Everything you need to know about Apple iOS 16

7 Jun 2022

Image: © guteksk7/Stock.adobe.com

From Apple’s biggest-ever update to the iPhone lock screen to a host of feature updates, here’s what’s new in iOS 16.

Apple kicked off its first in-person event in two years yesterday (6 June), where developers and journalists from around the world gathered to get all the latest on what the iPhone-maker has up its sleeve.

Of all the updates revealed – including new MacBooks, an all-new M2 chip and some exciting virtual reality tools – perhaps the one that will affect the greatest number of people is the latest mobile operating system due to roll out this autumn: iOS 16.

However, while the previous iOS 15 was available on every model from the iPhone 6S onwards, iOS 16 may disappoint some users as it will only be available to those who have models starting from iPhone 8. This means the iPhone 7, 7S and the first-gen SE are ruled out.

Lock screen

iOS 16 comes with the “biggest update ever” to the iPhone lock screen which “completely reimagines” how it works, according to Apple SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi.

Three iPhones showing the new lock screens on iOS 16. One of them has an image, one has widgets, and one has notifications at the bottom of the screen.

iOS 16 lock screen. Image: Apple

The lock screen is set to get much more personal with the new update, giving users the ability to change the font and colour of the time display and spice up the image with a multi-layered depth effect that places the picture in front of the clock – akin to a feature available on the Apple Watch.

Widgets, introduced in iOS 15 for the home screen, will now be available on the lock screen. This is aimed to make it easier for users to access weather info, news, food delivery tracking or even scores from a football match, all without needing to unlock the phone.

To make sure users can see their new lock screen images and widgets clearly, iOS 16 will see notifications roll up from the bottom of the screen instead of taking space in the middle.

iMessage, safety and other iOS 16 updates

Apple’s flagship messaging service is getting a few new features to help it compete with other messaging apps, such as the ability to edit messages after sending them, or to unsend them altogether. Message threads can also now be marked as unread to come back to later.

Face ID, the feature that lets users unlock the iPhone with one glance, will also now be available on landscape mode on select iPhone models. According to The Verge, the iOS 16 beta 1 limits landscape Face ID to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 for now.

The latest software is also doubling down on security with a new Rapid Security Response feature designed to deploy security fixes more easily and quickly without needing a full iOS version update.

But phone security is not the only aspect of safety iOS 16 addresses. A new feature called Safety Check is meant to protect people in abusive relationships and victims of domestic violence by letting them review and revoke access to apps and passwords.

Safety Check includes an emergency reset that helps users easily sign out of iCloud on all their other devices, reset privacy permissions and limit messaging to just the device in their hand.

Maps is getting a new multi-stop routing feature that helps users plan up to 15 stops in advance and automatically sync routes between the Mac and iPhone. Transit updates will also make it easier for users to view journey cost and add transit cards to Wallet from within the Maps app.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic