter IoT standard, which is rapidly gaining acceptance in a variety of smart home products. Because there are more devices, there are more icons, video streams, and settings to keep track of, the Home app has been updated to display the complete home on a single scrollable screen.
Security devices, heating/cooling, and lights are now all accessible with a single tap from the top of the screen. Automations have been simplified, and camera feeds now have their own full-width tiles with previews. The entire back-end has been redone to make it more dependable, and a discover tab lets you identify suitable gadgets. It’ll be available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, but iPhone will see the most cosmetic changes.
In addition, iOS 16 improves the Home app’s fundamental reliability and adds support for the Matter standard. The new Home app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices.
CarPlay will take control of your vehicle
CarPlay was intended for the horizontal infotainment panels that most carmakers used at the time, but vertical layouts are now more popular, and digital dashboards have almost completely supplanted physical instrument clusters. There are a lot of different display shapes out there, and Apple wants to be on every single one of them.
CarPlay will soon be able to replace the instrument cluster, giving critical information like speed, engine rpm, fuel reserves, and oil temperature (if you’re driving a gas-powered car) or range estimations (if you’re driving an electric vehicle), as well as navigation. Without having to return to the car’s built-in UI, the infotainment screen will be able to operate things like climate control.
Apple demonstrated a variety of layouts, ranging from minimal to modern to classic, and claimed that you’ll be able to customise the look and feel of each. Widgets, similar to complexities on the Apple Watch, are also making an appearance.
The update was exhibited as a ‘teaser’ rather than a demonstration, and will be contingent on carmakers adding support for it, so don’t expect to see Porsche 911-style gauges on your hatchback’s dashboard until at least next year — and then only if you’re planning a trip to a new vehicle dealership.
Wallet is becoming more intelligent
Maryland and Arizona residents will be overjoyed to find that Apple Wallet now supports their state driver’s licences. Another 11 should be available shortly, according to Apple, and can be used in-app without revealing your exact date of birth — only if you’re legally old enough to buy the items you’re attempting to buy.
Tap-to-pay is coming to the United States, allowing small companies to accept payments using their cellphones instead of purchasing dedicated card-reading technology.
With support for Messages and Mail, as well as third-party integrations like WhatsApp, sharing digital keys has never been easier. You can save a virtual key to your Apple Wallet if you receive one. Support is still limited at the moment, with the most of it coming from high-end hotels, but car manufacturers are steadily catching up.
The other side of the jigsaw is Apple Pay Later, which allows you to divide a larger purchase into four equal payments that are subsequently paid back over six weeks with no interest. Wallet notifies you when it’s time to pay and allows you to pay the sum in full at any moment. There’s no indication yet on whether it’ll be limited to the United States or if your bank will be required to support it.
The map is pointing in the proper direction
This year, Apple is putting a lot more effort into its 3D maps, with coverage expanding to Las Vegas, Chicago, and other large cities. Developers may leverage the virtual aerial view in both light and dark themes to better direct consumers to things like rental scooters, taxi pickups, and package drop-off places.
Multi-stop routing gives navigation a leg up by allowing you to arrange a path with numerous stops rather than multiple shorter hops. When you select public transportation, it will display the fare and allow you to pay with Apple Pay within the Maps app if the network allows contactless payments and tickets.
Safety Check is available for those who require it
This is one of those features that is “helpful, but we hope you never need to use it.” Safety Check is designed for domestic violence victims, allowing them to quickly delete any information they’ve shared with a partner, such as calendar appointments, app and website passwords, and location data.
There are a number of minor upgrades included in the iOS release that are also worth mentioning. Like the Fitness app, which will be included whether or not you have an Apple Watch. Previously, you had to sync Apple’s wearable with your smartphone before the app would appear.
You’ll be able to customise Spatial Audio by scanning your environment with your iPhone’s TrueDepth camera and tweaking your AirPods Pros to match the layout. You may also ask Siri to hang up hands-free audio calls for you, include emoticons into messages while dictating them, and send messages without requiring verbal confirmation.
In landscape mode, FaceID will now operate. Haptic feedback is now available for the onscreen keyboard (if you want it). Apps will have to ask permission before accessing your clipboard as permissions are tightened. So there’s a lot to be excited about.
If you can’t wait until September/October, when Apple generally releases new iOS versions, the iOS 16 public beta will be available in July – or you may start downloading it right now if you have an Apple developer account.