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iOS

iOS 16: Everything you need to know

By Aryan Suren June 10, 2022, 1:30 pm
iOS 16 lock screen customization Source: Pocketnow
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iOS 16, the next OS upgrade for the iPhone, was the most talked-about topic during the WWDC 2022 Keynote. The new version brings many features, prioritizing personalization and sharing the most. In this article, we go over all the changes that Apple showcased at the Keynote and some of the other tinier modifications that will enhance your user experience when the OS becomes publicly available.

Lock Screen

iOS 16 lock screen designs Source: Pocketnow, Apple

The primary and most significant change with iOS 16 is the Lock Screen, which gets more personal, beautiful, and helpful, according to Apple. I wrote a piece about why I feel the iOS 16 Lock Screen is more than just a fresh coat of paint, so make sure to give it a read if you'd like to learn more about what's on offer.

But to give you a rundown of its features. The Lock Screen makes available a new multi-layer design applied on the date and time that's customizable with various styles. It also takes cues from Apple Watch Complications to create widgets on the Lock Screen that increases information density by providing quick access to weather, battery levels, alarms, different time zones, and more.

There are also a few changes made to notifications. One of them is Live Activities, which are effectively real-time alerts that change as an event occurs. Be it a food delivery order, sports game score, workout, or cab ride; these details are shown in an evolving state rather than static notifications sent every few minutes. The other change made is a visual one that puts all incoming notifications at the bottom of the screen, freeing up the center to see your personalized Lock Screen and making the alerts easier to access.

Focus

an image showing focus modes on iOS 16 lock screen Source: Apple

The next change with iOS 16 also ties in with the Lock Screen upgrade and more. It expands iOS 15's Focus to the outside of your phone and adds a new filter system for the inside.

The first statement means that with the new update, users can link various focus modes with their Lock Screen and customize them accordingly. So, when you need to work, activate the Focus by swiping over to the desired Lock Screen.

While Focus Filters will allow you to set boundaries within applications, letting them display details relevant to the active Focus and nothing else; For example, when at work, you can choose to see texts from specific people in the Messages App. If you use third-party applications, their developers can also use the Focus Filter API to extend this functionality.

iCloud Shared Library

An image showcasing iCloud shared photo library on iOS 16 Source: Pocketnow

Have you ever felt it was a task to gather all the images from a recent family vacation? With iOS 16, Apple is bringing a new Shared Photo Library for iCloud, which can have up to six users collaborating and contributing to curate an enjoyable collection for the family to look through.

The update even includes a toggle in the Camera App to let users directly share photos to the iCloud Library. Apart from this, you can pick options from existing libraries or share images from a set time frame or the people recognized in the pictures. You will also receive suggestions to share images that include participants of the Shared Photo Library.

Every user part of the Library has access to add, edit, delete, or favorite photos.

Messages

iMessage

With iOS 16, Messages, an integral part of the iPhone experience in North America, is also receiving a couple of much-needed updates. You will soon be able to edit or recall sent messages, recover those recently deleted, and even mark messages as unread, helping you know that there is something to come back to later.

A new integration for SharePlay will even let users enjoy synced videos or songs while chatting.

CarPlay

an image showing the render apple created for its second generation carplay system Source: Apple

The integration of smartphone-like systems has improved the interactions we have with vehicles by many folds. Until now, CarPlay has remained basic, offering a catered iOS UI that presents large icons and essential information to simplify the media and navigation experience.

But during Keynote, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, which will be built into your phone and pushes for deeper integration with your vehicle.

The software layer will now be able to display content on multiple screens in your vehicle and even provide controls for changing the climate or radio station. Apple also states the new version will ship with the ability to personalize the driving experience with different gauge clusters, widget support, and glanceable information from weather and other apps.

Mail

an image the location of the mail scheduler, undo send button, and attachment missing warning in iOS 16 Source: Pocketnow

The default Mail also receives some love with iOS 16, giving it a couple of useful features. First, you can schedule emails ahead of time and recall those sent with the "Undo Send* button before they reach the recipient.

New intelligent layers will also determine whether an attachment is left behind — derived from the text that is part of your email. And if the recipient has not responded, Mail will provide a prompt informing you about the lack of activity. Alternatively, you can set a Remind Later tag to the mail thread.

Lastly, Apple claims to have overhauled its in-app search engine to deliver better results, with recent emails, contacts, files, and links appearing the moment you enter the search dialog.

Live Text

An image showcasing the capabilities of live text on iOS 16 Source: Pocketnow

Last year, Apple launched an OCR-based feature called Live Text. It could pull character data from images via the neural system on its A-Series chipset and Visual Look Up, which could recognize the objects (animals, etc.) present and provide information.

Well, with iOS 16, both of these features leveled up. Live Text can now pick out characters from any video, quickly convert currency, and translate text. Apple's press release says the feature can do more, but we'd have to wait and see what else it can do.

an image showing how the cutout made via Visual Look Up on iOS 16 will show Source: Pocketnow

As for Visual Look Up, the feature can crop subjects out of any image and create stickers — with a transparent background — out of them for Messages. In Beta, third-party apps like Telegram and WhatsApp seem to share the cutouts as images, even though they already support stickers. We hope an API or code in the background will allow devs to implement this feature. Focusing on other improvements, Visual Look Up will also recognize birds, insects, and statues with this update.

Wallet

an image showcasing the Apple Pay Later and Apple Pay Order tracking user interface Source: Pocketnow

With iOS 16, Apple adds Apple Pay Later to Wallet, a service that lets users split Apple Pay purchases into four equal payments, spread over six weeks with no interest or fees — though you will need to be on the Mastercard network. There is also a feature that allows Order Tracking for purchases made with Apple Pay, although the selling merchant will need to participate.

Keys and IDs in Wallet also received an update to promote better integration. There now exists a link between IDs and applications, allowing those that need personal details to access them with permission. Whereas for Keys, Apple now allows users to share them via message apps — including Messages, Mail, and others.

Other Updates

Safari: The default iOS web browser brings new ways to protect users and share details with fellow users. Passkeys are unique digital keys stored on a device and accessible via Face ID and Touch ID verification. They sync between devices over iCloud Keychain and will also facilitate sign-ins on non-Apple devices with verification on iPhone.

Apple Maps: Users can plan 15-stop trips with route details syncing between Mac and iPhone. Plus, there is also an update to the transit system that will show riders how much their trip will cost. The addition of transit cards to the Wallet app will also help indicate low balances and an option to refill without leaving the Maps application.

Family Sharing: Users can now set up accounts for their children with parental controls applied from the beginning. This will also lead to application suggestions according to the settings configured.

Dictation: A new on-device experience allows users to move between voice and touch typing seamlessly. Dictation can also automatically punctuate and detect emojis with iOS 16.

iOS 16 also adds haptic feedback for the keyboard. So taps while typing out messages are now supported by audio and vibratory feedback. It is subtle and quite enjoyable to use.

Home: With iOS 16, Apple is finally providing support for Matter smart home connectivity standards. The Home app has also been redesigned to make it easier to navigate and organize the various accessories that are a part of the house.

Health: Users can now track Medications on their device, allowing them to efficiently manage a list that contains vital information related to dosage and consumption schedules. There will also be notifications that will provide information about interactions between the consumed medicines.

Safety Check: This is a safety feature that will help people at the risk of domestic violence rescind access to location and other details that have been previously provided to others. There's also an emergency reset that can help users sign out of iCloud on all their other devices, plus a list system that can track the people the details with access to more information.

Accessibility: Updates for these features, introduce Door Detection and Apple Watch Mirroring. The former will help users with low vision or blindness navigate the last few feet until their destination, while the latter will help users control their Apple Watch entirely from their iPhone.

Release Date

iOS 16 logo Pocketnow Source: Pocketnow

iOS 16 is currently available via a Developer Beta. The Public Beta will be available starting in July. But the final version is expected to be officially released this Fall, alongside the iPhone 14 series.

Compatible Devices

iOS 16 drops support for several iPhone models, including the recently discontinued iPod Touch. The list of supported devices has been presented below.

  • iPhone SE (2022)
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 8

The original iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 plus have been dropped from the update list.

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