iOS 16 features – here is everything you should know

Apple announced iOS 16 at WWDC 2022 with tons of new features. Apple demoed many of the features during the event, however, there are many features that were later posted on Apple’s website, while others were found after we installed the developer beta. Here is a detailed round-up of all these features.

iOS 16

iOS 16 features

Live Text

  • Live Text functionality has now been enhanced and supports quick actions like currency conversion, unit conversion, text translation, and so on. Just point your camera to a price tag, and tap on the button on the bottom right.
  • You can use Live Text by pausing videos, and copying text, as well as translating it, or use lookup. 
  • Live Text now supports Japanese, Korean, and Ukrainian languages.

Photos

  • You can copy and paste subjects from photos by long pressing on them. iOS 16 smartly crops the subject, sometimes better than even manual Photoshop effort.
  • You can pause a video and long press on it to copy the subject and paste it into any other app. iOS 16 uses machine learning to clearly crop the subject even from video frames.
  • Photos app shows you duplicates and lets you merge them with just a tap. The captions, keywords, and favorites are merged into one photo, and the duplicates are removed.
  • You can use Touch ID or Face ID to lock Hidden and Recently Deleted albums.
  • You can use search in Photos app to search for text in your photo library. Previously, you had to use Spotlight search for this feature.
  • A new menu is now available for Photos and Videos. This allows for adjusting date and time, location, duplication, and other such features right from the menu. These options were previously available in the Share menu.
  • You can now sort people alphabetically.
  • You can undo and redo multiple edit steps in Photos.
  • You can copy and paste edits from one photo to another.
  • Featured content can be disabled in Photos app and widget.
  • New memory types include This Day in History and children playing.

Safari

  • You can now share Tab Groups with friends.
  • Tab Groups can now have dedicated start pages, which can have their own customized background images and favorites.
  • You can pin tabs in Tab Groups.
  • You can now pin tabs in Safari on iPhone.
  • Website settings now sync across Apple devices using iCloud. This includes settings like page zoom and automatic Reader view. This feature can also be disabled in Safari settings.
  • You can copy subjects from photos in Safari, similar to how it can be done in Photos app. The subjects are cropped using machine learning.
  • Translating a webpage now also translates the text in the images on that web page.
  • Safari now gives password suggestions based on site-specific requirements.
  • There is a new UI for auto-filling credit card details. The autofill bar shows the card logo, such as VISA and Apple Card.
  • You can download Safari extensions from other devices.

Camera (iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro only)

  • Portrait mode now lets you blur objects in the foreground for improved depth of field effect.
  • The depth of field effects in Cinematic mode video capture is now more accurate for hair edges and glasses.

Health

  • Medications lists can be created in Health app, alongside custom visuals and reminders.
  • Users can log when they have taken medications to keep track, and also learn more about them.
  • Health app will inform when certain medications together can have less effectiveness or any side effects.
  • Medications can be added to the Health app using iPhone camera.
  • Health app now supports adding Vision prescriptions.
  • Users can now securely share health data with loved ones.
  • Improved sleep data is now visualized in a better way. 

Books

  • Books app now has a redesigned interface, which can be highly customized. However, the book flip animation is missing.
  • A new audiobook player is available. This mini-player features updated controls and continues to work while you browse the Books app.

Spotlight Search

  • Spotlight search now appears from the bottom of the screen. You can tap on the spotlight search button to open it. This button can be disabled from Settings.
  • Recent searches show in Spotlight. These search keywords can also be hidden by swiping right and tapping the hide button.

Siri

  • You can ask Siri “Hey Siri, what can I do here?” to ask what you can do in specific apps.
  • You can add emoji in text messages using Siri.
  • You can enable a Setting to skip confirmation when sending text messages.
  • Siri shortcuts can now be used as soon as apps are downloaded, without any setup required.
  • You can use “Hey Siri” to hangup phone and FaceTime calls using iPhone, AirPods, or Beats headphones. This works on iPhone 11 and later devices.
  • Siri now processes more commands offline without using the Internet. This includes HomeKit, Voicemail and other commands.
  • Siri can now restart your iPhone.
  • Siri can now announce notifications using iPhone speakers.

Dictation

  • A new Dictation is now available, which shows the keyboard even when you’re using voice to text. During Dictation, you can use keyboard to use QuickType suggestions, and make fixes and changes.
  • Dictation can automatically add punctuation.
  • You can use Dictation to add emoji to text.
  • Dictation icon is now available in the Messages text field. It has replaced the voice message recording icon which is now available in apps section.

Maps

  • Maps now supports multi-stop routing. You can add multiple routes on your Mac and sync it to your iPhone
  • Transit cards can now be added to the Wallet app along with information on balance and the ability to replenish the card.
  • Transit fares are also shown in Maps.
  • Yelp photos can now be viewed in Maps.

Apple Pay and Wallet

  • Apple Pay Later is a new Buy Now Pay Later service coming from Apple. It will allow users to divide Apple Pay purchases in the United States into four payments over six weeks. The payment breakdown will be available in the Wallet app.
  • Keys in Wallet can now be shared using Messages, Mail, and other apps. Users can also set permissions and recipients from the Wallet app.
  • ID cards support is coming to Wallet app. This will allow users to use the ID cards to fill in the information in third party apps such as identity and age verification.
  • You can track order deliveries from within the Wallet app.

Fitness

  • Fitness app now works on all iPhones without an Apple Watch. The app uses iPhone sensors to track steps, distance and workouts.

Lock Screen

  • Lock screens now support dynamic and static backgrounds including astronomy, weather, emojis, colors and more.
  • You can add your own images to Lock Screen and the depth effect will work with even non-Portrait images. The Lock Screen uses machine learning to show the time widget behind the subject. These images also support photo styles including color filters, text styles and tinting.
  • You can also shuffle between multiple photos on your lock screen.
  • The time widget font style and color can be changed.
  • You can create multiple lock screens and tap and hold to switch between them.
  • You can use Focus mode to set lock screens to change based on location.
  • Lock screen can show live notifications from third-party apps. This feature will work once third-party apps add support.
  • Third-party app developers can also create Lock Screen widgets.
  • Notifications now appear from the bottom of the Lock Screen. Swiping down on the Lock Screen hides the notifications and shows a count at the bottom.
  • Notification types can be changed between Count, Stack, and List.
  • New Face ID icon and animation are available on Lock Screen.
  • Sports features in iOS 16: Live Activities and new Apple News Sports section 
  • You can add a door lock widget from the Home app to the lock screen, and use it without opening an app.
  • Music player has a new design for Lock Screen and will support full screen album art.

Focus

  • Focus now suggests Lock Screens in the gallery so you can have a work-focused lock screen or a fitness-focused one.
  • iOS 16 suggest home screen pages with apps and widgets that are relevant to the Focus that you set up.
  • You can set up different filters in Safari, Calendar, Mail, and Messages so that only content relevant to your Focus appears.
  • You can set up an allow and silence list. Previously, you could only set up block lists.
  • You can set a schedule for Focus to start and end.
  • The overall setup for Focus has been made much easier.
  • You can also set Apple Watch faces to change with Focus.
  • You can disable time on the lock screen for sleep Focus.

iCloud Shared Photo Library

  • You can create a shared iCloud photo library with five people.
  • Smart rules can be set up so that photos that feature certain people or based on certain dates will be shared in the library.
  • Smart suggestions help you share photos easily. You can enable automatic sharing so that when you capture photos in close proximity to the people you are already sharing the library with, the photos will automatically be shared.
  • Everyone that has access to the library can add, edit, delete, or edit photos.
  • Shared photos show for all users in Memories, Featured Photos and widgets.

Files

  • A new interface for saving files in Files app makes it much easier to work with.
  • Files app can now download complete folders from the long-press menu.
  • Files app can now remove local downloads without deleting files.
  • Live Text and subject copying from images also work in Files app.

Messages

  • You can now edit messages for up to 15 minutes after sending them.
  • You can undo any sent messages for up to 15 minutes after sending them.
  • You can mark messages as unread.
  • Recently deleted messages an be recovered for up to 30 days.
  • You can start SharePlay using Messages app, without using FaceTime.
  • Messages app now supports collaboration invites with Apple’s own apps or third-party apps. These messages will be linked to the collaborated document. Any updates done to the shared document will be shared in the top of the Messages thread.
  • You can swipe on a voice message to scrub through it.
  • Messages app has a new unread messages section.

Mail

  • Mail app now has improved and smarter search that can correct typos.
  • You can get smart search suggestions.
  • Mail app can now notify you of any missing recipients or attachments.
  • You can undo sent email.
  • Emails can now be scheduled.
  • You can move emails to the top of your inbox for follow-up.
  • Reminders can be set for emails for later responses.
  • Rich links can be added to emails which show details on the links at a glance.
  • Apple adds BIMI standard support in Mail app on iOS 16 and macOS Ventura to prevent mail spoofing

Passkeys

  • Passkeys support is now available and replaces passwords as long as a website supports them. Services like Visa Click to Pay already support this feature.
  • Once a Passkey has been added, it is synced to other Apple devices using end-to-end encryption.
  • Users can sign in using on non-Apple devices by scanning QR codes using iPhone and authenticating by Face ID or Touch ID. 

Weather

  • Weather app now features severe notifications alerts
  • App now shows detailed weather data when you tap any module in the Weather app.

Music

  • Music app lets you, favorite artists.
  • You can now sort playlists songs by title, album, artist, and release date.

Home

  • Home app has an updated design which allows better organization of smart home accessories.
  • Home app is now faster and more reliable than before.
  • New categories for accessories are now supported including, Light, Climate, Security, Speakers and TV.
  • A new camera view shows up to four cameras in the Home app.
  • Tile design has been updated and features newer icons. 
  • Home app now shows Wi-Fi signal strength for HomePods.
  • Matter support is coming later this year.
  • New Home widgets are available for the Lock Screen.
  • iPad can be used as home hub in iPadOS 16 but with certain limitations

Family Sharing

  • Child account setup is now improved with easy-to-use suggestions.
  • Device setup for kids is now supported with parental controls already in place.
  • Screen Time requests now show in Messages for easy approval.
  • A new Family Checklist provides tips and suggestions for updating a child’s account settings.

Notes

  • Control Center now has a quick note icon.
  • Smart folders make it easy to organize notes based on filters like date created, date modified, pinned notes, quick notes, etc.
  • Notes can be locked using iPhone passcode.
  • Notes can be grouped by date.

Settings

  • Bluetooth devices can now be sorted.
  • AirPods settings now appear in their own section in Settings.
  • You can now see Wi-Fi passwords in Settings.
  • You can share custom email domain with people outside Family Sharing, purchase a new domain or manage other settings from iCloud Mail Settings.
  • You can change the measurement system, the first day of the week, and date format without changing your region.
  • You can opt to use third-party code generators in Settings like Microsoft’s or Google’s.
  • You can enable haptics for keyboard.
  • You can enable or disable haptics in Ring Mode or Silent Mode.
  • iCloud backup management is now updated.
  • A new developer mode needs to be enabled before installing TestFlight apps.
  • Support for backup over LTE is now included.
  • Tapping on Settings > General > About > iOS version now shows details on the iOS update.

Miscellaneous

  • Face ID now works in landscape mode for iPhone 12 and newer devices.
  • CarPlay features new driving tasks and fueling apps.
  • Video player has a new layout. You can swipe on the player to skip forward or backward.
  • Low battery warning message now shows the exact battery level.
  • The Calendar app now lets you change event details (calendar and alert settings) without opening edit mode.
  • You can copy and paste calendar events.
  • Printing has a new layout.
  • iOS 16 now asks for permission when apps want to access clipboard.
  • iPhone now tells you when charging is put on hold due to warm temperature.
  • Contacts widget now informs of missed calls.
  • Shortcuts notifications are much faster now.
  • iMessage and FaceTime login alerts on other devices now show as notifications instead of alerts.
  • When your phone in silent mode, video playback in Photos is also muted.
  • You can rename screenshots.
  • A new popup shows when apps crash.
  • You can disable the ability to end calls with side button.
  • Nintendo Switch joy-cons and Pro controllers are now supported by iOS 16.
  • Contacts app shows duplicates and allows merging them.
  • Chromecast support could be coming to iOS 16 thanks to new DeviceDiscoveryExtension API.
  • You can transfer eSIM using another device.
  • System-wide closed-captioning is now available.
  • When asking Siri for which song is playing, Shazam shows a new design.
  • Control Center now shows which app recently accessed privacy-related features like location, camera, microphone etc.
  • Apple Watch Mirroring allows users to control their watch remotely using their iPhone. Requires watchOS 9 to be installed.
  • Stocks app features new watchlists.
  • New Walkie Talkie API will allow developers to create apps that allow instant voice communication.
  • Personalized Spatial Audio profiles can be created using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera.
  • Safety Check for victims of DV or IPV allows users to quickly reset all access they have given to others for their personal safety; the emergency reset allows them to easily sign out of their iCloud account across devices, limit messaging on their device, and reset privacy permission
  • New Lockdown Mode to protect users from spyware
  • iOS 16 lets you delete more stock apps: Camera, Clock, Find My and Fitness
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