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Revamped iOS 16 iMessage reportedly getting new 'social network-like functionality'

iMessages on iPhone
iMessages on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is rumored to be making changes to iMessage as part of iOS 16.
  • New social network-like features are thought to be on the horizon.

Apple's upcoming iOS 16 will reportedly get a revamped iMessage service and app that will offer new social network-like features, although it isn't clear what those features will actually be.

Writing in the weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that he would expect Apple to give iMessage some attention when iOS 16 is announced during next week's WWDC22 opening keynote. That will take place on June 6, with Gurman believing that Apple will go the social route with its popular instant messaging protocol, app, and service.

In Messages, I'd expect more social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages.

Unfortunately, that's as far as Gurman went when discussing the improvements.

The same report also noted that tvOS 16 will gain new smart home capabilities, while the Mac will also benefit from a refreshed Settings app to make it behave more like the one already offered on iPhones and iPads.

In Messages, I'd expect more social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages. The Apple TV operating system, tvOS, will get more smart-home tie-ins, while the Mac will get some redesigned apps and a much-needed overhaul to System Preferences to make them more in line with Settings on iOS. That inlcudes organizing settings by app.

Other improvements from iOS 16 are thought to include changes to the lock screen as well as groundwork being laid for an always-on feature that will be specific to iPhone 14 Pro models.

Apple will announce all of its new software updates during the June 6 WWDC opening keynote, while new betas of the software will likely be made available to developers on the same day. The full releases, made available to everyone, aren't expected to take place until around September time — the same time we also expect the iPhone 14 lineup to be announced.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

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.