All You Need To Know About iOS 16

On 6th June 2022 which was yesterday, Apple held its keynote event for WWDC 2022. At the event, they unveiled the next version of their iPhone’s operating system, called iOS 16. It features a new Lock Screen with support for widgets, support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, an enhanced Visual Look Up feature, an updated Messages app, Mail app, and more.

Lock Screen personalization with widgets

The Lock Screen in iOS 16 has been updated in a major way. Starting with the background, it can now show a multi-layered effect that can separate the subject of the image from the rest and set it in front of the time. The Date and Time can further be customized with expressive type styles and color choices.

The second update is the ability to add widgets to the home. Apple showcased a bunch of first-party widgets such as upcoming calendar events, the weather, battery levels, alarms, Activity ring progress, and more. Third-party developers can also develop their own widgets via an API. Once you set customization, you can then save it and switch between multiple saved Lock Screens using a swipe. iOS 16 will also allow you to tie a Lock screen layout to a Focus mode.

The third update to the Lock Screen is called Live Activities, which helps users stay on top of things that are happening in real-time, such as sports games, workouts, ride-share, and more.

The last update is to the notifications, which now roll up from the bottom when they arrive to your iPhone. This will lead to less clutter in the lock screen, and provide a cleaner look overall.

Updated Focus modes

As mentioned, iOS 16 will let you tie a Focus mode to a Lock Screen, and with a simple swipe, you can now switch between Focus modes. Another feature is called Focus filters, where apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari can display only the content that is relevant to a user’s Focus.

iCloud Shared Photo Library for easy family sharing

Sharing photos with your family on iOS has become easier with iCloud Shared Photo Library. It essentially works as a separate iCloud Library that every member in a family group can view and contribute to. Apple has built-in a bunch of neat features, such as the ability to automatically add photos to the library if it detects a family member in a photo. There is also a toggle in the camera app to send photos to the Shared Library automatically.

Messages app updates

The new Messages app in iOS 16 now supports the ability to edit or recall recently sent messages, recover recently deleted messages, and mark conversations as unread. The updated SharePlay is also coming to Messages, allowing users to conveniently watch synced content like movies or songs and shared playback controls.

Mail app updates

In the iOS Mail app, users can now schedule emails ahead of time and even cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox. There is a Remind Later feature that users can use to resurface a message at any date and time. Follow-Up suggestions can automatically remind users to follow up on an email if they have not received a response, and lastly, the search feature has been updated to deliver more relevant, accurate, and complete results.

Live Text and Visual Look Up Enhancements

The Live Text feature, which was introduced in previous versions of iOS, now supports text detection in videos. There is also the ability to quickly convert currency, translate text and more. Visual Look Up is an extension of the Live Text feature, where users tap and hold on the subject of an image to lift it from the background and place it in apps like Messages.

Apple Wallet updates

Apple Wallet users can soon access a feature called Apple Pay Later, which enables a seamless and secure way to split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase. The split will be made into four equal payments spread over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees. It will be available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app, using the Mastercard network.

Apple Wallet users can also soon use their ID in Wallet for apps requiring identity and age verification in a private and secure way. Additionally, users can securely share their home, hotel, office, and car keys in Wallet through messaging apps, including Messages, Mail, and more.

Next-generation CarPlay

Apple gave us a sneak peek into the next generation of CarPlay too, which will feature deep integration to a car’s hardware. It will support multi-screens layouts within the vehicle and allow users to do things like controlling the radio or changing the climate directly through CarPlay. It can even use vehicle data to seamlessly render the speed, fuel level, temperature, and more on the instrument cluster. 

Furthermore, it will offer various personalization options for the gauge cluster designs and support widgets. This next generation of CarPlay is expected to appear in vehicles that will be announced late next year.

Other updates

  • Safari gets a new feature called shared Tab Groups, allowing users to share a collection of websites with friends and family. It also features Passkeys that will allow users to sign in to websites and apps securely without passwords.
  • Apple Maps gets multistop routing support, transit updates, and the ability to add transit cards to Wallet
  • Family Sharing has been improved with the ability to quickly set up a kid’s iPhone or iPad with the right parental controls in place from the start
  • Dictation now features automatic punctuation and emoji dictation. The experience is also more fluid, allowing users to type with the keyboard, tap in the text field, move the cursor, and insert QuickType suggestions without needing to stop Dictation.
  • The Home app has been redesigned with a better layout to more easily organize, and view connected accessories. Support for the Matter smart home connectivity standard will soon be added in a future update.
  • The Fitness app is available to all iPhone users to help track and meet fitness goals, even if they don’t have an Apple Watch.
  • The Health app adds Medications, allowing users to conveniently build and manage a medications list, create schedules and reminders, and track their medications, vitamins, or supplements
  • Apple News introduces a new My Sports section to easily follow favorite teams and leagues
  • Game Center features a redesigned dashboard that shows friends’ activity and accomplishments from games in one place
  • Personalized Spatial Audio enables an even more precise and immersive listening experience

The developer preview of iOS 16 is available to Apple Developer Program members starting today, and a public beta will be available to iOS users next month. iOS 16 will roll out later in the fall of 2022 for the iPhone 8 and later.

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