iOS 16: All the features coming to your iPhone

Apple announced the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max at the beginning of September, which each come with the latest iOS pre-installed. iOS 16 is also available to owners of existing and many former iPhones.

Here is everything you need to know about iOS 16, including all the features and when it will be available to download.

iOS 16: Release date

  • Available: Monday 12 September 2022

Apple announced the next major software update for the iPhone at its annual developer conference, WWDC, in June. It subsequently released developer and public betas.

The full public release of iOS 16 was then made available on 12 September 2022.

iOS 16: Which iPhones are compatible?

  • iOS 16 compatibility: iPhone 8 and up

Although Apple releases major software updates to iOS every year, it tries to ensure older iPhone models are supported. For instance, iOS 15 works smoothly on the 2015 iPhone 6S and later. However, iOS 16 only supports the iPhone 8 and later.

Notably, the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone SE 2016 aren’t be compatible with iOS 16.

iOS 16: Features

Here are a number of the features that come to your iPhone with iOS 16.

Lock Screen

The Lock Screen is seeing some big changes in iOS 16, allowing much more personalisation. Working in a similar way to Apple Watch faces, users will be able to swipe between different Lock Screens, whilst also being able to change fonts, colours, images and add Widgets to each.

Notifications

Notifications saw a big change in iOS 15, but for iOS 16, they get some more improvements. They not only appear from the bottom of the Lock Screen in an expanded list view but there is a Live Activities feature that enables you to keep up with events in real-time, like an NBA game or Uber ride without unlocking your device.

Focus

Focus is also a feature that was announced with iOS 15, but it is expanded in iOS 16. The new software will allow users to set a different Focus per Lock Screen. There are also Focus Filters that see the Focus you set filtering out distracting content in everyday apps, like Mail and Safari.

Messages

Some big changes come to Messages too, including the ability to edit a message you’ve recently sent, as well as Unsend a message – both these need to be done within 15 minutes. The new software also enables you to mark any Message thread as Unread so you can come back to it. 

Additionally with Messages, iOS 16 brings SharePlay to the platform, meaning it won’t be specific to FaceTime anymore and you can watch a movie or TV show directly in Messages whilst still using the thread to chat.

Photos

For Photos, iOS 16 brings a better way to share photos with something called iCloud Share Photo Library. This allows you to share photos with family members seamlessly and automatically, with everyone able to contribute.

You’ll be able to share everything or choose what to include based on the start date or people in the photo, for example. There’s also an option in the camera app that enables you to send shots straight to Shared Library.

Mail

Mail gets improved search in iOS 16, offering suggestions before you start typing. There is also some new features including Undo Send, Schedule Send and Follow Up.

Follow Up reminds you to follow up if you haven’t had a response, and Mail will also notice if you forget to include an attachment.

Passkeys

A new feature called Passkeys arrives with iOS 16, offering a new sign-in method that is end-to-end encrypted. It’s said to be stronger than all common two-factor authentification types and Passkeys work with non-Apple devices too.

Safari

For Safari, iOS 16 brings with it Shared Tab Groups, allowing you to share tabs and bookmarks, send messages and start FaceTime from Safari itself. Whether you’re planning a trip with friends, or shopping online and want to show your partner everything you’ve found on various websites, you’ll be able to share everything in one place.

Live Text

Live Text has been expanded to video in iOS 16, allowing you to pause on any frame that contains text so you can copy, translate, Look Up and share. There are also quick actions in Live Text with the new software, making it easier to call numbers, visit websites, convert currencies and translate languages.

Dictation

Dictation is becoming smarter with iOS 16, with the keyboard remaining on the screen so you can use both voice and touch to enter text. It will automatically punctuate too and you can dicate emoji’s as well.

Apple Pay

Changes are coming to Apple Pay too with iOS 16 including Apple Pay Later, which will allow you to split the cost of something you buy through Apple Pay over four equal payments across six weeks. You’ll be able to use the service anywhere you can use Apple Pay.

Other updates to Wallet include the ability to track Apple Pay orders, share keys securely and verify your identity in apps.

Maps

Maps is getting some updates too, including Multistop Routing allowing up to 15 stops and the ability to add Transit cards to Wallet so can top them up without leaving the Maps app. It will also be easier to see how much a fare will cost on the Transit routes.

Home

The Home app has been rebuilt for iOS 16 with new categories for climate, lights and security, as well as a new Home tab and a multicamera view that shows off all your smart home cameras quickly when you open the Home app.

Support for Matter will also be coming later in 2022.

Family Sharing

With iOS 16, Family Sharing is getting some improvements. It will be easier to create an account for kids and set up devices more easily for kids too. You’ll get requests for extra screen time directly in Messages and there will be a feature called Family Checklist too that enables you to update settings as kids get older.

Health and Fitness

Changes to the Health app in iOS 16 include a Medications feature that allows you to manage, track and understand the medications you take. For the Fitness app, all users with iPhones running iOS 16 will be able to track their fitness goals contribute to their Move ring, even without an Apple Watch.

Safety Check

A feature called Safety Check will be introduced in iOS 16 that will allow you to review and reset settings for apps, revoke access to things like your location and reset your privacy persmissions.

Car crash detection

The iPhone 14 has a car crash detection feature that can determine when a collision has occurred and automatically dial emergency services. It’s only available on the iPhone 14 models and the Watch SE (2022), Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra.

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