During the opening keynote of WWDC22, Apple has shown a preview of its iOS 16 which is expected to roll out later this year. The latest mobile operating system brings more customisation and enhanced sharing capabilities to the iPhone.
New customisable Lock screen
The biggest change to iOS 16 is a new customisable lockscreen which is the first thing most users will see on their iPhone. Besides changing the lockscreen wallpaper, Apple now offers a variety of customable layouts which is similar to the Apple Watch watchface. Despite most newer iPhone models are using OLED screens, there’s still no always-on display feature at the moment.
The lockscreen now lets you choose the styles, font and colour, and it even adds a depth effect to photos of people for that magazine cover look. The new lockscreen also allows you to add widgets such as weather, activity rings, calendar and more. For a fresh new look all the time, you can enable photo shuffle to display a random photo from your gallery.
Having all notifications displayed on the entire screen can be annoying and Apple has redesigned it by having notifications roll up from the bottom with iOS 16. This will not only reduce clutter but also provide users a clear view of their personalised lock screen. The notification area can be used to display live activities such as sports updates, current music or workout progress.
Edit and Undo sent iMessages
If you’ve accidentally sent a text or a typo via iMessage, iOS 16 will allow you to Undo Send or even edit the message. However, this only works for up to 15 minutes after the message is sent. Obviously, this feature will only work if the recipient is using iMessage and you won’t be able to retract it if the message was sent to non-Apple devices using traditional SMS.
Improved typing while using your voice
Apple has offered dictation for quite a while now which allows you to type with your voice. With iOS 16, they are offering a more seamless experience where you can switch between voice and touch typing without changing your keyboard. To replace a word by voice, you can select the text area and replace it by simply speak the new text. The dictation feature also has been improved to support automatic punctuation and emoji dictation.
Live Text now works with videos
Live text which uses Apple’s Neural Engine has been useful for identifying text and objects in photos. With iOS 16, they are finally bringing the live text feature to videos. This is useful for situations where you need to copy sample codes from a video. Just pause the video and interact the text like you do in Photos.
Apple has also added more quick actions to Live Text. When travelling, you can use live text to convert the currency of price tags of goods, or translate a menu or sign in your own language.
On iOS 15, Apple introduced visual look up which provides rich information about the subject in your images. This allows you to learn more about popular landmarks, art, plants, animals or flowers, but it only works in selected regions including the US. With iOS 16, the feature is now extended to allow you to copy out subjects from the photo.
When you touch and hold a subject in the image, you can lift it off a background and place it in other apps such as iMessage. This feature is made possible with machine learning model
In-app verification for Apple Wallet
In certain countries or regions, Apple Wallet can be used to store your important IDs including your driver’s licence. For verification process, Apple wants to make ID verification seamless with In-app ID verification. This would allow apps to authenticate your details without actually obtaining your actual ID number. For example, if an app wants to verify that you’re at least 21 years of age, you can verify it with a simple Face ID.
The Apple Wallet wants to be your central storage for digital keys and they have also made it easier to share it with your friends and family. This may include keys to your car, home or workplace.
Apple Pay Later
Apple is also jumping on the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) bandwagon by introducing Apple Pay Later in the US. This allows Apple Pay users to buy goods and split payments into four zero interest installments over 6 weeks. Users can track their repayment situation within the app and the BNPL facility will work everywhere where Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app using the Mastercard network. Unfortunately, Apple Pay is still not available in Malaysia.
Improved Apple Maps with multi-stop support
iOS 16 brings multi-stop routing to the Apple Maps and users can plan up to 15 stops in a single trip. This can be planned out on a Mac and the route will sync to your other iOS devices. In selected countries, Apple is also making it easier for public transport users to view the estimated fare cost and you can top up and manage your transit card to Wallet which is also integrated into maps.
Easy device setup with Family Sharing
Family Sharing is a feature which allows you to manage your Apple devices and services for the entire household. Each user will have their own account and parents can set parental controls including setting a limit for screen time. iOS 16 takes things a step further by providing suggestions for age-appropriate restrictions.
If you bought a new device such as an iPad or iPad mini, you can use the Family Sharing feature to quickly set up the new device according to their Family Sharing profile. If the kids have finished up their screentime, they can request for an extension which can be approved or declined by parents via Messages.
iCloud Shared Photo Library
Sharing family photos is now made easier as Apple is rolling out Shared Photo Library on iOS 16. While, it is normal for users to have all photos saved in a central location, Shared Photo Library allows you to create a separate section just for your family photos. All users within the family have equal rights to share and view the photos. If you’re on a family holiday, you can set the camera app to immediately save all photos directly to Shared Library or change it when you need to take private photos.
Apple Fitness available for iPhone users without Apple Watch
Apple says they know there are a lot of iPhone users who want to meet their fitness goals but have yet to own an Apple Watch. Therefore, they announced that the Fitness app will be made available on the iPhone with iOS 16. The app uses the iPhone’s motion sensors to track steps, distance, flights climb and workouts from other apps that can be converted into an estimation of your active calories to contribute to your daily goal. The available metrics on the standalone Fitness app on the iPhone will be limited and you’ll need an Apple Watch for more in-depth tracking including heart rate and VO2 Max.
iOS 16 will be rolling out to developers starting today and the public beta will start next month in July. The new OS will be rolled out officially by the end of this year around the same time as the iPhone 14 release. In terms of compatibility, iOS 16 will be offered on the iPhone 8 and iPhone SE 2020, and above. This means there will no more new major iOS updates for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and the first gen iPhone SE.