Apple has unveiled iOS 16, the latest iteration of its mobile operating system. Here are the new features, along with everything else you need to know.
Every year, Apple releases a new version of the software for the iPhone. This year its named iOS 16, and as usual there’s a host of new features due to be added to make your life just that bit easier. Here’s all you need to know about iOS 16.
iOS 16 is being unveiled at WWDC 2022, which is Apple’s software showcase event for developers. While all the key new features are revealed and explained on stage, consumers will actually get to grips with it for the first time later this year when the iPhone 14 series is released in September or October.
How to download iOS 16
As mentioned above, you won’t get to experience iOS 16 proper until later in the year when it will be rolled out as a software update to eligible phones.
However, you can download the beta version of the software before then, either by paying to be a member of the Apple Developer Program so you can get day one access, or by enrolling in the Apple Beta Software Program for free and waiting a little longer for access. Either way, this is how you can get a taste of the new operating system before its official launch.
This year’s WWDC event kicked off with a deep dive into iOS 16 and all the new software features that will be available on iPhone. Here’s a list of the biggest announcements.
The “biggest update ever to the lockscreen” sees a completely new look. By pressing and holding, you can easily personalise the phone by choosing new styles, colour filters, and the font for the time. Simply tap on the element you’d like to change, and a host of customisation options will appear. You can also introduce plenty of helpful widgets to the lockscreen, such as the temperature, activity rings, and calendar. If you create several different lockscreens, you can flick between these options without having to start from scratch every time you want a rethink.
The Live Activities API will allow for to-the-minute updates from your apps, such as live sports scores or updates on your Uber ride’s progress, while Focus Mode also extends to the lockscreen so you’re not distracted even when your phone is locked.
On Apple Messages you now have the option “Undo Send” to delete a message that you didn’t want to send. On top of that, you can also mark messages as unread. The SharePlay API lets users easily share content with each other, from articles to songs to videos; and now it’s available on Messages as well as FaceTime.
Now when you’re dictating to an app rather than using type text, the keyboard will appear so you can switch input types, and punctuation will be automatically added and even emojis detected from your speech. It’s performed completely on-device with the neural engine for extra peace of mind regarding security.
This automatic transcription will now appear under videos, and you can pause it frame-by-frame and copy text into other apps for ease of multitasking.
Introduced in 2021, this feature allowed you to identify and research the objects in the camera app. Now, you’ll be able to lift out isolated objects from the image that you’ve taken, and paste them into apps such as Messages, such as the dog in the above picture.
When you’re asked for ID by apps, you can now verify this and choose an option that simply says you’re over 21 rather than revealing your actual age. Apple Pay will be enabled on an iPhone-to-iPhone basis, so that merchants will not need any extra hardware to accept contactless payments from iPhones. There’s also a new Apple Pay Later feature that will split the cost of purchases over several weeks. Apple Pay order tracking will show the progress of your order in-app.
The new Map display will now be available in eleven more countries; Belgium, France, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.
Multi-stop routing will allow you to plan a journey with up to 15 different stops in advance. It will also be easier to see the cost of public transport in advance.
Detailed 3D maps will be available for more cities than before, a list that includes San Francisco, New York, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Chicago.
Live scores will be available to see on the iPhone lockscreen, and Apple News has introduces a My Sports feature that makes it easier to follow your team.
You can already share apps and subscriptions with several family members, or create accounts for kids and use parental controls. Using Quick Start, it will be easier than ever to do this by implementing pre-set controls you’ve already agreed to onto the new device, be it an iPad or an iPhone.
iCloud Share Photo Library
Now you can easily share photos across the whole family so that all members have access to them. However, you can set limits to make sure you just share the photos you want, such as limiting it to sharing only photos featuring family members or switching off the feature altogether when taking a new photo.
With a new tool called Safety Check, you can immediately terminate shared information with a partner, including passwords or calendars, via an Emergency Reset function. This is specifically intended for victims of domestic violence.
The Fitness app will be available to all iPhone users, not just those with an Apple Watch. It can estimate your steps using the phone’s sensors, and it can also estimate your calorie count as well.