Apple seeds iOS 16 Release Candidate to developers, public launch imminent

Apple seeds iOS 16 Release Candidate to developers, public launch imminent

Apple revealed iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura during the main keynote of WWDC22. These major updates to the company’s operating systems come packed with visual changes and handy features. From the iPhone’s overhauled and customizable Lock Screen, to resizable app windows on M1 iPads, to a more streamlined macOS — these OS updates are the biggest we’ve had in years. Apple has been testing them for several months, and the public launch is imminent. If you’re enrolled in the Apple Developer program, you can now download and install iOS 16 Release Candidate (RC). The public, stable release will follow on September 12. Below is a detailed changelog for this build and previous ones.

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What’s new in iOS 16 Release Candidate

iOS 16 release candidate 1

We will update this article once we further dig into iOS 16 Release Candidate, if we find new additions. At this point, though, it’s possible that Apple is just fixing leftover glitches, before it releases the final version soon. In the meantime, you can check out the company’s Release Notes — where it has officially highlighted some of the known bugs and patches included in iOS 16 Release Candidate.

iOS 16 Changelog

Home

  • Redesigned Home app makes it easier to navigate, organize, view, and control your smart home accessories
  • Home tab now integrates all your accessories, rooms, and scenes into a single tab for a whole-house view, allowing you to see your entire home at a glance
  • Categories for lights, climate, security, speakers and TVs, and water let you quickly access all the relevant accessories organized by room, and displays more detailed status information
  • New camera view displays up to four cameras front and center in the Home tab, scroll to see any additional camera views in your home
  • Redesigned accessory tiles feature more visually recognizable icons that are color-matched to their category, and new behaviors for more precise accessory controls

Health

  • Medications feature helps you track and manage your medications, vitamins and supplements by creating a list, custom schedules and reminders, and then viewing logging over time
  • Add medications using your iPhone camera (iPhone XS, iPhone XR and later)
  • Interaction alerts inform you if there is a critical interaction when you add a new medication
  • Cycle deviation notifications alert you if your logged menstrual cycles show a pattern of infrequent periods, irregular periods, prolonged periods, or persistent spotting
  • Invitations for Health Sharing allow loved ones to easily and securely share their health data with you
  • Health Sharing reminders give you transparency and control over the health data you are sharing with loved ones

News

  • My Sports enables you to easily follow your favorite teams and leagues and watch highlights right in the News app
  • Favorites give you easy access to the channels and topics you read the most, in a consistent place near the top of your Today feed
  • New homepages deliver visually updated and easier to navigate topic feeds for local news locales, sports teams and leagues, and more

Family Sharing

  • Improved child account setup makes it easier to create an account for a child with the right parental controls, including age‑appropriate media restrictions
  • Device setup for a child lets you use Quick Start to easily set up a new iOS or iPadOS device for your child with your selected parental controls in place
  • Screen Time requests in Messages make it even easier to approve or decline requests from your child
  • Family Checklist gives you tips and suggestions like updating a child’s parental control settings, turning on location sharing, or just reminding you to share your iCloud+ subscription with everyone

Safety Check

  • Safety Check is a new section in Settings to help people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations quickly reset the access they’ve granted to others
  • Emergency reset lets you quickly take action to reset access across all people and apps, including disabling location sharing via Find My, resetting privacy permissions for apps, and more
  • Manage sharing and access helps you review and customize which apps and people can access your information

Accessibility

  • Door detection in Magnifier locates a door, reads signs and symbols around it, and gives you instructions for how to open the door (iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro)
  • Apple Watch mirroring provides full control of Apple Watch from iPhone and supports use of Switch Control, Voice Control, or any other assistive features on iPhone to get the most out of your Apple Watch
  • Live Captions (beta) automatically converts audio into text for users who are Deaf or hard of hearing to follow along more easily with calls and media content (iPhone 11 and later)
  • Buddy controller helps users with cognitive disabilities get support from a caregiver or friend while playing a game, by combining inputs from multiple game controllers into one
  • VoiceOver is now available in over 20 new languages and locales, including Bangla (India), Bulgarian, Catalan, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese
  • Voice Control spelling mode gives you the option to dictate names, addresses, or other custom spellings letter by letter

This release also includes other features and improvements:

  • Fitness app lets you track and meet your fitness goals even if you don’t yet have an Apple Watch, using iPhone motion sensors to give you an estimate of your calories to contribute to your daily Move goal
  • AirPods Pro (2nd generation) support
  • Personalized Spatial Audio uses the TrueDepth camera on iPhone to create a personal profile for Spatial Audio that delivers a more precise and immersive listening experience on AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation), AirPods Max
  • Handoff in FaceTime allows you to move FaceTime calls seamlessly from your iPhone to your iPad or Mac, and vice versa
  • Memoji updates include more sticker poses, hairstyles, headwear, noses, and lip colors
  • Quick Note adds support for taking a note in any app on your iPhone and adding links to create context and easily find content
  • Translate camera lets you translate text around you using the camera in the Translate app
  • Duplicate detection in Photos identifies duplicate photos so you can quickly clean up your library
  • Foreground blur for portrait photos in Camera blurs objects in the foreground for a more realistic-looking depth-of-field effect (iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max)
  • Pinned lists in Reminders helps you quickly navigate to your favorite lists
  • Search on the Home Screen enables Spotlight to be accessed directly from the bottom of the Home Screen, making it easy to open apps, find contacts, or get information from the web
  • Automatically send messages in CarPlay to skip the confirmation step when sending messages
  • Rapid Security Response gets important security improvements to your devices even faster, as they can be applied automatically between standard software updates

Betas 7 and 8

iOS 16 betas 7 and 8 seemingly don’t include any new user-facing changes or features. Though, this is completely expected — since the stable version launch is right around the corner.

Beta 6

Battery Percentage tweaks

In iOS 16 beta 5, Apple introduced a new battery percentage view for some notched iPhone models. By default, the percentage would appear when users enable Low Power Mode. iOS 16 beta 6 now allows testers to disable the new battery percentage view when using Low Power Mode on their iPhones.

Disabled Live Activities

iOS 16 beta 6 drops support for the Live Activities API in third-party apps. We already know that the API won’t be available when iOS 16.0 first debuts. Though, now developers can’t even test their apps on the latest iOS build if they’re using this particular API.

Beta 5

Battery percentage for notched iPhones

For the first time since the debut of Face ID iPhones, notched iPhone users can now view the battery percentage in the status bar — thanks to iOS 16 beta 5. Though, the feature seemingly doesn’t work on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, and iPhone 13 Mini.

Lock Screen audio visualizer

iOS 16 beta 5 introduces a new audio visualizer on the Lock Screen media player. It animates based on the music you’re playing.

New Splash Screens

iOS 16 beta 5 includes new Splash Screen in the Find My and Photos apps. They highlight recent additions to these Apple applications, including Find My support for AirPods and the Photos Shared Library.

Beta 4

Sorting Subscriptions

iOS 16 beta 4 subscriptions

iOS 16 beta 4 brings a new option to sort App Store subscriptions by name, price, or renewal date.

Undo Send Mail options

iOS 16 beta 4 allows users to disable or change the duration for the Undo Send feature in the Mail app. Prior to beta 4, users had no way to customize or turn off the feature.

Tweaks to Accessibility Settings

iOS 16 beta 4 control another device

In the Accessibility section of the Settings app, iOS 16 beta 4 adds a shortcut to use your iPhone to control your other nearby Apple devices. Part of the company’s Switch Control settings, the new shortcut lets you adjust the volume or playback, bring up Siri or the Control Center, and do more on another device.

Redesigned notification style settings

iOS 16 beta 4 also redesigns the notification style options in the Settings app. Prior to this beta, there were no visuals displaying the difference between each of the three options.

New Home app wallpapers

The fourth beta of iOS 16 adds new wallpapers to the Apple Home app.

Tweaks to the Lock Screen

iOS 16 beta 4 lock screen

Beta 4 of iOS 16 introduces a new “Add Widgets” button when customizing the Lock Screen. Prior to this build, it was just a plus (+) icon without any text. Additionally, some wallpapers — including the default iOS 16 one — lose Perspective Zoom support.

Tweaks to the People album

iOS 16 beta 4 people album in photos

iOS 16 beta 4 adds a new heart icon next to each person in the People album of the Photos app. Clicking the heart adds the person to favorites.

New App Store splash screen

iOS 16 beta 4 App Store splash screen

On iOS 16 beta 4, when users launch the Apple App Store for the first time, they’re welcomed by a new splash screen highlighting how it’s a trusted and safe place to download apps and games.

Tweaks to edited messages

When a user edits a message, iOS 16 beta 4 enables the recipients to see its edit history. Prior to this beta, recipients had no way to tell what the original message was.

Beta 3

Large album art on Lock Screen

album art on iOS 16 beta 3 Lock Screen

In the revised version of iOS 16 beta 3, Apple introduced the optional, full-screen album art on the Lock Screen. You can toggle it by clicking on its thumbnail in the music player Live Activity.

Lockdown Mode

 

iOS 16 Lockdown modeThis mode is an extreme security measure that you should only use if you believe you’re being targeted by someone. When you enable it, attachments in Messages are disabled, including links, certain web technologies are blocked, FaceTime calls and invitations from strangers sent through Apple services are blocked, and more. You can read more about this new setting on Apple’s Newsroom website.

iCloud Shared Photo Library

iOS 16 beta 3 introduces iCloud Shared Photo Library. This feature allows you to automatically share relevant photos and videos with family and/or friends. The person who creates a shared library has to provide the needed iCloud storage for it.

New wallpaper

iOS 16 beta 3 adds a new Clownfish wallpaper. It’s the same one Steve Jobs previewed when introducing the very first iPhone in 2007. The wallpaper never actually made it to any iPhone model until now.

New Lock Screen fonts

iOS 16 beta 3 adds two new fonts for users to choose from. Prior to this build, users were limited to just six — instead of eight.

Beta 2

Continuity Camera Tweaks

Continuity Camera iOS 16 beta 2

iOS 16 beta 2 adds a Pause button to the Continuity Camera UI. This allows users to temporarily pause the video feed streaming to their Macs from their iPhones.

New Lock Screen Filters

iOS 16 beta 2 introduces two new Lock Screen filters — Duotone and Color Wash. You can try them out by swiping horizontally in customization mode. Speaking of Lock Screens, this beta also tweaks its user interface (UI) and makes it easier to navigate through its process.

iMessage Tweaks

When an iOS 16 beta 2 user edits an iMessage sent to someone on iOS 15 or earlier, it’ll now send a duplicate text that reflects the edits made. On beta 1, this behavior was absent, and those on an older versions of the OS had no way to tell that a message has been tweaked or what these edits are.

Mail Tweaks

iOS 16 beta 2 Mail

iOS 16 beta 2 also allows users to choose if an email from a blocked sender remains in the inbox or gets automatically trashed. By default, these emails go to the trash.

Focus Tweaks

iOS 16 beta 2 Focus

Apart from that, iOS 16 beta 2 also allows users to select which Focus modes share their status with apps. This allows you to share with others that you’ve enabled Focus when using the Work mode but not Gaming mode, for example.

Back up to iCloud over cellular or Wi-Fi

According to Apple’s Release Notes, iOS 16 beta 2 allows users to back up their iPhones using 4G, 5G, or Wi-Fi. This is ideal for those who depend on mobile data and don’t typically have access to a Wi-Fi network.

Beta 1

iOS 16 beta 1 brought most of the features the company previewed during WWDC 2022. These include Lock Screen customizations and widgets, upgraded Collaboration, new Memoji styles and stickers, and a ton of other features. You can check our hands-on with iOS 16 beta 1 — where we’ve identified some of the most notable changes included in the particular beta build.


Which of the new features included in iOS 16 do you look forward to using the most? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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