It’s that time of the year again. At WWDC 2022, Apple showed up iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, the next versions of the operating systems running on its iPhones and iPads. This update builds on many of the new features Apple introduced in iOS 15, such as SharePlay and Focus, and adds a greater degree of customization.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Is your iPhone or iPad compatible?
With iOS 16, Apple is ending software support for the following devices: iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE 2016, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. Basically, if you have an iPhone 8 (2017) or later (including second- and third-generation iPhone SE), you will be able to download and run iOS 16 when it comes out this fall. However, this does not mean that all features of the update will be available on your iPhone, as some features like Live Text only work with iPhones powered by an A12 Bionic chip or later.
It’s a little more complicated for iPads as they do not have sensible naming conventions. Here are the generations that will receive the iPadOS 16 this fall. You can find out which model you have follow the instructions here.
- iPad: 5th generation and up
- iPad Mini: 4th generation and up
- iPad Air: 2nd generation and up
- 9.7 inches and 10.5 inches iPad Pro
- 11-inch iPad Pro: First generation and up
- 12.9 inch iPad Pro: First generation and up
What’s new in iOS 16?
Here, we’ve highlighted the best new features coming in iOS 16. We’ll be adding more on an ongoing basis until Apple releases the final version this fall.
Lock screen overhaul
Apple completely redesigns the lock screen in iOS 16. Notifications now appear at the bottom of the screen so as not to mess with your beautiful lock screen. The clock widget cuts behind the subject of your image and gives a cool depth effect, and you can customize its design, from font to color – just press and hold the lock screen to go into edit mode.
You can add more widgets under the clock, such as weather, activity rings, and calendar. At the very bottom where the notifications live, you can also pin down certain types of live activities. For example, if you’re watching an NBA game, you can see the results via a pinned notification at the bottom. You can also attach things such as Uber tours, workout activities, and now player controls that can be extended to the full lock screen now to display album art.
There’s a new wallpaper gallery with tons of designs to choose from, including a live weather lock screen that mimics real-time weather conditions, or suggestions using images from your very own camera roll. Apple will let you set up multiple lock screens, and it’s easy to cycle through them, just as you can easily change the dial with a swipe on an Apple Watch.
More focus improvements
Your lock screen can also be linked to a focus, which means you can set one lock screen to your work focus and another – with a more personal photo – to your personal focus. If you swipe to the appropriate lock screen, you simply trigger that focus. iOS 16 also adds focus filters in apps like Safari, Calendar, Mail and Messages. This means that when you open Safari with your work focus turned on, you will only see work-related tabs. The same goes for the other apps that support these filters, and Apple says developers can take advantage of an API to add support.
Messages, but can be edited
Twitter still won’t let you edit tweets, but Apple lets you edit messages in the Messages app after you send them. You can even “Undo Send” to recall messages. Also new is the ability to mark any thread as unread, so you can check messages back at a later time. Apple is also adding SharePlay support to the Messaging app. Now you do not have to be a friend of FaceTime just to watch a synced movie together – you can launch the action in the Messaging app and chat with synced video and shared playback controls.
If you’re a fan of dictating your messages instead of writing (fewer “ducks,” am I right?), Then you’ll be happy to see the improvements in dictation. Now the keyboard stays open during dictation, so you can easily move between voice and touch. You can tap text to select it and replace it with your voice and even send emoji without taking forever to find one.
Pay it later with Apple Pay
Services that let you buy now but pay later are received some setbacks from consumer analysts, but Apple is moving forward with its own take called Apple Pay Later. Soon you will be able to share the cost of an Apple Pay purchase over four equal payments spread over six weeks with no interest and no fees. You have the option of Apple Pay Later when you check out with Apple Pay, and Apple says it is available wherever Apple Pay is accepted online or in the app.
You will also be able to see order tracking directly in Apple Pay, although this is only available at participating retailers. And if you’re a small business owner, you’ll be able to accept Apple Pay payments through an iPhone instead of having to use a separate terminal.