Apple officially announced iOS 16 – the next-generation iOS operating system at WWDC 2022 opening keynote. While the update doesn’t bring a major redesign to the table, iOS 16 is still a welcome improvement with additions to the lock screen, system apps, customization options, new APIs for developers, and of course, privacy enhancements. Let’s take a look at all new iOS 16 features.
1. Personalized Lock Screen Experience
Apple finally addresses the dated lock screen look on iPhone. iOS 16 introduces a new Lock Screen experience with a multilayered effect. The main subject in the lock screen photo is neatly set in front of the time on the lock screen. The end results offer a better look with a sense of depth.
2. Lock Screen Customization Options
This is straight from Google’s Material You implementation. Users can press and hold the lock screen, select customize at the bottom and open the editor menu to play with different clock styles, colors, fonts, backgrounds, and more.
3. New Widgets for Lock Screen
While widgets were only a swipe away on the iPhone lock screen, iOS 16 introduces a new form of small widgets specifically designed to be put directly on the lock screen.
You can check the weather, next calendar event, alarm details, connected device’s battery life, and more right from the lock screen. Apple has released Widgetkit for developers to create lock screen widgets in iOS 16.
4. New Lock Screen Gallery
You can now add an entire gallery of photos to your iPhone lock screen. Some of the default image collection includes weather wallpaper to see live weather conditions, Astronomy wallpaper to view Earth, moon, and solar system, Pride and Unity to celebrate special cultural moments, and more.
Users can also different lock screens using their preferred emoji and color combinations.
5. Redesigned Notifications
Apple has redesigned notification alerts to appear from the bottom. This ensures that users have a better view of their personalized Lock Screen.
6. Live Activities
You no longer need to use your favorite sports app to keep track of scores. Live Activities will help users stay on top of things happening in real-time, such as a sports game, Uber arrival time, food delivery orders, workout progress, and more. It will be interesting to see how developers come up with new ideas by using Live Activities APIs in iOS 16.
7. Focus Filters
First announced with the iOS 15 update last year, Focus mode gets new additions to utilize your personalized lock screen. You can now connect a lock screen wallpaper and widgets to a specific Focus.
Simply swipe up from the lock screen, and use Focus filters from supported apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari to check relevant content only. For example, you can set Safari to display work tabs in a specific Focus.
8. iCloud Shared Photo Library
This is Apple’s version of Google Photos Partner Sharing but with a better implementation. You can create a separate iCloud library and share it with up to six users. Users can choose to share existing photos from their personal libraries or share based on a start date or people in the photos. A user can also choose to send photos to the Shared Library automatically using a new toggle in the Camera app.
The Photos app will also offer suggestions to share specific photos in the Shared Photo Library.
9. Edit Text Messages
You no longer need to clarify your typos in the iMessage conversation. You can easily edit the sent messages in iOS 16.
10. Undo Sent Messages
Did you accidentally send a message to the wrong person on iMessage? You can recall recently sent texts in the Messages app.
11. SharePlay in Messages
Apple is expanding SharePlay from FaceTime to Messages. You can now enjoy synced content like Ted Lasso TV series, movies, or songs and shared playback controls all while chatting in Messages.
12. Schedule Emails in the Mail App
Most users have always preferred the third-party apps to manage emails on iPhone. The pretty basic Mail app is changing with the iOS 16 updates. You can now schedule an email in the Mail app and cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox.
13. Set a Reminder to Check Emails Later
At times, you might want to check an important email later. You can now add a reminder to check messages in the future. Simply swipe right on an email and select Later. Ask the Mail app to remind in an hour, tonight, tomorrow, or later.
14. Search Improvements in the Mail App
iOS 16 brings the biggest overhaul to the search function in the Mail app. The updated search menu delivers relevant, accurate, and complete results. You can see recent emails, contacts, documents, and links the moment you start typing queries in the search bar.
15. Use Live Text in Videos
Apple is expanding support for Live Text for videos as well. Simply pause the video and use the Live Text button to extract the text from a scene.
16. Convert Currency and Translate Text Using Live Text
Apart from extracting text from an image or video, Live Text offers to convert currency, translate text, and more.
17. Visual Look Up
Don’t get confused by Apple’s fancy naming scheme here. Visual Look Up allows you to tap and hold on to the image subject to extract it from the background and share it with others on Messages or WhatsApp. In short, Visual Look Up removes the background behind a subject and allows you to share the main object from an image.
18. Apple Pay Later
As the name suggests, Apple Pay Later is Apple’s BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) service. You can divide your purchase into four equal payments (spread over six weeks) with zero interest and no fees. The functionality is built right into Apple Wallet gives an overview of total payments due and reminds the user about upcoming payments.
Users can apply for Apple Pay Later when they are checking out with Apple Pay, or in Wallet. Apple Pay Later is available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app, using the Mastercard network.
19. Order Tracking in Apple Pay
Users can now receive detailed receipts and order tracking information in Wallet for Apple Pay purchases with participating merchants.
20. Share Wallet Keys Through Messaging Apps
Do you need to send your room key to a friend over WhatsApp? Apple Wallet now allows you to securely share a home, hotel, and car keys through messaging apps like Messages, WhatsApp, or Telegram.
21. Shared Tab Groups in Safari
Tab Groups is a neat way to combine all the relevant tabs under a single roof. It’s useful when you have dozens of tabs open in Safari and want to separate research tabs from social media ones. The functionality was introduced with iOS 15 and now with the iOS 16 update, you can share Tab Groups (a collection of websites) with friends and family.
22. Passkeys in Safari
Passkeys are unique digital keys that are easy to use, secure, and stay on the device. Apple has designed passkeys to replace passwords on your iPhone. It uses Touch ID or Face ID for authentication and iCloud Keychain to sync across all Apple devices. It will work across apps and the web.
23. Multistop Routing in Apple Maps
This was the biggest feature missing from a rather impressive Apple Maps. With multistop routing, you can plan up to 15 stops in advance and even sync the same with Mac and iPad. For example, you can plan your route on a big Mac screen and sync the same with iPhone in a car or bike.