The iMessage features alone are changing the game.
It’s official, folks: iOS 16 is on its way.
Apple announced the latest iPhone software update at WWDC 2022, its annual developer’s conference, during the keynote event. iOS 16 is expected to release this fall alongside the debut of the iPhone 14 lineup, but the company has already showed off all the newest features we can look forward to. We break it all down below.
In an update that will change group chats forever, iOS 16 will let iMessage users both edit their texts and undo send any message you regret firing off. The update will also let users mark threads as unread if you don’t have time to address messages, recover recently deleted features, and will make a new Shared With You API available to app developers. SharePlay will also be coming to iMessage, letting users watch synced content like movies or songs, share playback controls, and chat in iMessage all at the same time.
New notifications and lock screen widgets
The lock screen is leveling up with a fully customizable format. Users will be able to edit everything on their lock screens, from fonts and colors of the usual text to adding new lock screen widgets. Photos used for lock screens will take advantage of a layering effect, placing the subject in front of the time text.
The new, almost-always visible widgets will support updates like upcoming calendar events, weather, battery levels, alarms, time zones, Activity ring progress, and more. The lock screen will also support the new Live Activities feature, which will show any real-time activity — like active ride Uber rides, sports scores, or workouts — without having to unlock your phone.
Notifications will also now scroll up from the bottom of the screen, letting you enjoy your background image more often. Users will also be able to create multiple lock screens with customized features, save them, and tie each one to a specific Focus feature like “Work” or “Do Not Disturb.”
New dictation abilities
Dictation on iOS 16 will allow users to move more fluidly between voice typing and keyboard typing. When using the feature to do things like compose an email, users will be able to both speak their content for Siri to notate and type on the keyboard at the same time. Apple will also be adding a new App Intents API, letting developers use Siri more seamlessly in their apps.
New Live Text, Visual Lookup, and Translation updates
Live Text will soon work with video as well the existing photos feature. It will also let users convert currency and translate any text captured via the camera or stored in the Photos app directly in either interface, eliminating the need to move between each app.
Visual Lookup will also let users press and hold on the subject of a photo, removing it from its background, and move it from the Photos app to another app like Messages. It is also expanding to include subjects like birds, insects, and statues.
New Apple Wallet and Apple Pay features
Apple Wallet is adding more support for verified IDs to be stored in the Wallet, letting you use a stored ID in apps requiring you to upload identification. Apple Wallet is also integrating Keys sharing via iMessage and Mail, and will continue to work on sharing Keys via the wallet to those without iPhones.
For Apple Pay users, you will soon be able use Apple Pay Later to split any Apple Pay transactions into four equal payments made every two weeks with no interest. It will be available anywhere Apple Pay is accepted online. And if you’re a voracious package tracker, Apple Pay shipments will be trackable right in your Wallet, starting with purchases made on e-commerce platforms like Shopify.
With iOS 16, Maps will be coming to 11 new countries, support more detailed landscapes, increase navigation features, and let users add up to 15 stops to a trip when planning in advance. Maps will also work more seamlessly with Siri to let you add a stop via voice command while driving, and transit features will show clear costs and support transit cards being added to Apple Wallet.
New Photos and iCloud updates
The Photos experience is adding a new Shared iCloud capability, allowing up to six users to directly upload photos and videos to a shared iCloud with collaborators. You can choose to share media to the shared cloud directly from a personal library, or set it up to only share photos from a certain date or featuring certain people — like all photos and videos featuring kids and parents.
Sharing to iCloud can also happen automatically after taking a photo with a quick toggle directly in the camera app, eliminating the need to send photos after an event. The shared cloud will also feature intelligent suggestions that nudge you to share a photo if it features people added as collaborators. All of this is is reminiscent of the existing Shared Albums within Photos, but takes it to a sky-high, cloud-based level.
New sports features support
For the sports fans out there, the Apple TV app will now show live scores and play-by-plays via Live Activity support on the Apple TV widget. Within Apple News, users will be able to follow specific teams and leagues to get their most important sports updates integrated seamlessly into their news feeds.
New Family Sharing and Parental Controls
iOS 16’s updates to Family Sharing will make it easier for parents to manage separate accounts for kids, approve or deny requests directly in iMessage, create a family checklist for location sharing, and quickly update settings for kids as they get older. It will also include suggestions for age-appropriate restrictions for apps, movies, books, music, and more.
Apple worked with several non-profit organizations that support victims of domestic abuse to develop the new Safety Check feature, which will allow users to quickly revoke access to their devices and data when in dangerous situations. Safety Check will cut off location sharing via Find My, reset privacy permissions for all apps, protect access to messages by signing out of iCloud, restrict iMessage and FaceTime to only the device in your hand, and let you change access to data for your apps.