Apple has officially previewed iOS 16—the latest iOS version for its current and upcoming iPhones this year—at the WWDC 2022. iOS 16 focuses primarily on personalization and offers new ways to help you share and communicate on your iPhone.

ios 16 features

Among these personalization options, the most noticeable and significant change in iOS 16 is the new and improved Lock Screen, which looks prettier and more interactive and functional than ever. Similarly, as part of this change, Notification Center is another aspect of iOS 16 that gets a major overhaul for the first time since iOS 12. It brings a completely redesigned experience for users and focuses on offering them a clear view of their personalized Lock Screen.

Talking about other changes, iOS 16 also comes with an iCloud Shared Photo Library for a seamless photo-sharing experience, a bunch of updates to the Messages app, and some really useful enhancements to Live Text and Visual Look Up, among others.

Here’s a breakdown of everything new in iOS 16, including all the new features and changes you can expect from it when it arrives on your iPhone later this fall.

1. Customizable Lock Screen

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IMAGE: Apple

iOS 16 is changing the way your iPhone’s Lock Screen appears and behaves. It’s making it more personal by offering you the ability to customize it to your preference. According to Apple, the Lock Screen uses a new multilayered effect, which puts the subjects of photos in a way that creates a sense of depth and gives a distinct visual appeal to what used to be a rather boring Lock Screen.

Apple has also upgraded the background gallery in iOS 16 with a wide range of background options—including gradient-inspired ones—in iOS 16, along with new unlock animations, which breathe a new life into the Lock Screen. And it’s also giving you the option to change the look of the date and time with various kinds of text styles and color options.

2. Lock Screen Widgets

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IMAGE: Apple

Apple introduced Home Screen widgets on the iPhone for the first time in iOS 14. Back then, widgets were limited to a handful of options and offered little functionality. However, after about two years, Apple has taken user requests into consideration and introduced new and improved widgets in iOS 16.

So now, you can place the widgets right on your iPhone’s Lock Screen and have quick access to critical information and other useful actions. Apple says these widgets on iOS 16 are inspired by Apple Watch complications and give you access to all kinds of information, such as the weather, battery levels, alarms, Activity ring progress, upcoming calendar events, and much more, at a glance. Thus, making the Lock Screen more useful.

3. Live Activities

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IMAGE: Apple

Live Activities is another significant iOS 16 feature that contributes to the new and improved Lock Screen. It appears as a separate section towards the bottom of the screen and helps you stay on top of things as they happen in real-time.

For instance, if you follow sports, Live Activities can keep you up to date with the scores for your favorite teams. Or, if you’ve ordered a ride or food, this is where you can see live updates for the same. Similarly, the music player widget or workout widget are among other activities that can take advantage of the Live Activities feature.

4. Improved Focus

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IMAGE: Apple

Focus is an iPhone feature lets you block all notifications while excluding those from certain apps or people. It was introduced in iOS 15, and now the latest iOS release gives you the ability to tie Focus modes to Lock Screen wallpapers and widgets. So now, you can simply switch to a new wallpaper to switch to that Focus mode.

In addition, Apple is also introducing Focus filters inside Focus, which ensures apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, Safari, etc., display only the content that’s relevant to that particular Focus and, in turn, minimize distractions.

5. Advanced Messages Features

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IMAGE: Apple

Apple is implementing a bunch of new and highly-requested features to the Messages app in iOS 16. Among these features are the ability to edit sent messages, recall sent messages, recover recently deleted messages, and mark conversations as unread.

So, if you’ve ever wished you could edit or unsend a message, you can now do so in the Messages app on your iPhone. Do note that you can edit or unsend messages up to 15 minutes after they are sent and that the recipient also needs to be on iOS 16 for these features to work.

It will also be easier for parents to set restrictions on content that are appropriate for the age of their child, and parents or guardians will be able to respond to Screen Time requests through Messages.

6. Improved and Powerful Mail App

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IMAGE: Apple

Much like Messages, Apple is also introducing several much-needed features to its Mail app. Of these features, being able to schedule emails is the one that’s been highly requested and can come in handy when you want to send an email at a specific time later.

Similarly, the Mail app also allows you to cancel sending an email before it reaches the recipient’s inbox. Search is another aspect of Mail that receives an update in iOS 16, and it now provides more relevant and accurate results for your searches.

7. Live Text and Visual Look Up Improvements

ios 16 live text and visual look up changes
IMAGE: Apple

Live Text and Visual Look Up are two iOS 15 features that let you interact with photos and perform a range of operations on them. While Live Text allows you to select text in images and translate it to another language, open a website, make a call, or simply copy and share it, Visual Look Up helps you identify information about objects in them.

With iOS 16, Apple is extending one of these features—Live Text—to videos too. So now, you can pause a video on any frame and interact with text, just like you’d do with images. Not just that, but Live Text can now also help you convert currency.

Visual Look Up, on the other hand, still works in photos. However, it gets a new feature update that lets you lift the subject in an image from the background and place it on another app, like Messages—kind of like drag and drop.

8. Improved CarPlay Experience

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IMAGE: Apple

CarPlay is an iOS feature that makes it easy and safe to interact with your iPhone while you’re in your car. Although it’s been around for a while and worked fine, for the most part, it was due for an update for many years now and lacked many valuable features when compared to Android Auto.

With iOS 16, Apple is finally updating CarPlay. Now, CarPlay can display content on multiple screens in a vehicle to offer a more unified experience. Not just that, it also integrates with the car to help you control its radio or change the climate control options seamlessly.

Besides these changes, CarPlay on iOS 16 will also offer a dedicated instrument cluster on supported vehicles to display information like speed, fuel, temperatures, and more. Apple says users will be able to choose from different cluster designs and, over time, with added support for widgets, they can even get at-a-glance information for things like weather or music right on their car’s dashboard.

Related: Best CarPlay Apps for iPhone

9. Versatile Wallet

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IMAGE: Apple

iPhones have had the Apple Wallet app for a while now, and the past couple of years have seen some new and valuable changes being introduced to it. This continues with the latest iOS release as well, as Apple is making the Wallet app more useful than before by rolling out the Wallet ID verification to users in certain US states, which would allow them to use their IDs stored in the Wallet app for age or identity verification.

Since many users’ personal data is involved, Apple says Wallet will provide only the necessary information for the transaction. The user can review and consent to share it via Touch ID or Face ID to protect their data and offer them a secure experience.

Besides, Apple is also offering users the ability to share their home, office, and car keys in Wallet through supported apps, like Messages, Mail, etc.

10. Other Notable Changes in iOS 16

We’ve listed most of the significant changes coming to iOS 16 later this fall in this list. However, there are several minor changes/updates to iOS 16, in addition to these changes, which Apple shared during the announcement.

Here’s a list of all such features/changes:

1. Redesigned Game Center Dashboard

iOS 16 features a redesigned dashboard in Game Center that shows the activity and accomplishments of your friends across different games all in one place, so you can check on their progress or compete with them right away.

2. Personalized Spatial Audio

It’s a brand new feature in iOS 16 that uses the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone to scan the geometry of your ears and the area around you to offer a personalized listening experience, tuned especially to you.

3. Safety Check

Apple has been consistently rolling out new privacy features on its software to protect user data. With iOS 16, too, it’s releasing one. It’s called Safety Check, and it helps users who are at the risk of domestic or partner violence by assisting them in revoking access to everything they have shared with their partner, so they can no longer access or misuse it.

4. Fitness app

Fitness is an all-new app available to all iPhone users who don’t own an Apple Watch but wish to track their workout/exercises to meet their fitness goals. It relies on the iPhone’s motion sensors, which help it track steps, distance, flights climbed, etc., along with workouts from third-party fitness apps, all of which combined together return an estimation of total calories burned during an active session and contribute towards your daily goal.

5. Improved Dictation

Although the dictation feature has existed on the iPhone for a while, it didn’t work in tandem with touch typing, so you could either use your voice or touch at a time. This is changing starting with iOS 16, as Apple is now making it possible to input text using both voice and touch simultaneously.

6. Passkeys

Passkey is a new authentication mechanism for logging into apps and websites on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It replaces passwords across all your Apple devices with your biometrics (Touch ID or Face ID), so all you got to do to sign in to an app/service is authenticate yourself using Face ID or Touch ID—whatever’s available on your iPhone.

7. Apple TV Widget and Apple News

The Apple TV widget will show live scores and play-by-plays of sports games via Live Activity support on the widget. Within Apple News, users will be able to follow specific teams and leagues to get their most important sports updates seamlessly integrated into their news feeds.

8. Apple Pay

Apple also announced support for a system called Apple Pay Later which allows users to make four payments over six weeks with no interest or fees. This can be used anywhere that Apple Pay is supported, either online or in-app, and uses the MasterCard network.

9. Apple Maps

Apple now offers a way to add multiple stops on Apple Maps — up to 15 stops can now be added in advance. Users who rely on public transport will also see transit updates, including the cost of traveling and transit card support in Apple Wallet. Support for Look Around can also be leveraged with third-party apps, allowing users to see Street View-like views of specific areas inside of other apps.

Experience iOS 16 on Your iPhone

iOS 16 is, by large, an amalgamation of a bunch of visual improvements coupled with some useful and much-needed features of all time. This fall, it will appear first on the upcoming iPhones and later arrive as an update for many existing iPhone models. Check out our iOS 16 compatibility list to know if your device is compatible with iOS 16.

If this list gets you excited and intrigued about all the new features and changes in iOS 16, you can get your hands on the latest iOS version by downloading iOS 16 Beta 1 on your iPhone, which is out already with the public beta rolling out soon.

We recommend you not to do this on your main device. However, if you still wish to go that route, be sure to backup your iPhone before installing a Beta software, as it’s usually ridden with bugs, which can bog down your device at times or render it unusable.

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