iOS 16: Everything you need to know!

Ios 16 Features Tiles
Ios 16 Features Tiles (Image credit: Apple)

Apple's WWDC 2022 keynote was jam-packed with a ton of new software updates for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. On top of software, Apple dropped some brand new MacBook Air laptops with the updated M2 silicon, though we did not get any mention of an AR/VR headset. Regardless, one of the biggest updates coming is with the iPhone and iOS 16.

Here are all the juicy details of iOS 16 that Apple revealed at WWDC.


Apple has dropped support for some older devices for iOS 16. Here is the full device list that will be able to run the latest software.

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 8

Of course, when the iPhone 14 lineup drops later this year, expect full compatibility with iOS 16. In fact, it's more than likely that the new iPhones will ship with iOS 16 already installed.

New Lock Screen

Apple Official Ios 16 Lockscreen

Apple Official Ios 16 Lockscreen (Image credit: Apple)

The biggest change in iOS 16 is to the Lock Screen. For the first time ever, you can now customize your Lock Screen to make it even more personalized.

The Lock Screen in iOS 16 has a multilayered effect so that subjects in photos are set in front of the time on the Lock Screen, giving it a sense of depth. The date and time can also be changed with various typefaces and colors.

Drawing inspiration from Apple Watch complications, you can add informative widgets like calendar events, weather, battery levels, alarms, time zones, Activity Ring progress, and so much more.

The Lock Screen gallery has many different options to choose from, including Pride and Unity, Weather for live weather conditions as they change throughout the day, Astronomy, and more. It's also easy to make your own lock screens with your favorite emojis or colors. Multiple Lock Screens are supported, and you can switch between them with a swipe.

To customize the Lock Screen, you just press and hold on the Lock Screen, tap Customize, and then you're in the lock screen editor. For developers, WidgetKit is available now to create lock screen widgets.

Notifications will now roll in from the bottom of the Lock Screen as you get them in real time, giving you a clear view of your personalized Lock screen. A new notification style called Live Activities is essentially a hybrid between a notification and widget. For example, the music widget is now a live activity that you can interact with. You can also track a run or an Uber right from the Lock Screen.

Focus is improved in iOS 16 by becoming more powerful, and easier to set up and use, plus it now connects to the Lock Screen. With the Lock Screen integration, you can tie a Lock Screen wallpaper and widgets to a specific Focus, and you can activate a Focus just by swiping to that Lock Screen. Focus filters can also display just content that's relevant to a user's Focus, so you aren't distracted by irrelevant content.


Ios 16 Messages Undo Send

Ios 16 Messages Undo Send (Image credit: Apple)

Messages also has some big improvements that many users will find very useful. Users will be able to edit or recall recently sent messages, recover messages that were recently deleted, and mark entire conversations as unread so they can come back to them later.

Additionally, SharePlay is coming directly into Messages, so you can enjoy synced content, such as music or movies, with shared playback controls, all while chatting in Messages.


Like Messages, the Mail app will have similar changes. Users of the Mail app can now schedule emails ahead of time and will have a moment to cancel delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient's inbox. The Mail app will even detect if the user has forgotten to include something important in their message, such as attachments. Another new feature is the ability to resurface a message with Remind Later, and Follow Up can remind you to check up on an email if there has been no response.

A big overhaul to the Search function is also coming, with better techniques to give you more relevant, accurate, and complete results. Search inquiries will bring up recent emails, contacts, documents, and links the moment that the search is initiated.


Ios 16 Shareplay

Ios 16 Shareplay (Image credit: Apple)

While SharePlay is a feature that Apple added in iOS 15, it is bringing some refinements to the feature in iOS 16. There will be better integrations of SharePlay with FaceTime by having a section that shows all of your SharePlay-enabled apps that are installed on your device. It will also be integrated into your Messages chats as well.


Ios 16 Dictation

Ios 16 Dictation (Image credit: Apple)

Dictation is a feature that has 18 million uses per month, which is impressive in itself. There are some nice changes in iOS 16 to Dictation.

Apple Official Ios 16 Live Text Visual Look Up

Apple Official Ios 16 Live Text Visual Look Up (Image credit: Apple)

The keyboard will now stay open when dictation is in use, making it easier than ever to move from voice to touch as you go. Punctuation will also be added to longer messages automatically.


You can now have the ability to run shortcuts as soon as an app is downloaded to your iPhone, without needing upfront setup. You can also use Siri to add emoji when sending messages, choose to send messages automatically without the confirmation, and hang up phone and FaceTime calls completely hands-free. This is done by saying "Hey Siri, hang up."

Live Text and Visual Look Up enhancements

New on-device intelligence in iOS 16 means improvements to both Live Text and Visual Look Up, both of which were introduced in iOS 15. Live Text is now expanding to video, allowing you to pull Live Text from video playback. This can be done by pausing a video on any frame, and you'll be able to interact with Live Text that way. You can even convert currency, translate text, and more.

A new Visual Look Up feature lets you tap and hold on a subject in an image, lift it, and then place it into other apps, such as Messages. Visual Look Up has also been expanded to recognize birds, insects, and statues.


Apple Pay Ios

Apple Pay Later (Image credit: Apple)

Big changes are coming in the Wallet app, with the biggest changes coming in the form of Apple Pay Later. With iOS 16, you'll be able to split an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread out over six weeks with zero interest and no additional fees. With Apple Pay Later, you can view, track, and replay Apple Pay Later payments right within the Wallet app. Users can apply for Apple Pay Later when they check out with merchants using Apple Pay, or even right in Wallet. Apple Pay Later will be available everywhere that takes Apple Pay and online or in-app.

There is also Apple Pay Order Tracking, which lets you get detailed receipts and you can view order tracking information directly in the Wallet app, as long as Apple Pay was used as the form of payment.

Expanded support for Keys and IDs in Wallet are coming in iOS 16 as well. Users with digital ID in the Wallet app can use it for apps requiring identity and age verification. Because Apple values private and secure experiences, only the necessary information that is required for the transaction will be provided in the apps that use it, and users can review and consent to sharing it via Touch ID or Face ID. There is also the ability to security share home, hotel, office, and car keys in Wallet through messaging apps, including Apple's own Messages and Mail apps, or third-party options like WhatsApp.

Maryland and Arizona are the latest states to get support for Wallet ID.


Maps Multistop Routes

Maps Multistop Routes (Image credit: Apple)

Maps is getting a big update in iOS 16. There will redesigned maps coming for 11 new countries, including France, Switzerland, New Zealand, and more. Las Vegas will also support 3D viewing.

The new Multistop routing feature lets you plan up to 15 stops in advance for your next road trip. You can also automatically sync routes from Mac to iPhone when they're ready to go, and more stops can be added through Siri.

Transit changes include the ability to see fare prices for public transport, so you're never caught off guard again. You can also add transit cards to the Wallet app, see low balances, and replenish transit cards without exiting the Maps app.


Tab Groups, a feature that was first added in iOS 15, will now be able to be shared with friends and family, allowing them to see what others are viewing.

Safari is also adding Passkeys, which are meant to be password replacements. These are unique digital keys that are easy to use, more secure, and never stored on a web server. Passkeys stay on your device, preventing hackers from stealing them and they can't be in a data breach, or be surrendered from tricked users. You can use Passkeys with Face ID or Touch ID for verification, and they sync across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV through iCloud Keychain with end-to-end encryption. Passkeys can be used across apps and on websites.


Apple News My Sports

Apple News My Sports (Image credit: Apple)

Sports will be easier to follow with iOS 16. Live Activities, scores, and even Play by Play action will be in the Apple TV app. Coverage in Apple News will be enhanced with "My Sports," allowing you to follow your teams and leagues, and then collate coverage from different publications, video clips, and more.

These Sports features will be available in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia for the initial rollout. Sports will sync across all of your Apple devices.

Family Sharing

Family Sharing Parental Controls

Family Sharing Parental Controls (Image credit: Apple)

While Family Sharing has remained mostly stagnant for the past few years, this is changing with iOS 16.

It will become easier to make and manage accounts for kids, with improved age-appropriate restrictions per person. The process is streamlined — all you need to do is bring an iPhone near a new iPhone or iPad for set-up, and it'll automatically help you set it up in a kid-safe mode.

Family Checklist provides reminders to look again at restrictions as they age, such as location sharing and more.

iCloud Shared Photo Library

Ios16 Icloud Shared Photo Library

Ios16 Icloud Shared Photo Library (Image credit: Apple)

iCloud Shared Photo Library is a separate iCloud library that up to six users can collaborate on, contribute to, and enjoy, giving families a new and better way to share photos seamlessly with one another. Everyone who is included can get equal permissions for adding, sharing, and deletion of photos. You can choose to share existing photos from your personal Photo Library, or share based on the time photos were taken, a start date, or even the people in the photos. For example, all photos with you and your significant other, as well as your child.

These iCloud Shared Photo Libraries can also have photos shared automatically with a new toggle in the Camera app. There is also the option to get intelligent suggestions to share photos that include participants in the Shared Photo Library. All users that are in a Shared Photo Library have the ability to add, delete, edit, or even favorite. When a photo is favorited, it appears in each user's Memories and Featured Photos.


Safety Check

Safety Check (Image credit: Apple)

Major changes are coming to Privacy in iOS 16 with Safety Check. This is a feature that appears to be a direct answer to the controversy surrounding AirTags and unwanted tracking for people in domestic abusive relationships.

With Safety Check, one can quickly revoke access that was previously granted to others, including location, passwords, and other data. It can reset system privacy permissions for all apps, protect access to all messages, and restrict messages on FaceTime to the device in your hand.


Home App Update

Home App Update (Image credit: Apple)

Home is getting a hefty update in iOS 16. Apple is going all-in on Matter, with cross-platform support and HomeKit integration. Since this is Matter, it includes Google, Samsung, Phillips Hue, and more.

Despite being Matter, data privacy is all protected. Even Apple can't see how your devices are routed through Matter.

The Home app is also getting a fresh new look. You'll be able to see all of your devices on one screen, categories at the top for individual groups, like Security and Climate Control, etc. Four cameras will display their feeds at once, and there will be support for Lock Screen widgets. The new app will be coming to iPhone and Mac.

Fitness app

Apple is making the Fitness app available to all iPhone users, even if they do not have an Apple Watch. With the Fitness app, users can set a daily Move goal and track their active calories in order to close the Move ring. This is all done thanks to the motion sensors in the iPhone, which can track steps, distance, flights climbed, and workouts from third-party apps. When using workout data from third-party apps, it will be converted into an active calorie estimation for the Move goal. Users can also share the Move ring data with friends for even more motivation.

Health app

Medications are now available in the Health app, so users can build and manage a medications list, create schedules and reminders, and track medications, vitamins, and supplements.

For U.S. users, just point your iPhone camera at a label to add a medication. This can also get information about a medication, and get an alert if there is a potential critical interaction with other medications. This information can also be shared with others, and a PDF of health records from connected institutions can all be done in the Health app.


Apple Official Ios 16 Carplay

Apple Official Ios 16 Carplay (Image credit: Apple)

The next iteration of CarPlay aims to help change the way people interact with their vehicles, according to Apple. With this new generation of CarPlay, it deeply integrates with car hardware.

Now, CarPlay will be able to provide content for multiple screens within the vehicle, providing a sense of unification and consistency. You'll be able to control the radio or change the climate through CarPlay itself. And by using vehicle data, CarPlay can show speed, fuel level, temperature, and more on the instrument cluster.

Personalization is also coming to CarPlay by giving users the option to choose different gauge cluster designs and added support for widgets. This means an at-a-glance information panel from Weather and Music, right on the car dashboard.

These new CarPlay features will be supported in Ford, Jaguar, Nissan, Volvo, Land Rover, and more.

iOS 16 availability

The developer beta for iOS 16 is out now, and we show you how to download it if you have a developer account. The public beta will be out sometime next month, and the general release window for iOS 16 is Fall 2022.

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.

  • "An interesting statistic is that 79% of U.S. buyers won't buy a car without CarPlay." Going to need a citation on this. I have literally never heard of anyone I know buying or not buying a car based on CarPlay. I believe this may be the case for some, but 4 out of 5? Highly doubt this stat.
  • No word about the still pending CSAM spyware privacy invasion?
  • This is just a request for someone at iMore to do a separate article on the new lock-screen thingie. It might have been the star of the show yesterday but there isn't an article here that tells about it in any detail (a how-to) and the info from other sites is confusing. AppleInsider for example says that you have to use one of Apple's new wallpapers for the new lock screens to work? Which implies that if I want the new widgets I have to ditch my current wallpaper? Please write something to clear this up.