Apple has finally released iOS 16.0 to the public, which is a highly anticipated update to the iPhone Operating System. With this new version of iOS, Apple brings in useful features and changes as well as refinements across the system.
The first beta of iOS 16.0 was released on June 6th after WWDC 2022. Apple released the Release Candidate to Beta Testers on September 7th after its “Far Out” event where they announced the new iPhone 14 series, iPhone 14 Pro series, Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), Apple Watch Ultra, and AirPods Pro (3rd generation).
Note that the RC Build is now being released to the public, so beta testers who have installed the RC are already running the latest public build as iOS 16.0 is out of beta.
Here’s everything that’s changed with iOS 16:
Lock Screen & Focus:
Apple has fully revamped the Lock Screen experience on iOS 16. They have added several new features and made several changes that include Widgets & Live Activities to make the Lock Screen experience more personalized for the users. Users will be able to create multiple Lock Screens and switch between them by simply long pressing, similar to the experience with Watch Faces on the Apple Watch.
Apple has introduced several options for customization, including the ability to change the font & color for the time & date along with the ability to add several elements Lock Screen. One can personalize the look of their Lock Screen by adding both Apple’s widgets as well as third-party widgets (once they gain support) and by adding Photos as Wallpapers with options to shuffle them and filter the people on the photo.
Apple already has several preset Lock Screens that are ready for use on iOS 16. You can find them under Astronomy, Emoji, Color, and Pride. The “Suggested photos” section suggests photos that could be used on the Lock Screen. Subtle changes such as the smaller Lock icon which disappears when unlocked also add to the overall clean look of the Lock Screen.
a) Widgets: Users will be able to add Apple’s widgets as well as third-party widgets (once the third-party apps have implemented it to add more utility to the Lock Screen. You can add the Battery Widget which can display the Battery Percentage of your AirPods along with the Widgets for Weather, Fitness, Clock, Stocks, Calendar, News, Home, and Reminders.
b) Notifications: The notifications now start from the bottom of the Lock Screen in order to not hide the content of the Lock Screen. One can view notifications on the Lock Screen in an expanded list view, stacked view, or hidden view.
c) Live Activities: We all have that one app that constantly sends us notifications about updates. For example, a Sports app that sends updates to you regarding the latest scores. These apps can now implement Live Activities for their apps for better notification management.
Once implemented, iOS 16 will display a widget on the bottom of the Lock Screen that updates in real-time to help you stay on top of things. You can keep a check on the scores of a Sports match and easily track your food delivery order without even unlocking your device. With Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, Live Activities can be displayed constantly irrespective of whether a user is on the Home Screen or on an App.
d) Focus: Apple has integrated Focus Modes with the Lock Screen on iOS 16. With this feature, users will be able to set different Lock Screens for different Focuses. For example, the lock screen can display the upcoming meetings and to-do lists when your Work Focus is enabled. This will avoid unnecessary information from popping up on your iPhone Display and keep the information relevant to the time of the day, your location, and your surroundings.
d) Focus Filters: Focus is now also integrated within apps for ease of use. When a Focus mode is enabled, it will only display the conversations that have been selected. The feature has already rolled out to Messages, Mail, Calendar, and Safari on iOS 16 and is expected to roll out to third-party apps as well. Apple has also added the ability to enable/disable Low Power Mode and Dark Mode when Focus Mode is turned on/off.
Photos & Live Text:
a) iCloud Shared Photo Library: Apple has introduced a new way to share photos with your family members and your friends. Users can choose what to include based on a start date or the people in the photos. Once the shared library is set up, users will be able to share photos right from the Camera app.
One can also choose to share automatically when other shared library members are nearby, and get smart suggestions for adding photos to the shared library in the For You tab. Any edits made to the photos will be synced with everyone in the shared library for a better-shared experience. This feature will be available in a future update.
b) Live Text: Apple has expanded the support for Live Text to videos as well – so users can simply pause the video and use Live Text to Translate, Look Up, or Select. Need to select a person or a pet from a photo and remove the background? iOS 16 has you covered. Simply press and hold the person or the pet in the photo and drag it to the app that you want it to be on.
For example, you can select your pet in Photos and add it as a sticker to an iMessage conversation. However, these new features will be available only to iPhones featuring the A12 Bionic chip and above.
Messages & SharePlay
a) Edit & Unsend: Users running iOS 16 will finally have the ability to edit a Message on iMessage within 15 minutes of sending it and can unsend a message within 2 minutes of sending it. Users can make up to 5 edits to a message. However, the recipients will be able to see a record of edits made to the message.
b) SharePlay in Messages: Apple brings support for SharePlay in messages with iOS 16. Users can now watch their favorite movie with their friends with SharePlay while chatting about it on iMessage.
c) Richer Collaboration: Users will be able to share notes, presentations, reminders, Safari Tab Groups, and more right in the Messages App. Collaborators in the chat will be able to access and edit the materials sent by just tapping on them. For example, if one collaborator opens a tab in the shared tab group, the others will be able to view it as well. Moreover, collaborators will be able to see which tab the other members of the group are on.
a) Undo Send & Schedule Send: Now you can easily unsend an email that you just sent within ten minutes of sending, schedule messages to be sent whenever you want, and get reminders to follow up on an email. You can also add rich links to your email for it to have even more details at a glance. If you forget to include an attachment or a recipient, Mail will catch those errors and ask if you want to add the missing elements.
b) Improved Search: Apple has improved the Search Results on Mail with iOS 16 for it to deliver more accurate and complete results and provide suggestions even before you start typing your Mail.
Apple introduces Passkeys – a new sign-in method that is end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks. This makes passkeys stronger than all common two-factor authentication types. Moreover, they will also work on non-Apple devices.
With iOS 16, the on-device Dictation function can automatically punctuate the text with commas, periods, and question marks as you speak. You can also insert emojis with your voice, but that will require a device sporting the A12 Bionic chip and above.
For example. just say “Happy face emoji” while dictating. These features will be available in Cantonese (Hong Kong), English (Australia, Canada, India, UK, U.S.), French (France), German (Germany), Japanese (Japan), Mandarin Chinese (China mainland, Taiwan), and Spanish (Mexico, Spain, U.S.).
Users can now also use Dictation and Keyboard together for a seamless error-free writeup. This is available on devices with the A12 Bionic chip and later in Arabic (Saudi Arabia), Cantonese (China mainland, Hong Kong), English (Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK, U.S.), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Japanese (Japan), Korean (South Korea), Mandarin Chinese (China mainland, Taiwan), Russian (Russia), Spanish (Mexico, Spain, U.S.), and Turkish (Turkey).
a) Multiple Stops: iOS 16 users will have the ability to add up to fifteen stops in advance. Maps will also store previous routes in recent for easier access when needed.
b) Transit: Users will be able to view their journey costs and get suggestions to add their Transit cards to their Wallet. If a Transit Card is running Low on balance, Maps will display a suggestion to add more balance.
c) 3rd Party Support: Apple will also expand Detailed view and Look Around on Maps to other Apps such as Bird and Zillow.
Apple Pay & Wallet:
a) Apple Pay Later: Users will now have the ability to split the cost of Apple Pay purchases into four payments over six weeks with no interest or fees. However, this will only be available for qualifying applicants in the United States.
b) Order Tracking: Users will be able to view their receipts and track their Apple Pay orders directly in the Wallet App.
c) Share Keys Securely: You can now share your keys securely in Wallet using your favorite messaging apps, including Messages, Mail, and WhatsApp. You have control over where and when your keys can be used, and you can revoke them anytime you want.
c) Verify your identity in Apps: Present your ID in apps to verify your identity. For your Privacy & Security, only the necessary information required for the transaction will be provided to the app once you consent to it using Face ID or Touch ID.
The Home app has been revamped to be even more efficient and reliable. Users can navigate all their smart home devices in the redesigned Home tab. Apple has added new categories for climate, lights, security, and more that let users access relevant accessories with just a tap. The multicamera view puts all your smart home cameras in the front and center for quicker access.
Apple will also be rolling out support for Matter – a smart home connectivity standard that enables a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across all platforms. The matter will give users the most choice and compatibility for accessories in their homes while maintaining the highest levels of security.
Health & Fitness:
a) Health: Apple has added a new Medications feature in the Health app of iOS 16 that helps users manage, track, and understand the medications that they take. The app will alert you if you need to take any precautions during the dosage period.
b) Fitness: The Fitness App will now be also available to users who do not have an Apple Watch. It will help you track and meet your fitness goals by using iPhone motion sensors, steps, distance, and third‑party workouts to give you an estimate of the calories that contribute to your daily move goal.
Family members can easily create accounts for children with the proper parental controls. They can set preferences for age-appropriate media, Screen Time, location sharing, and more.
Screen Time requests from kids will now appear in Messages, so it’s easy to approve or decline a request. iOS 16 will suggest to users if they need to update children’s settings as they get older, or share a new subscription with them. If a family member wants to set up an iPhone or iPad for a child, they simply need to bring it closer to their device and follow the on-screen prompts.
Apple has introduced the next generation of CarPlay. They regard it as “the ultimate iPhone experience for the car”. It provides content for all the driver’s screens including the instrument cluster, ensuring a cohesive design experience that is the very best for your car and your iPhone.
CarPlay can handle other Vehicle functions such as radio and temperature controls. Just like the iPhone Lock Screen, you can also personalize CarPlay with important widgets. You can select curated gauge cluster designs to make them unique.
Apple has introduced a new privacy tool called Safety Check that can be helpful to users whose personal safety is at risk from domestic or intimate partner violence. This feature can quickly remove all the access that they’ve granted to others.
It includes an emergency reset feature that helps users easily & quickly sign out of iCloud on all of their other Apple devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messaging to just the Apple device in their hand. It also helps users understand and manage the privacy permissions granted to people.
Other minor changes:
- Face ID now works in Landscape Mode on certain iPhone models – a feature that was previously exclusive to the Face ID-enabled iPads
- iOS 16 adds functionality for Haptic Feedback while typing on the Keyboard.
- AirPods (3rd Generation) and AirPods Pro users can now set up “Personalized Spatial Audio” which will initially use Face ID for setting up and provide a better Spatial Audio experience. If you quickly need to change your AirPods Settings, open Settings and you’ll see your AirPods on top. To see this menu, the lid of your AirPods case needs to be opened or you should be wearing your AirPods.
- Apple has added a “Duplicates” Section in Photos for easier deletion.
- The “Recently Deleted” and “Hidden” Sections now require Face ID/Touch ID Authentication (Much awaited)
- iOS 16 allows you to see your Wi-Fi passwords in Settings
- If your iPhone stops charging, Apple will now state the reason in Settings>Battery. You might see “Charging was on hold due to iPhone temperature.” if your iPhone exceeds a certain temperature limit.
- Apple has added new Memoji stickers and customization options such as nose shapes, headwear, and hairstyles that represent more natural hair textures and curl patterns.
- FaceTime calls can now be moved from one Apple Device to another seamlessly with “Handoff in FaceTime.”
- The Battery Percentage can be displayed on certain Face ID-enabled iPhones such as the iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max. A few iPhones such as the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, and the iPhone 13 mini currently do not support this feature. However, it is expected to be enabled in the future. To turn the Battery Percentage on, Go to Settings>Battery and Toggle “Battery Percentage” on.
iOS 16 is now supported on the devices listed below:
- iPhone 14
- iPhone 14 Plus
- iPhone 14 Pro
- iPhone 14 Pro Max
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 mini
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone SE (3rd generation)
- iPhone SE (2nd generation)
Apple has dropped support for the iPhone 6s series and the iPhone 7 series launched in 2015 & 2016 respectively along with the latest generation of iPod Touch. However, Apple will continue providing security updates to these devices.
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