Apple unveiled iOS 16 at WWDC 2022 in June – the latest operating system for the iPhone and successor to iOS 15, but a September 12 release date was confirmed at Apple’s “Far Out” event on September 7.
This is a version that brings improvements to many apps, from a redesigned Home app for smart devices to better privacy features and a heavy focus on the lock screen, with new fonts, colors and themes to choose from.
Satellite connections are also available on iPhone 14 models coming in November.
The public beta came out on July 11, with the finished build coming the same week as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro for iPhone 8 and later devices.
iOS 16.1 also arrived on October 24, bringing the Live Activity option and battery percentage to any iPhone with FaceID, while iOS 16.2 introduces Freeform and better data protection features.
iOS 16: Get to the point
- What is this? Another big update for iOS
- when is it coming out? leave now
- How much it costs? It’s free
- Which phones are supported? Anyone with an iPhone 8 or later will be able to update to iOS 16, which means if you have an iPhone 7 or older you’re out of luck.
iOS 16 Latest updates
December 13 – iOS 16.2 released with Freeform and security features.
October 24 – iOS 16.1 is out with improvements and live activities.
September 12 – iOS 16 is available to anyone with an iPhone 8 or later.
September 7: Apple’s “Far Out” event confirmed that iOS 16 will arrive on September 12 along with the iPhone 14 series and beyond.
July 11: The public beta is available for download to anyone with an iPhone 8 or later.
June 14: Will lossless audio come to AirPods Pro 2? The tech foundation should be in iOS 16, and so far no one has come across any evidence of it.
June 13: In an exclusive interview with TechRadar, Apple’s Craig Federighi and VP of Design Alan Dye take us through the Apple Lock Screen remake – “an act of love,” said Federighi.
11 June: This time, iOS 16 will be a groundbreaking release, with many feature enhancements across the operating system, on a scale probably not seen since iOS 8. Here are the top 7 new features in iOS 16.
June 7: Support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Joy-Cons has been revealed in the latest iOS 16 developer beta. As the public beta is imminent, you can try the Nintendo controllers on your iPhone soon.
More latest iOS 16 trivia ▼
June 7: Which phones support iOS 16? TechRadar has a full list of phones compatible with the new operating system.
June 7: iOS 16 will bring fundamental changes to the Messages app. Editing and deleting messages after sending them is now the order of the day – which means autocorrect doesn’t work.
May 30: As we get closer to WWDC, rumors suggest that iOS 16 will get some significant new features, including improvements to the iPhone lock screen. This may be the most radical iPhone update in years.
15th of May: Increasingly, it looks like iOS 16 will feature new apps and major changes, with the latest leak hinting at new ways to interact with widgets and even some new Apple apps.
iOS 16 release date
Apple confirmed on its “Far Out” on September 7, where it announced the iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, and AirPods Pro 2 that iOS 16 would be coming to iPhone 8 and later devices on September 12, which it did.
Features of iOS 16
There are many new and improved features coming to iOS 16, the highlights of which are listed below.
Customizable lock screens
With iOS 16, you’ll be able to customize your lock screen by tapping any area to change the text font and colors.
Complications (which are essentially widgets) can also be enabled here, a feature carried over from the Apple Watch. You’ll be able to add three of them to your lock screen, while the Now Playing screen will slide down for easy access with your thumb.
You won’t be limited to just one lock screen either. Similar to creating a watch face on your Apple Watch, you can swipe between different lock screens to access different widgets based on your needs.
Focus mode is also getting some updates, some of which are related to the lock screen as the lock screen shown can be automatically toggled based on the focus profile you have.
For example, a “Meeting” focus profile might cause the lock screen to change wallpaper and offer a row of widgets showing the details of that event.
You can also use “Focus Filters” to block Safari tabs, Mail accounts, Calendar events, and more to help manage your workflow.
Notifications are also enhanced with “Live Activities,” which are essentially pinned widget-like notifications that let you check your game score, track your food delivery progress, and more.
Notifications also have a new look, designed to make them visually pop up, and feature new animations – appearing from the bottom of the lock screen, making them easy to see at a glance without getting in the way.
You can also choose to display notifications in expanded list view, stacked view, or hidden view.
Apple has added some new features to Messages. For one of them, there’s an “Undo Send” feature that allows you to delete a message up to 15 minutes after you send it – for example, if you realize you sent it to the wrong person. Similarly, you can edit messages in the first 15 minutes. But note that this only works for iPhone to iPhone messages.
SharePlay will also appear in the app, so you can, for example, play a movie on Disney Plus and share it with someone via Messages.
Dictation has also been improved as it now allows users to seamlessly transition between voice and touch input, so you can type, add text or move the cursor without having to stop dictating.
You can also recover messages up to 30 days after deleting them, send an invitation to collaborate on a project in Messages, and get alerts when someone makes a collaborative edit.
Suggested by Apple in May, several new accessibility features are heading to iOS 16, such as door detection, which helps you locate doors, read signs around them, and get instructions on how to open them.
There’s also the option to see live captions during a FaceTime call, control your Apple Watch from your iPhone, hang up phone calls with Siri, and more.
Live text is also getting improvements – you can copy and paste text in video as well as copy and translate text.
Wallet sees privacy improvements, and in-app ID verification is enabled for third-party apps.
The tap-to-pay feature on the iPhone is also available in iOS 16, removing the need for any point-of-sale terminals. In addition, you can view receipts and track orders directly from Wallet.
There’s also Apple Pay Later, which breaks down purchases into four interest-free payments spread over six weeks, and Order Tracking, which lets you see the latest information about your Apple Pay orders.
Maps will finally allow you to save recent trips in the app and send them from your Mac or iPad.
You can also add multiple stops along your route, and while traveling, you can ask Siri to add another destination, hands-free in case another case arises, while ‘Look Around’, Apple’s take on Google Street View, is open to third-party applications.
Plus, you can see transit fares and, without leaving Maps, you can add transit cards to Wallet, top up your card, and check your low balance.
There’s a big focus on sports in iOS 16, with Apple News getting a new My Sports section that lets you view schedules, standings, and scores from your favorite teams.
Live updates on sporting events can also be added to the lock screen, so if you can’t tune in, you’ll still be up to date with the scores.
Apple’s Family Sharing feature allows you and your family to share an account, for example, to view photos and videos, and also allows parents to approve purchases made by minors.
With iOS 16, it will be easier for parents to set age-appropriate content restrictions, and parents or guardians will be able to respond to screen time requests in Messages.
The Quick Start feature for iPad allows you to sync the settings you’ve configured on your iPhone to your iPad by simply bringing your phone close to the tablet, and there’s also a Family Checklist feature that makes it easy to make sure all content on your iPhone is safe and secure for your kids.
The ability to share photos and videos via iCloud was very welcome, and iCloud Shared Photo Library will allow up to six people to share the library. Users will be able to send photos to the Shared Library using a new toggle in the Camera app and receive smart suggestions for sharing photos of other users of the shared library.
New privacy tool called The security check has been put in place to help those at risk of intimate partner violence or harassment.
Users can quickly revoke all access to Messages and other accounts they have granted to a partner, and the emergency reset feature helps users easily sign out of iCloud on all other devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messaging to only the device in their hand. Users can also stop sharing their location with this tool.
It also lets you see and manage in general which people and apps you’ve given access to your information.
The Home app has been redesigned
With Matter’s upcoming new smart home standard, the Home app will be redesigned to make it easier to manage your smart devices and rooms.
You’ll be able to see all your rooms in one view, complete with categories for lighting, climate, security and more. You can tap a category to view more detailed status information and view up to four security cameras at once.
You can also add smart home widgets to your lock screen for a quick overview of your home status and quick access to smart home controls.
You can use the TrueDepth camera on your iPhone to create a personal surround sound profile for your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, which Apple calls “even more precise and immersive audio.”
Apple’s Fitness app is rolling out to all iPhone users, even if they don’t have an Apple Watch to help them track their fitness. The app will use your iPhone’s motion sensors along with step and distance tracking and workouts from third-party apps to help you reach your daily Move goal and estimate your calories burned.