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iOS 16: here's what to expect

By Sanuj Bhatia May 30, 2022, 2:40 am
iOS 16 logo Pocketnow Source: Pocketnow

Apple is set to host its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2022) in a few weeks' time. Like the previous years, the company is expected to showcase major OS updates, including iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9, and more, at the event. Ahead of the official announcement, several leaks and rumors about iOS 16 have emerged. Here's what you can expect from the next major iPhone software update.

iOS 16: Features

Apple will showcase iOS 16 during the opening keynote of its WWDC 2022 event on June 6. The software update is reportedly called "Sydney" internally and is expected to come with "significant" upgrades. Here are some features that you can expect from the upcoming iPhone software update:


Notification and Focus Mode Improvements

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, iOS 16 will come with a major upgrade to the notification system on iPhone. He says that iOS 16 will bring "fairly significant enhancement across the board, including an update to notifications." However, no details about what the actual improvements will be are known at this time.

In addition, 9to5Mac says that Apple will add even more features to Focus Mode in iOS 16. Focus mode is one of the key features of iOS 15, allowing users to manage which apps and notifications they want to see at different times of the day. Apple could introduce more features to the Focus Mode with iOS 16. However, the details are scarce right now.

iOS 15 message bug iPhone 13 Source: Pocketnow Video

Health App Improvements

According to a rumor, Apple is planning to introduce an updated version of the Health app with iOS 16. Even though it's not clear what the enhancements will be, some of the leakers have suggested that Apple could bring sleep and medicine tracking to the Health app.

The medicine management tool will reportedly allow users to scan and add their medicine bottles to the app. Using the updated Health app, you will be able to keep track of all the medicines that you take, get reminders, and do much more. In addition, the Health app is expected to gain new women's health features as well.

"Fresh Apple Apps"

Gurman says that iOS 16 won't bring a major redesign to the operating system. "I'm not expecting an end-to-end redesign of iOS's interface, even though it hasn't changed much since iOS 7 nearly a decade ago," he says. Despite the lack of a much-needed facelift, Gurman says that iOS 16 will still come with a number of significant upgrades, including some new first-party Apple apps and some new ways of interaction.

While I don’t expect Apple to present a full redesign of the software, there should be major changes across the system, new ways of interacting, and some fresh Apple apps. In Messages, I’d expect more social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages.

While there's no detail about what these "fresh Apple apps" could be, a number of reports suggest that Apple could introduce "Apple Music Classical" with iOS 16. References to Apple Classical have been found in the iOS 15.5 update, and it seems that the company could finally release it with iOS 16. Apple Classical is the company's long-rumored streaming app that will focus on orchestral music solely.

Lock screen changes

Always on Lock Screen iOS 16 Source: Macworld

Mark Gurman claims that Apple is planning "major enhancements" for the lock screen in iOS 16. The new lock screen could feature first-party wallpapers that would have widget-like capabilities. He also adds that future builds of iOS 16 will bring support for the "always-on lock screen."

Apple was originally planning an always-on mode for last year's iPhone 13. The feature was, however, scrapped before the phone's announcement. The company could now debut the always-on mode on this year's iPhone series. However, the feature will remain exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models only, thanks to the ProMotion displays that would reportedly be able to go as low as 1Hz. Other iPhone models, including the last year's iPhone 13 series and even this year's non-Pro iPhone 14 models are not expected to gain support for the always-on lock screen.

Widget Improvements

iOS 16 could also bring some new widgets. @LeaksApplePro, an Apple leaker with a mixed track record, claims that Apple will introduce "mega widgets" in iOS 16. These "mega widgets" will be able to house a few "normal widgets" within it. The feature is reportedly called "InfoShack" internally and will allow users to add widgets and even quick settings toggles, such as flash, Apple TV remote, and other controls in it.

In addition, the leaker claims that iOS 16 will come with redesigned icons. Apple introduced macOS Monterey with brand new icons last year. It seems that Apple wants to keep the look of operating systems the same across the board, and the upcoming iOS 16 could bring icons that fall more in line with the macOS Monterey icon design.

Other under the hood changes for iPhone 14

iPhone 14 pill and hole punch display Source: Pocketnow (based on render by MacRumors)

Apple looks set to launch the iPhone 14 lineup later this year. A number of reports claim that Apple could bring many under the hood changes in iOS 16 for the 2022 iPhone series. The company could introduce some changes to the status bar of the iPhone since the iPhone 14 Pro models are expected to come with a new "pill + hole-punch" cutout resulting in more screen space, but nothing is confirmed as of now. In addition, iPhone 14 is rumored to come with a feature that will allow the iPhone to detect a collision or a crash when it has occurred. The company could showcase the feature and lay its foundation with iOS 16.

Windowing in iPadOS 16

iPad mini Long Source: Apple

While we can already multitask on the iPad, Apple is reportedly planning "major changes to windowing and multitasking" in iPadOS 16, according to Mark Gurman. The report is based on Steve Troughton-Smith's findings that Apple is building better windowing support in the web browsing framework, WebKit, for iPadOS. He says that there could be a Windows 10 tablet mode-like toggle that would convert apps into freely-resizable windows.

iOS 16: Compatible Devices

While there is no official confirmation about which devices iOS 16 will support, the discontinuation of the iPod touch earlier this month suggests that Apple could drop support for as many as nine devices with the release of iOS 16. While Apple released iOS 14 and iOS 15 for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the company is expected to drop support for the 2015 iPhone series this year. Here's a list of devices that are expected to support iOS 16:

  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • All iPhone 12 models
  • iPhone 13 models
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)

iPadOS 16: Compatible Devices

Similar to iOS 16, iPadOS 16 is expected to drop support for a bunch of models, including the 2nd generation iPad Air, 5th and 6th generation iPad, and iPad mini 4. Here's a list of devices that are expected to support iPadOS 16:

  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (7th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)
  • iPad Pro (All models)

iOS 16: Release Date

While the final and stable iOS 16 will be released alongside the new iPhone 14 series later this year, developers and Apple enthusiasts typically get to experience the new software a few months early, thanks to Apple's Developer and Public beta programs. However, it seems that public betas could be delayed by a few weeks this time as Apple is facing some issues in the development of iOS 16.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims that internal iOS 16 builds are a "bit buggy" at the current time. Due to this, the company could delay the release of the iOS 16 Public Beta to July 2022. Usually, Apple releases the first public beta build of new iOS alongside the second developer beta in late June. However, the public testing is tipped to begin later than usual this year due to bugs. Here's what the iOS 16 release timeline looks like based on the new information:

Build TypeRelease Date (Expected)
First iOS 16 Developer Beta6 June 2022
First iOS 16 Public BetaJuly 2022
iOS 16 Final BuildSeptember 2022

This is everything you need to know about iOS 16. What are your expectations from Apple's upcoming iPhone software update this year? What features would you like to see? Let us know in the comments section below!


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