The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2022 keynote was held in Cupertino, California, US earlier today, at which Apple officially unveiled plenty of exciting new offerings like the iOS 16, its next-generation operating system for all compatible iPhone models.
According to Apple, the iOS 16 brings the “biggest update ever to the Lock Screen,” besides an array of other updates.
The features introduced in iOS 16 are designed to improve sharing, communication and the overall experience of using an iPhone.
Among the most notable introductions is the iCloud Shared Photo Library, through which users can share a collection of photos with family. There are also key updates to Messages, Mail, Live Text and Visual Look Up.
During the conference, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said, “iOS 16 is a big release with updates that will change the way you experience the iPhone.”
The software update to iOS 16 will be available for iPhone 8 and newer devices later in 2022. A public beta will be available in July, before which developer previews will be provided.
Other than iOS 16, Apple also announced the new Apple M2 chip, all-new MacBook Air with a new M2 chip, a macOS Ventura update, and the watchOS 9.
Here are the key features of Apple iOS 16
Widgets and photo impressions on Lock Screen
One of the biggest update this year is the Lock Screen; thanks to iOS 16, you’ll get to choose from an array of unique effects that make pictures and widgets more beautiful and accessible.
Photos on the Lock Screen can be set in front of the clock, giving an impression of depth, and the look of the date and time can be changed too. You’ll get several different styles here, including a double-lined one and in an array of colours.
Widgets, such as weather notifications, calendar events, time zones and ring progress can be added to the Lock Screen as well. Apple says that new widgets are inspired by the Apple Watch complications, making it easier for users to get the necessary information they seek.
Lock Screen styles
The Apple iOS 16 update also brings a range of curated galleries from Apple collections for the Lock Screen. The collections help celebrate important cultural moments such as Pride and Unity.
There is also an Astronomy wallpaper and a Weather wallpaper that show the solar system and live weather conditions respectively throughout the day. Users can customise their own Lock Screen accordingly; you’ll be able to swipe to switch between Lock Screens too.
A significant update is how notifications appear. Instead of the top of the screen, notifications emerge from the bottom with this new iOS update. This not only helps users get an uninterrupted view of their Lock Screen but also makes it easy to handle them with one hand.
Apple iOS 16 also brings Live Activities, which features events such as matches, ride-share, or incoming food delivery in real time on the Lock Screen.
More accuracy in Focus
The Focus mode was introduced in iOS 15 and it’ll get an upgraded look in iOS 16.
Focus can now be connected to the Lock Screen, allowing users to set both the Lock Screen and the widgets to a particular focus of their ease. Merely swiping the Lock Screen can bring the Focus mode up.
Focus mode cuts out the clutter, making apps display only the content relevant to the user’s needs. The company says that functions of the Focus will be extended to third-party apps.
Scheduling, one of the most essential features for anyone at work, has been added to the Mail app. The feature already exists on Apple’s direct competitors, Gmail and Outlook. So, it comes as a long-overdue update.
The Apple iOS 16 allows users to not only schedule emails but also cancel the delivery of the message before it reaches the intended recipient.
Additionally, like Gmail and Outlook, the iOS 16 suggests if users have missed attachments and follow-ups on an email, in case of no response.
Searching through emails has been streamlined to help recent emails, contacts, documents and links appear as the search progresses.
Live Text and Visual Look Up
Text images across iOS can now be recognised on videos in the Apple iOS 16, with an improved Live Text feature using on-device intelligence. Videos can be paused and text can be copied. The feature also lets users convert currency using the camera.
The Visual Look Up feature has been updated with the option of lifting a picture from any image and using it on apps such as Messages. Users will have to tap and hold the image subject to use the feature.
Earlier, Visual Look Up could identify only plants and pets. It has been updated in iOS 16 to identify insects, statues and birds, too.
Shared photo library on Apple iCloud
Apple iOS 16 lets up to six users work together on the iCloud Shared Photo Library, a separate iCloud library. The users can share their personal photos, existing ones or those in a specific date range among themselves.
A setting in the Camera app can enable automatic sending of photos to the shared library. Each of the six users of the library has full control over it, including the ability to add, delete, edit or mark pictures or videos as ‘favourite’.
The iOS 16 also gives suggestions on which type of photo or video to share in the library.
Next-generation CarPlay introduced
CarPlay is one of the finest smartphone integration systems, which lets drivers use certain iPhone apps through the car’s dashboard or infotainment system.
Apple said that CarPlay has “fundamentally changed the way people interact with their vehicles.” The latest upgrade allows CarPlay to provide information on multiple screens within the vehicle.
The integration system can collect the car’s data to provide information on fuel, temperature, speed and other indicators. The new system lets users customise their iPhone experience within the car with Weather and Music features on the vehicle’s dashboard.
Apple said that detailed info about the next generation CarPlay will be shared in the future.
Apple Pay Later added to Wallet
The new feature, available for users in the US, allows splitting of a payment due into four equal parts over six weeks. There is no interest and no fees involved, says Apple.
Apple Pay Later seamlessly integrates with Wallet and can be used when making a payment via Wallet or the Apple Pay system. It is available wherever Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app via the Mastercard network. Users can also receive tracking information and receipts in the Wallet for all their Apple Pay purchases.
Another new Apple iOS 16 feature added to the Wallet is expanded support for Keys and IDs. Secure sharing of home, hotel, office and car keys in Wallet through Apple’s apps, such as Messages and Mail, can be done. Wallet ID can be shared with apps needing age or identity verification. However, Apple says that only the “necessary information” will be shared with the app, and users will have the right to consent.
Multistop routing in Apple Maps
Planning of up to 15 stops can now be done in advance with route syncing, automatically transferred from Mac to iPhone, through the new multistop routing feature in Apple Maps.
Additionally, Maps will show transit updates for easy calculation of travel costs in public transport and maintain up-to-date transit cards with needed balance within the Maps.
The iOS 16 brings Apple Maps to 11 more countries later in 2022, including France, Israel, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.
Move in Fitness app and Medications in Health
The Apple iPhone iOS 16 helps users achieve fitness goals through the Move feature. A daily goal can be set up on Move, which can track everything from steps to workouts from third-party apps and integrate the same within the Move app. The data can be converted into estimated calories, contributing to the daily Move goal. The Move ring can also be shared with others.
On the other hand, Apple added Medications to its Health app. It helps users manage a medication list and schedules. Users in the US will be able to also collect necessary information about medications by simply taking a photo of them through the iPhone camera. They will also be alerted if the medication contains substances that might be harmful to them. The Health app also lets users share health data with family and make a PDF of health records.
My Sports in Apple News
Scores, schedules and news about favourite teams or leagues — all of these will be available on the new My Sports section of Apple News. According to Apple, users will also be able to watch highlights in the News app itself. The feature will currently be available for users in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.
The company says that access to premium sports coverage will be provided to Apple News+ subscribers.
Expanded Safety Check
One of the most important Apple iOS 16 features concerns the safety of individuals from domestic violence. The Safety Check is a new privacy tool, letting users revoke access to whosoever they have granted it. An emergency reset lets users sign out of iCloud immediately and other devices, too. It resets privacy permissions and limits messaging to the users holding the device in their hands. Safety Check also manages the people and apps that have been granted access.
Share Tab Groups and passkeys in Safari
Two features that come with Safari in the Apple iOS 16 are Tab Groups and passkeys, the latter of which is revolutionary.
Tab Groups let users share a collection of websites with friends and family. Tabs can be added to the collection seamlessly and viewed by all.
Passkeys are basically designed to replace the password. It allows users to use biometric verification as a means of logging into their devices using Touch ID or Face ID. The iCloud Keychain helps sync encrypted passkeys across all Apple devices — iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Passkeys can also be used to sign into apps or websites on non-Apple devices using an iPhone.
Edit or recall messages
Messages sent recently can be edited or recalled by users. A unique feature is the ability to recover recently deleted messages. Additionally, like mails, users can mark messages as unread.
Apple also said that SharePlay is to be added to the Messages app soon. This would mean easy syncing of movies, songs and shared playback controls while chatting.
(Main and Featured image credit: Apple)