Apple showcased many significant new features coming in iOS 16 during its WWDC22 keynote Monday. The main updates include an overhaul of the iPhone Lock Screen, updated notifications management, intelligent sharing and a slew of personalization features.
“iOS 16 offers new intelligence sharing and communication features that are going to enhance so much of what you do with your iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s software chief, during the event. “And those come together with an incredible set of new personalization features that will make your experience feel fresh and completely you.”
iOS 16 beta available now for devs
As always, today’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote shows where Apple’s software is headed. Some features will arrive on schedule; others will encounter delays or evolve as Apple’s beta testing plays out.
For instance, at last year’s WWDC, Apple trotted out SharePlay syncing of media across devices coming in iOS 15, but then held back the feature in early releases. Live-text capture via iPhone photo turned out to be as cool as advertised. And moving the Safari address bar to the bottom of the screen on iPhones rankled some users but had its advantages.
Developers can download the first beta today, and Apple says a public beta will arrive next month. The final version will arrive with iPhone 14’s release in September. Here’s a quick rundown of the new features.
This year’s changes, with iOS 16, are numerous.
New iOS 16 features
New lock screen
Predictions said Apple would overhaul the iPhone Lock Screen and update the notification management system — and they were right. Federighi said iOS 16 includes “the biggest update ever to the Lock Screen, completely reimagining how it looks and how it works for you.”
Users can add widgets to the Lock Screen, adjust the depth of field with background images, integrate elements of Focus and more.
iOS16 also features a new Wallpaper Gallery. Apple added numerous new wallpaper options as well as new animations you can see when unlocking your iPhone.
Other changes impact how notifications are presented via what Apple calls “Live Notifications.” Developers will be able to adopt this feature with a new Live Notifications API.
New Messages features
Apple is making major changes to Messages, addressing the most requested features it has received:
- Edit messages
- Undo Send
- Mark As Unread
iOS 16 expands the availability of Shared With You, including new integration with Messages and a new API for developers.
Updated Dictation and Siri integration
Changes coming to Dictation make up what Apple said is an “all new on-device Dictation system.” The system keeps the keyboard open as your dictate so you can quickly switch between typing and voice while composing messages.
As a way of improving the ability for third-party apps to integrate with Siri, Apple debuted the App Intents API. It lets apps integrate with Siri with no special setup.
The popular Live Text feature is coming to video for the first time. It lets you select text from videos. And a new Live Text API will help developers tap into the Live Text features.
A new machine learning feature will help you do seemingly magical things, too. It allows you to easily select something in an image, remove the background and copy what you selected to another app.
iOS 16 also brings new features to the Wallet app. In states that support Digital IDs in Wallet, users will also be able to securely share their birthdays with apps to verify age.
And now Apple Pay Later is officially in the mix. The new financing feature lets customers split any Apple Pay purchase, in stores or online, into six weekly payments with no interest. You can manage payments in the Wallet app.
Apple Maps upgrades
Apple is expanding the Apple Maps’ flyover feature and redesigned cartography details to new cities.
The redesigned Maps are coming to:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
Apple Maps will will also feature multi-stop routing for the first time. Apple said you can plan up to 15 stops in advance. And you can also use Siri to add additional stops as you drive.
New Transit features in Apple Maps will allow users to plan transit routes with specific information on pricing and integration with Apple Pay.
Apple News sports features
With Apple News’ new sports features, users in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia can more easily find sports information in Apple News, such as through widgets and push notifications.
Apple News+ adds premium sports coverage through partnerships with local news publications.
Other iOS 16 updates:
- New Family Sharing functions adds more detailed control over what content a child can access.
- Quick Start is adding new features for setting up a new device for a specific Family Sharing member.
- iCloud Shared Family Photo Library makes it possible to share specific iCloud Photos with family members and gives everyone equal access to modify and share photos.
- A new Personal Safety feature let users quickly disable sharing with another user, which is helpful in abusive relationships. The feature also makes it easier to manage who you’re sharing specific information with, including location, account data, messages, and more.
- New features to the Home app focus on the upcoming Matter home-automation standard. The Matter standard “provides the underlying technology” for new smart home accessories, and Apple is implementing support to HomeKit. A redesigned Home app lets you see all rooms on one page and offers new categories, support for multiple cameras and more.
- Apple said it’s overhauling CarPlay to “reinvent the experience” across different car infotainment systems. This includes a wide array of new features and integrations with the car itself, giving you access to more data and control options on the screens. Upgrades will be available in new cars starting “late next year,” Apple said.