What you need to know
- Apple is hosting its WWDC 2022 conference right now.
- The company has just unveiled iOS 16.
- It's the next version of software coming to iPhones later this year.
Apple has just revealed the next major update to the iPhone in the form of its iOS 16 software, which will be released to users later this year.
This year, Apple has improved the iPhone lock screen to give users access to the information they need without unlocking their devices completely. Personalization is a big addition here, with a reimagined interface offering one of the biggest changes in some time. Now, people can choose the font and color of things like the clock and more.
During today's announcement, Apple SVP Craig Federighi showed off the customization options at hand which included widgets, offering access to information that was previously hidden away on Home screens. Apple says it will also recommend photos that can be used on your lock screen with multiple configurations available at a time — no starting over when you want to change things.
The new iOS 16 lock screen also moves notifications to the bottom of the screen to make sure that our wallpapers and widgets aren't covered up, with developers given access to multiple APIs that will allow them to create live lock screen widgets — Live Activities — and more.
Changes are also coming to Focus mode, with iOS 16 extending the options to the lock screen — the system can change widgets and wallpapers based on the Focus that's chosen, for example. Focus also now applies to apps, with Safari removing non-work tabs when you have the work Focus enabled, for example.
Over in Messages, users will finally be able to edit them — up to 15 minutes after sending — to change the text that was sent to fix things like typos. A new Undo Send feature is also coming with iOS 16 for deleting messages that have already been sent, while being able to mark a whole thread as unread is sure to be a welcome addition. Recently deleted messages can be restored up to 30 days after deletion.
Fans of SharePlay will enjoy new support that will allow them to begin SharePlay sessions right from within a FaceTime call. Apple is also expanding SharePlay to Messages, putting the whole thing in the Share Sheet for the first time.
Dictation updates are sure to be a big deal — Apple says more than 18 billion dictations happen monthly — with a new on-device dictation experience making it easier to switch from text input and voice input on the fly. The keyboard will now stay open during dictation and the system will now automatically add punctuation to text as you speak.
Apple says that iOS 16 will also offer Live Text in video for the first time, clipping text right out of videos on the fly.
With more and more support for Digital Keys being added, Apple says that people can now share them more easily via the Messages, Mail, and WhatsApp apps.
You can learn more about this addition, and much more including changes to the Wallet app, in our in-depth iOS 16 coverage.
As part of the big iOS 16 update, Apple is also announcing Apple Pay Later, allowing people to make payments for items over a set length of time — six weeks — with zero interest or fees. Orders will also be tracked via Apple Pay Order Tracking with orders placed via millions of merchants.
In the world of Apple Maps, Apple announced a multistop routing addition that will include up to 15 stops to journeys. Just ask Siri to add a stop while you're on the move and you're all set. Those who take advantage of public transport can also look forward to the addition of fare prices, too.
Sports fans can look forward to My Sports, giving people the chance to select their own team and then keep up to speed on their games, leagues, and more — Apple says that the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia will be supported on day one.
Families are going to enjoy the new iOS 16 update with improved support for Family Sharing. At the top of the list is support for a shared iCloud Photo Library — a feature that has been long requested. The library is a separate one, not your main one, and can be shared with up to five other people. You get to control what gets shared based on dates and people included in the photos. The system can either be automatic or manual, giving you control of what's shared and what isn't.
Apple has also announced new privacy features that will allow people to easily reset system privacy permissions for all apps, stop live location tracking, and more as a way to help fight domestic abuse. Apple calls the feature Privacy Check.
Living in a smart home? Apple has announced an all-new Home app that makes it easier to add and use Matter-compatible devices including the setting up of individual groups for things like security, climate control, and more. Want to see four security cameras at once? No problem with iOS 16.
For those on the move, a new CarPlay interface will "reinvent the car experience across all the driver's screens" with the app itself getting a new dashboard that will be familiar to users of the Home app. CarPlay will now also talk to your car's built-in systems for the first time. Those with cars that have multiple displays will benefit greatly from the new update, with CarPlay expanding and shrinking to fit.
Apple says that iOS 16 will be available to developers later today, while those on the public beta program will have to wait until next month. You'll need an iPhone 8 or later to install the new update.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.