Everything new in iOS 16: Personalized Lock Screen, upgrades to Messages, and more

Everything new in iOS 16: Personalized Lock Screen, upgrades to Messages, and more

Apple has finally revealed the anticipated iOS 16 during the main keynote of WWDC 2022. The beta program is now available to registered developers, allowing them to get their hands on an early build of the software. The general public will have to wait for a few months before they get to experience the latest and greatest to come to the iPhone’s operating system (OS). iOS 16 is much more packed when compared to iOS 15. This new release includes plenty of new customizations, features, and changes that further enrich the iPhone OS. Here’s everything you need to know about this upcoming version.


iOS 16

Navigate this article:

Will my iPhone get iOS 16?

This question is one of the first that cross a person’s mind when thinking of a new OS release. Here’s a list of supported iPhone models:

iOS 16

When can I download iOS 16?

iOS 16 beta is available right now for registered developers. The public beta program will launch in July. Finally, after Apple smoothens out the major bugs and glitches, the stable version will be available in the fall of 2022 — potentially in September.

How can I install iOS 16 beta?

We’ve prepared guides for you on how to install the iOS beta and whether you should do it or not. The process is very simple — though it comes with risks that we’ve highlighted in the linked articles. Ultimately, you could always switch back to a stable release if you dislike the experience.

What’s new in iOS 16?

iOS 16

iOS 16 introduces a ton of new features, including a highly-customizable Lock Screen, editing and un-sending iMessages, and more. Those running this versions will also get their hands on an updated Mail app, better collaboration tools, and improved Maps. We will highlight all of the new additions that this OS version brings in the section below.

iOS 16: All of the new features

Redesigned Lock Screen

iOS 16

Apple refreshed the iPhone Home Screen back in iOS 14 — introducing widgets in the process. iOS 16 shifts the attention to the Lock Screen, bringing advanced customizations that let users personalize it beyond just setting wallpapers. This version allows users to change the time’s font and color, add widgets, set richer wallpapers, and more.

Expectedly, Apple will provide developers with the Lock Screen widget API, allowing them to build their own. So users won’t be limited to utilizing first-party ones only. It’s also worth mentioning that users can create several Lock Screens and shift through them.

Notification updates

Apart from the major Lock Screen redesign, Apple is changing how notifications appear on iOS 16. Instead of coming through from the top, they’re now focused at the bottom. Additionally, users get to view them as a list, stack, or as a mere number. This makes the Lock Screen a cleaner space that isn’t as cluttered with spammy notification banners. It also concentrates on the wallpaper and new widgets. iOS 16 also support Live Activities — which are basically persistent notifications for relevant, ongoing events.

Focus enhancements

iOS 16

iOS 15 introduced Focus — Do Not Disturb 2.0, in a way. iOS 16 improves this feature by allowing users to assign certain Lock Screens to specific Focus modes. Additionally, it makes it easier for users to choose which apps and people they want to white- or black-list.

More notably, though, Focus is now better integrated into apps — even third-party ones. Users can hide certain elements or filter our content they don’t want to see inside an app when using a certain Focus mode. This makes separating our work and personal lives even more doable.

Advanced photo sharing

iOS 16

iOS 16 brings a photo library sharing tool that makes it easy to share moments with the people we care about. Once set up, iOS will automatically send relevant shots to those who should receive them, based on location, identified faces, and the factors. This new addition makes sense for families and groups of close friends who are tired of manually sending every photo or video they take to each other. It’s also worth noting that edits made to these shots sync to the devices of all participants.

Messages upgrades

Users have been requesting a lot of features when it comes to the Messages app. The service remains somewhat basic when compared to other popular instant messaging platforms, like Telegram. Fortunately, iOS 16 ticks a few of the most-requested checkboxes.

iOS 16

Users on this version can now edit and unsend iMessages within 15 minutes. Additionally, they get to mark a chat as unread as a bookmark to get back to it later. Also, Messages catches up with other Apple apps and introduces a trash bin. Those on iOS 16 can retrieve deleted messages within 30 days of binning them.

iOS 16

In the collaboration department, Messages gets some love, as well. Users can now use SharePlay through iMessage — not just FaceTime. This allows you to consume digital goods with others without being in an audio/video call. And finally, there are new collaboration tools that automatically add iMessage recipients. This makes being productive with other people a simpler process.

Mail starts to catch up

iOS 16

The Apple Mail app is ancient when it comes to features and functionalities. Power users often find themselves struggling to get basic tasks done and end up depending on other clients. iOS 16 gives Mail a little push forward, introducing some handy additions that make it a richer app.

Users can now undo-send fresh emails, schedule drafts to auto-send later on, get follow-up reminders, and more. The search bar also gets a boost — introducing richer results and an auto-correct functionality for misspelled search terms, Last but not least, Mail will now remind you to attach a document if you attempt to send the email without including it. Gmail has had a similar feature for a while now. It’s refreshing to see Apple catching up — even if slowly.

Social Safari

iOS 16

Apple’s web browser gets some love on iOS 16. This comes in the form of collaboration that makes the web browser social. Users can easily now view and collaborate on tab groups to plan together or work on projects. The mechanism is built into FaceTime and iMessage — allowing users to easily connect in different ways while planning ahead. Apart from this social tool, Safari now supports the FIDO password-less standard. Users will be able to sign up on compatible websites without setting a password.

Live Text boosts

iOS 16

Apple introduced Live Text last year, allowing users to select text on photos, identify animal and plant breeds, and more. This year, iOS 16 users will be able to select text on videos, too. They additionally be able to select subjects in photos and separate them from their backgrounds — through on-device machine learning.

Versatile text input

iOS 16

iOS 16 allows users to take advantage of Dictation while typing with the keyboard. So you can use both input methods at once. Additionally, Dictation is now capable of inputting emoji and punctuating your input automatically. These changes make it easy to depend on the speech-to-text tool in a more natural way.

Richer Maps

iOS 16

When compared to Google Maps, Apple Maps still lacks plenty of features. For starters, there is no offline map support, and many businesses are missing in countries that aren’t the US, Canada, or in the EU. This makes solely depending on it a challenge for most users around the world. Fortunately, iOS 16 brings some improvements to this navigation app. For starters, users can now add several stops before reaching a certain destination. Additionally, users in select regions will be able to add transit cards to Wallet, refill their balance, and do more — right in Apple Maps.

Apple Pay additions

iOS 16

Apple Pay makes buying things a seamless process. Whether you’re doing it online or in person, you just tap a button, authenticate, and you’re good to go. iOS 16 introduces some handy additions to Apple’s contactless payment system. Users can now make payments over the course of 6 weeks — through 4 interest-free installments. So the company will basically lend users money for no additional fee. Also, when you use Apple Pay, supported shops can display the package tracking info right in the Wallet app.

Speaking of Wallet, users can also share their saved keys with others through first- and third-party apps. This allows you to give smart home access to your family, for example. And lastly, those who add their IDs to Wallet can now share certain info with apps for verifications purposes — such as being over 21 years old.

Overhauled Home

iOS 16

Smart homes are becoming more popular, and Apple wants to make users’ lives easier. iOS 16 overhauls the Home app — introducing a more efficient design that is simpler to use. The company will also be supporting the Matter standard later this year. This would allow users to conveniently communicate with smart appliances no matter which OS they’re using.

A healthier OS

iOS 16

Apple’s dedication to better health and fitness shines in iOS 16. Users can now share their activities with others without needing an Apple Watch — through the Fitness app. Of course, the stats are limited, but they could encourage people to be more active nonetheless. Additionally, users can get more accurate data revolving around their sleep and how deep it is. And finally, there’s a new medication feature that allows users to track the meds they take and log them in.

Family Sharing tweaks

iOS 16

Family Sharing is a great way to share purchases across a household and control minors’ devices. iOS 16 introduces clearer settings and checklists that further clarify what each option does. Additionally, parents will get to easily grant their kids additional screen time right in Messages. That’s not to mention that setting up a new Apple device for a child is even simpler now and applies the restrictions automatically.

Revamped CarPlay

iOS 16

CarPlay in iOS 16 supports different screen sizes and integrates into the car’s hardware. This allows users to view relevant information, like speed and temperature, thanks to the data shared from the iPhone. Additionally, you will get to control your car through the CarPlay interface — such as adjusting the air conditioner — without needing to launch the car’s native interface. The list of supported vehicles will go live in late 2023.

Other tidbits

iOS 16

iOS 16 is PACKED with changes and features that truly enrich the OS. These include:

  • Safety Check for domestic abuse survivors.
  • Accessibility features, such as Door Detect and live captions across the system.
  • Mirroring the Apple Watch to the iPhone through AirPlay.
  • Using two Bluetooth controllers for a single player input.
  • Sports-focused content in Apple News.
  • Freeform — a whiteboard, brainstorming app that is coming later this year.
  • Handoff support for FaceTime across Apple devices.
  • Templates in the Reminder apps.
  • New Memoji styles and stickers.
  • Live camera translation in Apple Translate.

We can safely say that this year’s WWDC didn’t disappoint at all. iOS 16 is very rich in additions when compared to iOS 15. Thanks to the new Lock Screen and notification, iPhones will feel fresh to users again. After all, a software update can make a old device feel brand new.

Will you be installing the iOS 16 beta? Why or why not? 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]

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.