Apple is rolling out the iOS 16 update today. This comes just after the launch of the new iPhone 14 series. iOS 16 is not a major overhaul, unlike in the past. However, you’re going to see significant visual changes and have a very different user experience thanks to a few new things.
Phones receiving iOS 16:
If you have any of the following devices, you’re eligible for iOS 16:
- iPhone SE (2nd gen or later)
- iPhone 8, 8 Plus
- iPhone X, Xr, Xs, Xs Max
- iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max
How to update to iOS 16:
If you haven’t received a notification telling you iOS 16 is available, then head over to your Settings > General > Software Update. The size of the update will depend on the device you have.
In Kenya, the update will roll out from 10pm. Check your city here.
What’s new with iOS 16?
Here’s a summary of the new things:
- New Lock Screen options and customisations
- Redesigned Notifications and Live Activities
- Return of the Battery Percentage Icon
- Live text in videos
- New Dictation Experience
- New Health App Experience with a Fitness App for everyone
- Incredible improvements to CarPlay
- Message Changes, Safari Collaboration and Passkeys
- New Privacy, Security & Accessibility features
- Updates to Camera and Photos App – with the incredible “continuity camera” feature.
The full list and breakdown is available here.
New Lock Screen Customisations:
You can now have multiple lock screens with iOS 16. These lock screens can depend on your Focus Mode, which can be activated based on apps, locations or other triggers you set.
You can have different wallpapers depending on the lock screen you have. And with Depth Focus, you can have pictures you have on your wallpaper overlap with the Time Widget on the lock screen.
You can also now add widgets to the Lock Screen. These can be added on the different lock screens you set so as to have important data available in certain locations or in certain focus modes.
Setting different focus modes is now much easier, and you can ideally now have different profiles for work, fun, home etc that change both your lock screen appearance, wallpapers and your home screen apps.
Notifications and Live Activities:
Notifications on the lockscreen will now appear from the bottom of the screen. This allows you to not only enjoy the visual experience of the lock screen but to also quickly see what’s new, what’s important and what’s not in a simple swipe up.
Live activities on the hand is a new feature that’s not yet fully adopted by third party developers. You can test it with the timer on your Clock App though. It will allow you to view an ongoing activity from the Lock Screen without needing to constantly open the app.
This works well with apps like Uber, Delivery Apps and more. So from the Lock Screen you will see where your order is, how many minutes before pick up and much more.
Live Text in Video:
With iOS 15, you could tap on a photo and copy any text from within the photo. You can now do so with video. Pretty amazing. Just pause the video and copy the text you see in the frame.
This will make it even easier for students when taking notes say from YouTube. Especially with code. It will also really work for people who travel while vlogging.
Also, with Live Text you can quickly take actions, say call a phone number, visit an address, or convert stuff from currency to currency.
Another really cool feature? You can now hold on to an object in a photo and straight up lift it from the picture removing the background. You can then paste the object on other apps e.g. messages and send it without the background.
Messages, FaceTime and iCloud:
Shared workflow was the second biggest topic with iOS 16. You will now be able to collaborate through Messages, FaceTime and Safari in a way that really syncs in well. This is solely banking on everyone in your workplace and situation having an iPhone. So from a group conversation people can work on a document, see edits, browse the web and much more.
Developers are now able to add the Message Collaboration API to be able to have different people work on things together using different apps all from a shared Message thread.
SharePlay also comes to messages allowing you to say watch something with someone remotely while chatting, or listen to music etc.
Users will also be able to delete erroneously sent messages, recover deleted messages before 30 days, and mark conversations as unread.
If you have a Mac an iPad and an iPhone, you can seamlessly now switch your FaceTime call to either device while on the call. SharePlay has been improved too, and during a FaceTime call – provided the other person also has an iPhone – you can jump in to collaboration mode to work on a document together or even browse the web.
Dictation has been updated to now work pretty well allowing voice and touch input to coexist nicely. You’re now able to manually move the cursor, physically insert your own edits and text and much more without affecting/stopping dictation. So you do your thing and continue talking.
Dictation has gotten good at understanding your phrases and accent and is a good way to write stuff if you’re tired of typing. It will automatically punctuate your work, and you can give it commands like “new line”, “comma” and “fullstop”.
Camera and Photos App Updates:
For iPhone 13 users and above, with iOS 16 you will be able to blur objects on the foreground of a picture to give a more realistic look with portrait mode. Cinematic Mode has also been enhanced to be more realistic.
With iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, you are now able to use something called “Continuity Camera” which allows you to use your iPhone as your webcam. It is like magic. No need to unlock your iPhone. Just be signed in to the same iCloud upgrade your webcam experience in one click. It also has a desk view mode which uses the ultrawide lens and some mathematics to give you a very convincing look.
The Photos app will now be able to scan for duplicates. Hidden and Recently Deleted sections of the app will now require Face ID to view. There also new Memory features allowing you revisit different photos and videos from the past.
Should you update to iOS 16 immediately?
I’ve been using iOS 16 for a while now, thanks to being part of the Beta Program. It has been stable all through and I believe all the bugs I saw at the beginning have been fixed. Even the release candidate which rolled out a few days ago has been perfect. So that means you’re good to go! Update your phone immediately you’re able to, and enjoy the new experience.