At this year’s WWDC, Apple lifted the lid on what’s next for the iPhone as it unveiled iOS 16, introducing a whole host of new features designed to make our devices even smarter and more capable than ever before. The hardware officially launches later today: here’s what you need to know…
An all-new Lock Screen
Perhaps one of the biggest changes coming to the platform is an all-new “Personalized Lock Screen Experience”, overhauling the Lock Screen we’ve all come to know and love. Apple will now allow users to change the time and date format with new type styles, colors, and customizable widgets that reinvent iOS. The firm says that it’s taken inspiration from watchOS complications, and will allow users to add new widgets such as calendar events, the weather, battery levels, alarms, time zones, and Activity ring progress to their lock screen for easy access.
Focus has been given some love
Focus has become an incredibly useful feature on iOS, and Apple has further improved the tool with iOS 16. It’s now possible to tie a Lock Screen wallpaper and widgets to a particular Focus – for example, setting your wallpaper to a picture of your wedding day when you’re home from work, and a picture of your favorite athlete when you’re working out at the gym.
Another exciting change is an overhaul to CarPlay, with Apple now supporting vehicles with large dashboard screens. Apple says that it will now integrate more deeply with vehicles to control things like climate control, and users will be able to personalize CarPlay, too, in a move that could further revolutionize the way we drive.
Tonnes of smaller tweaks
Other under-the-hood changes coming with iOS 16 include Safari shared Tab Groups and passkeys which replace the need for a password, relying on Face ID and Touch ID instead. Apple has added multistop routing to Apple Maps, and Family Sharing introduces more parental controls, whilst Dictation allows users to move between voice and touch. The Home app has been given a new lick of paint, whilst the Fitness app is now available to everyone on iPhone, even those without an Apple Watch. Health, on the other hand, adds new capabilities for Medications, and a new privacy tool called Safety Check has been designed to help those in abusive relationships. Finally, Apple has made some changes to Spatial Audio to deliver a more personalized experience, and accessibility improvements include Door Detection, Apple Watch Mirroring, and new Live Captions for FaceTime calls.
In the Mail app, users can now schedule emails for the future – great if you’re working late on an evening and don’t want to disturb a client or colleague. With expanded image searches, Apple has gone further than ever to find what you’re looking for, and the functionality has been built into other apps like Files, Notes, and Messages. Siri has also been given some attention, and it’s now possible to adjust the pause time in Settings so Siri will wait a little bit longer before responding to your request. No more rushing to ask a question before the assistant starts responding! This should prove a really useful accessibility feature for users. On the subject of Siri, the assistant will now dictate emojis intelligently – asking the assistant to add a “heart emoji” will yield a heart in your message rather than the words “heart emoji”. It’s also possible to hang up on voice calls hands-free when using Siri – “Hey Siri, hang up” will end a call and allow you to get back to listening to that podcast episode on your AirPods.
Are you looking forward to iOS 16? Let us know and check back soon for more.