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iOS 16: everything we know about the next iPhone update

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Apple announced iOS 16 at WWDC on June 6, 2022. There, the company shared all key audience-friendly features in addition to its iPadOS 16 and MacOS Ventura previews. A developer preview is currently live, with a public beta going online later in July. Of course, not all iOS 16 features will be made available for testing immediately (or even with the release of iOS 16, based on what we’ve seen with iOS 14 and 15), but iOS 16 is well on its way as the next big one. update for your iPhone.

After the developer previews and betas run their course, Apple will release the final public version of iOS 16 around September or October, usually around the same time as the next iPhone model. Here’s a quick look at everything we expect from the update.

Which phones will run iOS 16?

Apple is known for supporting its iPhones for a longer period of time compared to Android rivals. For example, the Pixel 3 and 3a won’t get Android 13 this fall, while the similar old iPhone X and XS are confirmed to get iOS 16.

iOS 15 is currently supported on all iPhones from iPhone 6S and above. With iOS 16, the iPhone 6S and 7 are put in the meadow. Apple supports newer iPhones starting with the iPhone 8 and the second-generation iPhone SE, all the way up to the iPhone 13 (plus the iPhone 14 series when it comes out this fall). You almost certainly won’t get every feature on older iPhones, but it’s good enough to last another year.

What’s New in iOS 16?

iOS 16 on stage at WWDC 2022.

iOS 16 is a major iOS update, with instantly visible design changes, quality of life additions, under-the-hood improvements, and more. Apple’s main feature here is the new lock screen. It’s what you see when you look at an iOS 16 device, and it steals some of Google’s customization thunder to boot. Updates to Messages will please everyone, while changes to Spotlight and Safari will bring more power to those who want them. Apple is also diving into the Buy Now Pay Later market with Apple Pay Later, while a new Safety Check feature sees the company roll back toward corporate social responsibility.

“iOS 16 is a major release with updates that will change the way you experience the iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We’ve reinvented the way the lock screen looks and works with exciting new features that make it more personal and useful, introduced iCloud Shared Photo Library for families, streamlined communications through new capabilities in Messages and Mail, and leveraged enhanced intelligence with updates to Live Text and visual look up.”

New lock screen and notifications

A selection of different lock screens in iOS 16, as shown at WWDC 2022.

The face of iOS 16’s changes is the lock screen changes, and they’re spectacular. They add a touch of personalization to the iPhone’s lock screen, with support for newly found interactive widgets and live notifications on the lock screen.

It’s a very meaningful update. Apple offers a selection of colors and fonts for your lock screen, and the clock works in tandem with the image to make it appear behind it. Everyone’s lock screen will look very different for the first time.

It’s not just a tweak that’s just tweaked — the new lock screen is also tied to the Focus Mode features Apple introduced with iOS 15. This means if you’re in your gaming, personal, or work focus, your wallpapers and lock screen widgets for each mode. It’s a more thoughtful application of customization that evokes the profiles you’d see in now-old feature phones. As for the Focus mode itself, it now goes system-wide. This means that apps like Chrome and Safari will now hide from you distracting websites, possibly extensions that make it their job to do this.

With the new iPhone 14 Max reportedly set to be 6.7-inches instead of a mini iPhone, Apple’s main iPhone line will all be over 6-inches for the first time. A change in iOS 16 means notifications will now scroll from bottom to top in line with the realities of using big phones.

iMessage improvements

How to undo a message in iOS 16.

Apple’s iMessage is also picking up a few user points. The company is introducing “unsend” and “edit message” capabilities, two new features that let you take control of your message in a small window of 15 minutes after you’ve sent it. Both are exactly what they sound like, with one retracting a message after it’s sent, and the other allowing customization. The short window of time prevents users from using this feature for any mischief or malice, although it is a lot less than what WhatsApp offers.

Apple is also improving the way the Messages app works with Android phones. It kills Tapback spam in cross-platform group messages and displays these responses correctly. There’s still no RCS for enhanced cross-platform messaging, but at least one less annoyance for iOS and Android group chat users.

Finally, Apple is adding more sharing features with SharePlay, allowing users to watch movies and listen to music together while using the Messages app to chat, sort of like a private live stream.

New accessibility tools debut

Apple iOS 16 Live Text now works in video.

Apple has announced some of the accessibility features it plans to introduce later this year. It adds Door Detection, a feature intended to help visually impaired users navigate their environment. It will use the lidar scanner that Apple introduced on the iPhone 12 Pro to detect doors, share the state of the door (such as open or closed), and communicate with the door. The Door Detection feature can also read out text around the door, useful for relaying information such as room numbers and accessibility entrances.

As with Google Pixel phones, you can use Live Captions to follow videos if you are hard of hearing. “Users can more easily follow any audio content — whether they’re on a phone or FaceTime call, using a video conferencing or social media app, streaming media content, or having a conversation with someone next to them,” Apple explains. .

Everything else in iOS 16

ios 16 example

Aside from the headline features, there are also several minor features in iOS 16 that haven’t been in the spotlight for nearly as long. You can now use Face ID horizontally and not just vertically on certain iPhones. A new tool allows people at risk of domestic violence to quickly manage the content and permissions they share with their partner’s accounts, as well as other devices they may be signed in to. CarPlay sees a powerful update that makes it more all-encompassing, but you won’t see it until late 2023.

Apple’s in-box apps also see updates here. Most notably, Photos connects to a new iCloud Shared Photo Library feature designed to help families sync all their images between their Apple devices. It is convenient for vacations as well as for day trips. Maps picks up multi-stop navigation with up to 15 stops per trip, while Safari removes passwords and introduces more secure passkeys. Health is getting medication tracking and a new Fitness app is being made available for those who don’t have Apple Watches but still want to track basic activity.

What about the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro?

An iPhone 13 in white color option.

Apple is expected to launch an iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro running iOS 16 in or around September. There, the company will unveil a large “regular” iPhone for the first time since the XS and drop the “mini” iPhone if it responds to market demand. . Expected updates include the demise of the notch and the inclusion of larger 48MP cameras on the Pro iPhones, while the non-Pro iPhones will pick up the 120Hz refresh rate screens that launched last year exclusively on the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.

The iPhone 14 was rumored to come with an always-on display and the code for the feature was discovered in iOS 16. It was previously reported to be coming for the iPhone 13 series, but is now said to be an exclusive. is for the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro. Always-on displays are a staple of Android flagships, giving you at-a-glance access to notifications, time and other environmental information. It’s also a feature of the Apple Watch, and something iPhones have desperately needed since the move to OLED with the iPhone X.

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