After months of anticipation, Apple finally revealed the next-generation version of iOS, launched at WWDC 2022. The iPhone’s latest operating system, iOS 16, aims to improve the smartphone experience with a new set of features including a customisable and redesigned lock screen with live widgets, new Messages tweaks, improved Focus modes, a refreshed Notification system, an iCloud Shared Photos Library for families, and much more.
iOS 16 is scheduled for general release likely in September, just like every recent major iOS release. However, not all Apple iPhone users will be able to get the upgrade. Apple confirmed that it will only be available on the Phone 8 and newer models.
Here we’ll take a look at everything there is to know about iOS 16, including the new and improved features…
1. Customisable Lock Screen
With iOS 16, you can customise the lock screen by tapping in any area to modify the text font and color. You can also enable widgets and add three of them to your lock screen. You won’t be restricted to one lock screen either – you can swipe between different screens so you have access to various widgets depending on your needs and preferences.
Additionally, the Now Playing screen has been moved to the bottom for easier access with your thumb. Apple also integrated a new feature called Live Events which will give you real-time info on things like sports, ride-sharing, and order tracking.
What good is a slick new lock screen if it’s constantly flooded with notifications? It seems this won’t be a problem with iOS 16, as notifications will now roll up from the bottom of the screen to ensure that you’ll have a clear view of your Lock Screen while being able to glance at the notifications as they arrive. On top of this, you’ll have options to view notifications in an expanded list view, count view or stacked view.
Focus modes made their debut last year with iOS 15 and they have been refined and expanded in iOS 16. Now your choice of Lock Screen and Notification settings can be linked to Focus modes. When setting up a particular mode, iOS 16 will recommend Home Screen and Lock Screen configurations with related wallpapers and widgets.
One of the most notable additions to Focus mode is Focus filters that will allow you to set boundaries within apps such as Calendar, Messages, Mail, and Safari to only show relevant content like a particular set of calendars in the Calendar app, Tab Group in Safari, or email accounts in Mail. Lastly, there are more options inside Focus modes, such as the ability to silence notifications, so you can literally exclude them instead of only allowing them as is the case in iOS 15.
There are also significant upgrades to the Messages app in iOS 16, with Apple announcing three huge changes. You can 1) edit or delete 2) unsend messages after they are sent, and 3) mark threads as Unread if you wish to reply later without forgetting.
SharePlay is likewise integrated to the Messages app, so you can watch movies or listen to music while chatting with friends through text. You can also hand off FaceTime calls to other mobile devices, while an all-new Freeform app allows for collaboration on a digital whiteboard.
5. Wallet and Apple Pay Later
The Wallet app boasts new capabilities to track delivery dates and purchases, share digital key cards, and verify using digital ID. It also safeguards your identity and age. For instance, instead of showing your birth date, the app will show your ID and that you are over 21.
As for Apple Pay Later, it is a new iOS 16 feature that will allow you to make payments later for purchases made with Apple Pay. You can spread payments with no fees and zero interest through the six-week window.
6. New Map Features
Apple Maps is also getting a refresh in iOS 16, with more updated cities and additional information like local points of interest, lane layouts, transit fares, and other useful data to navigate huge cities.
Apple is also integrating multi-step trips to the Maps experience. This is a welcome development as this feature has been available for years on most rivals. Now you can plan trips on a Mac and make Siri add more stops on route. You will also be able to store recent trips and you can send them from an iPad or Mac.
7. Bypass CAPTCHAs using Private Access Tokens
The annoying CAPTCHA, which proves you are a human on apps and websites, could be a thing of the past. With iOS 16, Apple intends to replace these squiggly texts with Private Access Tokens.
According to Apple, the iCloud will automatically verify both your device and Apple ID privately in the background, eliminating the need for CAPTCHA verification. This feature is enabled automatically in iOS 16 betas, and hopefully it will stay that way at release later this year.
Apple has actually shared a video on its website demonstrating how Private Access Tokens work. Websites that support the token will login and verify that you’re not a bot without the need to play any of the typical CAPTCHA games.
Other Cool Features Coming to iOS 16
Aside from what Apple presented during WWDC 2022, there are of course a lot more new features that will come to iOS 16. Here are some of our favorites that were not showcased in the initial announcement:
- A redesigned UI for the video player that’s much cleaner and simple to use
- A new dictation feature that allows you to simultaneously use voice dictation and text input, with punctuation added automatically
- Better integration of Apple News with sporting events
- Updated Family Sharing that allows parents to easily set up their kids’ devices. It now comes with age-appropriate blocks on apps, movies, and more
- iCloud Shared Photo library allows you to share photos seamlessly in a separate iCloud library
- A redesigned Voice Message experience that’s no longer a shortcut, but its own app
- Nintendo Switch Pro and Joy-Con controllers can now be used to play controller-compatible games
- An Android-like Privacy Access History will inform you which apps recently used your camera, microphone and location
- The Fitness app is set to become available to all Apple iPhone users, while the Health app adds new features for Medications
We are bound to hear more about what’s next for Apple’s latest mobile OS. We will post here everything we find out. You can also take a look at the iOS 16 page on the Apple website, click HERE.