iOS 16 brings the biggest update ever to the Lock Screen, the ability to edit and collaborate in Messages, new tools in Mail, and more ways to interact with photos and video with Live Text and Visual Look Up. iOS 16 is available today as a free software update.
A More Personal, Beautiful, and Helpful Lock Screen
The Lock Screen gets reimagined, offering deeper personalisation. Now users can add a depth effect to their Lock Screen photo, artfully displaying the photo subject in front of the time, and they can even customize the font and type style. New widgets on the Lock Screen make it easy to get helpful information at a glance like upcoming calendar events, battery levels, alarms, time zones, Activity ring progress, and more.
The new Lock Screen gallery features a range of options. Users can choose an intelligently suggested photo from their personal library that will look great on the Lock Screen, or a dynamic set of photos that shuffle throughout the day. Apple collections include iconic imagery from Apple; Pride and Unity wallpapers; a Weather wallpaper to see live weather conditions as they change throughout the day; and an Astronomy wallpaper for views of the Earth, moon, and solar system. Users can also create unique designs with their favourite emoji and colour combinations, and with multiple Lock Screens, users can switch between their favorites with just a swipe.Redesigned notifications now roll in from the bottom to offer a clear view of the Lock Screen, and users can choose to view notifications in an expanded list, stacked, or as a count view.
Stay in the Moment With Focus
With iOS 16, Focus is easier to set up and gets even more powerful by connecting to the Lock Screen, giving users a way to simply swipe to a designated Lock Screen to activate the corresponding Focus. With Focus filters, apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari can display only the content that is relevant to a user’s Focus, helping them to find better balance.
New Ways to Interact in Messages
Updates to Messages make it possible to edit, undo send, and mark conversations as unread, making it even easier to stay connected. With iOS 16, users can now invite friends and family to SharePlay via Messages, offering another way to enjoy synced content like movies or songs and shared playback controls. In addition, new collaboration features in Messages make working with others quick and seamless. When users choose to share files for collaboration through Messages, everyone in a thread will be automatically added, and when someone makes an edit to the shared document, activity updates appear at the top of the thread.
Increase Productivity With New Tools in Mail
Now users can schedule delivery of an email ahead of time or cancel delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox. Users can also set reminders to come back to a message at a later date with Remind me, receive automatic suggestions to follow up on an email if they haven’t received a response, and get automatic alerts when they’ve forgotten to include a recipient or attachment in an email. With the biggest update to search in years, Mail features state-of-the-art techniques to deliver more relevant, accurate, and complete search results.
Visual Look Up and Live Text Enhancements
Users can now tap and hold on the subject of an image to lift it from the background and place it in apps like Messages. Visual Look Up also expands to recognise birds, insects, spiders, and statues, helping users quickly get information about objects and scenes in photos.
Using on-device intelligence, Live Text can now recognise text in videos across the system. Users can pause a video on any frame to interact with text and take quick action, such as copy and paste, translate, convert currency, and more.
More Secure Browsing in Safari With Passkeys
Browsing in Safari is even safer with passkeys, a next-generation credential that can’t be phished or leaked, making it more secure and easy to use. Designed to replace passwords, passkeys use Touch ID or Face ID for biometric verification, and iCloud Keychain to sync across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV with end-to-end encryption. Created as a joint effort in collaboration with the FIDO Alliance, Google, and Microsoft, passkeys will work across apps and the web, and users can sign in to websites or an app on non-Apple devices using just their iPhone.Safari also adds shared Tab Groups to share a collection of websites with friends and family, making it seamless to add tabs and see what others are viewing.
New Accessibility Features to Navigate, Stay Connected, and More
Accessibility updates include Door Detection, which helps users who are blind or low vision use their iPhone to navigate the last few feet to their destination; and Apple Watch Mirroring for users with physical and motor disabilities to mirror their Apple Watch display to iPhone, and control Apple Watch with Voice Control and Switch Control. Additionally, Live Captions make it easier for Deaf and hard of hearing users to follow along with any audio content — whether they are on a phone or FaceTime call, using a videoconference or social media app, streaming media content, or having a conversation with someone next to them.
Apple Pay Order Tracking enables users to receive detailed receipts and order tracking information in Wallet for Apple Pay purchases with participating merchants.
Updates to Apple Maps enable further exploration of the world with improved driving and transit navigation, and multistop routing. Drivers can easily create routes with multiple stops and automatically sync routes from Mac to iPhone when they’re ready to go. Transit directions will now display how much a journey will cost, and users can add transit cards to Wallet to see low balances — and replenish transit cards — all without leaving Maps.
Family Sharing offers an easier way to set up accounts for children with the right parental controls in place from the start. It includes suggestions for age-appropriate restrictions for apps, movies, books, music, and more, and a simpler process for setting up a new device for a child that applies existing parental controls automatically. When a child asks for more screen time, parents and guardians can now approve or decline right in Messages. A new Family Checklist provides tips and suggestions, such as updating a child’s parental controls as they get older or turning on location sharing.
Dictation offers a new on-device experience that allows users to fluidly move between voice and touch. Users can type with the keyboard, tap in the text field, move the cursor, and insert QuickType suggestions, all without needing to stop Dictation. In addition, Dictation features automatic punctuation and emoji dictation.
Siri adds the ability to run shortcuts as soon as an app is downloaded without requiring upfront setup. Users can add emoji when sending a message, choose to send messages automatically — skipping the confirmation step — and hang up phone and FaceTime calls completely hands-free by simply saying “Hey Siri, hang up.”
The reimagined Home app offers users easier ways to navigate, organise, and view their accessories.
The Fitness app is now available to all iPhone users to help track and meet fitness goals, even if they don’t have an Apple Watch. iPhone users can set a personal Move goal, check their trends, and share activity for additional motivation. iPhone motion sensors track steps, distance, and flights climbed to estimate active calories burned. Any workouts completed in third-party apps also contribute to closing the user’s Move ring. The new Fitness app Lock Screen widget offers Move ring progress, steps taken, and distance at a glance.
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. In the US, users can simply point their iPhone camera at a label to add a medication, read about the medications they’re taking, and receive an alert if there are potential critical interactions with their medications. Users can also now send loved ones an invitation to share their Health data, and easily create a PDF of available health records from connected health institutions, right from the Health app.
Apple News introduces a new My Sports section, where users can easily follow favorite teams and leagues; receive stories from hundreds of top publishers; access scores, schedules, and standings for the top professional and college leagues; and watch highlights right in the News app. Favourites will sync with the Apple TV app to offer a seamless sports experience.
Game Center makes it easy for users to play with or compete against their friends through the redesigned dashboard that shows friends’ games activity and accomplishments all in one place.
Personalised Spatial Audio offers an even more precise and immersive listening experience. Using the TrueDepth camera on iPhone, users can create a personal profile for Spatial Audio that delivers a listening experience tuned just for them.
Safety Check, a new personal privacy tool, can be helpful to users whose personal safety is at risk from domestic or intimate partner violence. It allows users to quickly review and remove any access they’ve granted to others. It also 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. Users can also understand and manage which people and apps they’ve given access to.