iOS 16 is the biggest update to iOS since iOS 14

Ios 16 Lockscreen Combinations
Ios 16 Lockscreen Combinations (Image credit: Apple)

Apple's WWDC 2022 has been quite an eventful one so far. It kicked off the festivities by revealing all of the new software updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, and everything seemed to be a winner this time around. But of course, the one that most people pay attention to is iOS 16.

It's not a surprise that iOS 16 is the big winner of WWDC — after all, the best iPhone is probably the device that the most people use out of everything that Apple offers. And as someone who messes around with the best iPhone constantly, I found iOS 16 to be the most impressive update at the keynote.

More customization in the form of the Lock Screen

Apple Official Ios 16 Lockscreen

Apple Official Ios 16 Lockscreen (Image credit: Apple)

If you've followed my musings here at iMore for the past few years, you know that I'm a big advocate for customization on iOS. Ever since iOS 14, I've been wanting more options for ways to personalize my device besides slapping one of the best iPhone cases on it. While I did not have Lock Screen customization on my bingo card and was hoping for streamlined app icon customization and theming, I truly think it's a step in the right direction.

I mean, the Lock Screen has remained stagnant for years on end. The last big change it received was the addition of the flashlight and camera buttons several years ago, but otherwise, it's pretty much been the same Lock Screen since the original iPhone (without Slide to Unlock, of course). So being able to finally change the typeface and color of the clock, add widgets, and even have multiple Lock Screens that can also be associated with one of your Focus modes is a big deal!

Now, I have the first iOS 16 developer beta on an old iPhone 11 Pro I have for beta testing, and right now, it's far from perfect. The multilayer depth effect only seems to work with Portrait mode style photos, and sometimes it looks layered, and sometimes it doesn't. There's still a long way to go, but I expect it to be polished up considerably in the coming months. But I'm honestly just happy to finally be able to change up my Lock Screen so that it isn't just the same as everyone else's (aside from wallpaper).

Plus, the new Lock Screen is a major sign that we will be getting an Always-On Display on the iPhone 14.

We'll be able to edit messages before editing tweets

Ios 16 Messages Undo Send

Ios 16 Messages Undo Send (Image credit: Apple)

I'm incredibly excited about the upcoming changes to Messages! Honestly, it's about time that the Messages app allows us to edit and unsend messages. I often type quickly on my iPhone, and typos happen, which I find embarrassing. And of course, I always catch them after I send the message, so then I send another message to "correct" my previous error. Yes, I'm a perfectionist that way. With the new edit message functionality, I'm looking forward to being able to just fix the original message instead of pinging the other person with more notifications.

I'm not sure how often I have wanted to unsend an entire message, though, but I'll be glad to have that option if it ever arises. According to the first beta, it seems that both the edit and unsend capabilities are available within the first 15 minutes after sending — honestly, I think this window is a little longer than I'd like. Still, maybe Apple will change it before the final release.

Oh, and something I always see people complain about (myself included) is not being able to mark a conversation as unread to remind yourself to respond later. This has happened to me numerous times, but iOS 16 gives us Mark as Unread. Huzzah!

A streamlined process for sharing precious memories with family

One of the last things that I'm most excited about is the iCloud Shared Photo Library. Ever since welcoming my first child last year, I have been sharing photos with my husband and more family and friends than ever before. My husband and I initially started a shared album between the two of us on iCloud, but I wanted all of our family to be able to see those precious moments with our daughter too. So I found a third-party app that works, but the process isn't as smooth as I'd like.

iCloud Shared Photo Library could have a lot of potential from what I'm seeing. It's a separate iCloud Photo Library that is shared between up to five other people (a total of six) through Family Sharing. Whoever is in the group will have equal permissions for contributing, sharing, and deleting. And what makes it different from a standard shared album is that you can automatically share based on filters like date and time or even the people in the picture. A toggle in the Camera app also lets you take and share those pictures automatically to the iCloud Shared Photo Library, which saves a lot of the hassle.

While this feature isn't in the first developer beta of iOS 16, I think it's a pretty big one that I'm very excited to get my hands on.

Something for everyone in iOS 16

These are the three most significant things that have me amped up for iOS 16. But there's so much more too! Multistop routing in Maps for long road trips, medication support in the Health app, Apple Pay Later and Order Tracking, improvements to Live Text and Visual Look Up, etc.

I can't wait to see how iOS 16 shapes up in the next few months. I'm also eager to see how the iPhone 14 hardware will enhance the iOS 16 experience in the fall.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.