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What’s new in iOS 16 preview, features, release date, compatible devices, and more

Rocking version of iOS

9 mins read
What’s new in iOS 16 preview, features, release date, compatible devices, and more
Courtesy: Apple Inc.

Apple today announced the iOS 16 preview at WWDC 2022 keynote, which includes the most major update to the Lock Screen in Apple history, as well as new sharing, communication, and intelligence features that will reshape iPhone users’ experience with their devices.

iOS 16 offers iCloud Shared Photo Library, which allows users to easily share a collection of photos with family, as well as changes to Messages and Mail, which make it easier to keep in touch and powerful improvements to Live Text and Visual Look Up.

New and Better Customizable Lock Screen

With iOS 16, the Lock Screen becomes ever more personalized, beautiful, and helpful. The subjects of images are beautifully arranged in front of the clock on the Lock Screen with a new multilayered effect, providing a sense of depth. With expressive type styles and color choices, users can change the style of the date and time.

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The Lock Screen includes widgets inspired by Apple Watch complexity, allowing you to quickly access information like upcoming calendar events, weather, battery levels, alarms, time zones, Activity ring progress, and more.

What’s new in iOS 16 preview, features, release date, compatible devices, and more
Fully customizable Lock Screen (Source: Apple Inc.)

Apple collections such as Pride and Unity to celebrate key cultural moments, a Weather wallpaper to observe real weather conditions as they change throughout the day, and an Astronomy wallpaper to enjoy views of the Earth, moon, and solar system are all available in a new Lock Screen gallery.

Users can also use their favorite emoji or color combinations to create Lock Screens. Users can switch between their favorite Lock Screens with just a swipe if they have numerous Lock Screens.

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Live Activity is a new feature on the Lock Screen that allows users to remain on top of activities that are happening in real-time, such as a sports game, workout, ride-share, or food delivery order.

Live Activities
Live Activities helps users stay on top of things that are happening in real-time — such as a sports game, workout, ride share, or food delivery order — right from the Lock Screen (Source: Apple Inc.)

Notifications have been redesigned to roll up from the bottom, allowing users to see their customized Lock Screen clearly.

Revamped Lock Screen Notifications
Redesigned notifications now roll up from the bottom of the Lock Screen (Source: Apple Inc.)

Focus on Lock Screen

Focus is now more powerful, faster to set up, and integrates with the Lock Screen, allowing users to match a Lock Screen wallpaper and widgets with a certain Focus. Users can simply swipe to the matching Lock Screen to activate a Focus. Apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari can use Focus filters to show only the stuff that is relevant to a user’s Focus, assisting them in finding a better balance.

All-new iCloud Shared Photo Library

iCloud Shared Photo Library provides a new option for families to share photos in a consistent way by creating a separate iCloud library that up to six members may collaborate on, contribute to, and enjoy. Users can opt to share images from their personal collections or to share photos based on a start date or individuals in the photos.

Family Photos with iCloud Shared Photo Library
(Images 1&2) iCloud Shared Photo Library gives families a new way to share photos seamlessly with a separate iCloud library that up to six users can collaborate on, contribute to, and enjoy / (Image 3) A new toggle in the Camera app gives users the option to send photos to the Shared Library automatically (Source: Apple Inc.)

A new setting in the Camera app allows users to automatically send photos to the Shared Library. Users will also receive intelligent recommendations to share a photo with participants from the Shared Photo Library.

Every user in the Shared Photo Library can add, delete, edit, or favorite the shared photos or videos, which will then appear in their Memories and Featured Photos, allowing everyone to recall more full family moments.

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Messages just get better

Users can edit or retrieve recently sent messages, recover comms that have been accidentally deleted, and mark chats as unread so that they can return to them later. Additionally, SharePlay is coming to Messages, allowing you to enjoy synced content such as movies or songs with shared playback controls while conversing in the app.

New Tools for Apple Mail

Users can now plan emails ahead of time and even cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches the inbox of a recipient. If a user forgets to add an important part of their message, such as an attachment, Mail will alert them.

Remind Later and Follow Up recommendations automatically remind users to follow up on an email if they have not received a response, and users can resurface a message at any moment.

Mail also includes the most important search update, which includes cutting-edge algorithms to give more relevant, accurate, and thorough results. When users start searching for emails, they see recent emails, contacts, documents, and links.

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Enhancements to Live Text and Visual Look

Live Text is an iOS app that detects text in images using on-device intelligence, and it’s now expanding to include video. Users can pause a video and interact with the text at any point in the video. Users can also convert currency, translate text, and do other things with Live Text.

Visual Look Up improves on photos by adding a new feature that allows users to tap and hold on an image’s topic to lift it from the background and insert it in apps like Messages. Birds, insects, and monuments are all identified using Visual Look Up.

Apple Pay Later

Apple Pay Later is a reliable and easy way for Apple Pay users in the United States to divide the amount of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments over the course of six weeks, with no interest or fees. Apple Pay Later, which is integrated into Apple Wallet and designed with customers’ financial health in mind, makes it simple to view, track, and repay Apple Pay Later payments from within the Wallet.

Users can sign up for Apple Pay Later in Wallet or when checking out with Apple Pay. Apple Pay Later is available anywhere that accepts Apple Pay via the Mastercard network, whether online or in-app. Users can also receive detailed receipts and order tracking information in Wallet for Apple Pay purchases made at participating merchants with Apple Pay Order Tracking.

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Wallet’s support for keys and IDs has been expanded. Users can use their ID in Wallet to verify their identity and age in apps that require it. Only the information required for the transaction will be supplied to the app, and the user can review and consent to share it using Face ID or Touch ID to provide a private and secure experience. Users may also securely share their house, hotel, office, and auto keys in Wallet via chat apps like Messages, Mail, and others.

Share ID from Wallet and Share Key in Messages
Users can securely share their hotel, home, office, and car keys in Wallet through messaging apps (Source: Apple Inc.)

Next Generation of CarPlay

CarPlay has improved the way people interact with their vehicles, and the next edition of CarPlay goes even further by connecting with the hardware of the vehicle. CarPlay will be able to distribute content across several screens in the vehicle, resulting in a unified and consistent experience.

CarPlay
The next generation of Apple CarPlay goes even further by deeply integrating with a car’s hardware, providing content for multiple screens within the vehicle (Source: Apple Inc.)

A deeper connection with the vehicle will allow users to perform things like controlling the radio or changing the climate directly through CarPlay, and CarPlay will render the speed, fuel level, temperature, and more on the instrument cluster seamlessly using vehicle data.

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Users will be able to customize their driving experience by selecting from a choice of gauge cluster styles, and with the addition of widget compatibility, users can get at-a-glance weather and music information right on their car’s dashboard. More details about the next iteration of CarPlay will be released in the coming months, and car announcements will begin late next year.

Safari gets shared Tab Groups

Safari now includes shared Tab Groups, which allow you to share a selection of websites with friends and family while also allowing you to see what others are looking at. Passkeys, which are unique digital keys that are easy to use, more secure, never kept on a web server, and stay on the device so hackers can’t steal them in a data breach or deceive users into sharing them, make browsing on Safari even safer.

Shared Tab Groups
Shared Tab Groups allow users to share a collection of websites with friends and family (Source: Apple Inc.)

Passkeys is a password-replacement app that uses Touch ID or Face ID for biometric authentication and iCloud Keychain for end-to-end encryption across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. They’ll function across apps and the web and users will be able to sign in to websites or apps on non-Apple devices using only their iPhone.

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Apple Maps gets Multistop Routing

Apple Maps now supports Multistop Routing, allowing users to plan up to 15 stops ahead of time and have their routes immediately synced from their Mac to their iPhone when they’re ready to go. Users can also get transit updates from Maps, which allows them to see how much their journey will cost, add transit cards to Wallet, see low balances, and replenish transit cards without ever leaving the app.

multistop routing in Apple Maps
With multistop routing in Apple Maps, users can plan up to 15 stops in advance (Source: Apple Inc.)

Slew updates to Dictation

Dictation is a unique on-device experience that lets users switch between speech and touch with ease. Users can use the keyboard to type, tap on the text field to move the cursor, and insert QuickType suggestions without having to interrupt Dictation. Dictation also comes with automatic punctuation and emoji dictation.

Dictation
Dictation has a new on-device experience that allows users to move fluidly between voice and touch (Source: Apple Inc.)

Additional updates

Users can navigate, organize, and view their accessories more easily using the Home app, while improvements to the underlying architecture give them more efficient and reliable control of their smart home.

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A software update to iOS 16 will bring support for the Matter smart home connectivity standard once it becomes available later this fall, enabling a wide variety of accessories to work together seamlessly across platforms, helping fulfill the true vision of a smart home.

Even if people don’t have an Apple Watch, all iPhone users can use the Fitness app to track and meet their fitness goals. iPhone users may use the Fitness app to establish a daily Move target and track how their active calories assist close their Move ring.

Third-party apps can use iPhone motion sensors to count steps, distance, flights climbed, and workouts, which can then be turned into an estimate of active calories to help users meet their daily Move objectives. For further motivation, users can share their Move ring with others.

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The Health app adds Medications, allowing users to create and manage a prescription list, set up schedules and reminders, and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements. Users in the United States can simply point their iPhone camera at a label to add medicine, learn about the medications they’re taking, and receive an alert if their medications have any potential important interactions.

Users can also simply create a PDF of available health records from connected health institutions immediately from the Health app, and share their Health data with loved ones.

My Sports is a new feature in Apple News that allows you to simply follow your favorite teams and leagues, receive stories from hundreds of top publications, access scores, schedules, and standings for the biggest professional and college leagues, and view highlights all in one place.

Game Center now has a revamped dashboard that displays all of your friends’ game activities and achievements in one location, making it simple for you to play with or compete against them.

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Personalized Spatial Audio enables an even more precise and immersive listening experience. Listeners can create a personal profile for Spatial Audio using the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera, which gives a listening experience tailored especially for them.

Safety Check, a new privacy tool, can help users whose safety is threatened by domestic or intimate partner violence by immediately revoking all access they’ve provided to others.

It comes with an emergency reset feature that allows users to sign out of iCloud on all of their other devices, reset privacy rights, and limit messaging to the device in their hand. It also assists users in understanding and managing the persons and apps to whom they’ve granted access.

Accessibility updates include Door Detection, which helps users who are blind or have low vision to use their iPhone to navigate the last few feet to their destination, and Apple Watch Mirroring for users with physical and motor disabilities who may rely on assistive features like Voice Control and Switch Control to fully control Apple Watch from their iPhone.

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Additionally, Live Captions make it easier for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people to follow along when on a phone or FaceTime call, using a videoconference or social media app, streaming media material, or conversing with someone nearby.

Starting today, Apple Developer Program members can download the developer preview of iOS 16 at developer.apple.com, and a public beta will be available to iOS users next month at beta.apple.com. iOS 16 will be released as a free software update for iPhone 8 and later this fall.

iOS 16 Supported devices

  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)

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