Apple revealed iOS 16 at WWDC 2022 in June – the latest iPhone operating system and the successor to iOS 15, but the September 12 release date was confirmed at Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event on September 7.
It’s a release that brings improvements to many apps, from a redesigned Home app for your smart devices to better privacy features and a big focus on the lock screen, with new fonts, colors and themes to choose from.
There’s also satellite calling for iPhone 14 models, a feature coming in November.
The public beta arrived on July 11, with the final version arriving the same week as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, for iPhone 8 and higher devices.
iOS 16: Get straight to the point
- What is it? The next big update for iOS
- When do you leave? September 12th
- How much does it cost? It’s free
- What phones are supported? Anyone with an iPhone 8 and newer will be able to upgrade to iOS 16, which means if you have an iPhone 7 or older, you’re out of luck.
Latest iOS 16 updates
September 7: Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event confirmed that iOS 16 arrives on September 12, alongside the iPhone 14 series and more.
July 11: The public beta is available for download for anyone with an iPhone 8 and up.
June 14: Will lossless audio make it to the AirPods Pro 2? The tech base was supposed to be in iOS 16, and so far, no one has come across any evidence of that.
June 13: In an exclusive interview with , Apple’s Craig Federighi and Vice President of Design Alan Dye take us inside Apple’s lock screen remake – an ‘act of love’, Federighi said.
June 11th: iOS 16 will be an immediate release this time around, with many improvements to features across the OS, on a scale arguably not seen since iOS 8. Here are the 7 best new features in iOS 16.
June 7: Support for Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Joy-Cons was discovered in the latest iOS 16 developer beta. With an upcoming public beta, you will soon be able to experience Nintendo controllers on your iPhone.
More iOS 16 news ▼
June 7: Which phones support iOS 16? has a complete list of phones that are compatible with the new operating system.
June 7: iOS 16 will bring fundamental changes to the Messages app. Editing and deleting messages after you’ve sent them is now one thing – which means autocorrect is dead.
May 30th: As we get closer to WWDC, rumors suggest that iOS 16 will receive some significant new features, including improvements to your iPhone’s lock screen. It might be the most radical iPhone upgrade in years.
15th May: It increasingly looks like iOS 16 will include new apps and big changes, with the latest leak pointing to new ways to interact with widgets and even some new Apple apps.
iOS 16 release date
Apple confirmed in its ‘Far Out’ on September 7, where it announced the iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra and AirPods Pro 2, that iOS 16 arrives on iPhone 8 devices and above on September 12.
iOS 16 Features
There are all sorts of new and improved features in iOS 16, and we’ve detailed the main ones below.
Customizable lock screens
With iOS 16, you will be able to customize your lock screen by tapping any area to change the text font and colors.
Complications (which are essentially widgets) can also be enabled here, a feature taken from the Apple Watch. You’ll be able to add three of them to your lock screen, while the Now Playing screen is being moved to the bottom for easier thumb access.
You won’t be limited to just one lock screen either. Similar to creating a watch face on Apple Watch, you can swipe between different lock screens to access different widgets based on your needs.
The focus mode is also getting some updates, and some of them are tied to the lock screen as the lock screen shown can be switched automatically based on the focus profile you have.
For example, a ‘Meeting’ hover profile can make your lock screen change the wallpaper and offer a row of widgets showing details of that event.
You can also use ‘Focus Filters’ to lock tabs in Safari, accounts in Mail, events in Calendar and more to help you manage your workflow.
Notifications are also getting improvements, with ‘Live Activities’ which are essentially fixed widget-like notifications that let you check a game’s score, track the progress of a food delivery and more.
Notifications are also redesigned, aiming to make them visually pop, and feature new animations – scrolling from the bottom of the lock screen so they’re easy to see at a glance while staying out of the way.
And you can choose to display notifications in an expanded list view, a stacked view, or a hidden view.
Apple has added several new features to Messages. ‘Undo Send’ has come to one, allowing you to delete a message for up to 15 minutes after sending it – for example, if you realize you’ve sent it to the wrong person. Likewise, you can also edit messages within the first 15 minutes. Note that this only works for iPhone to iPhone messages.
SharePlay is also coming to the app, so you can play a movie on Disney Plus, for example, and share it with someone via messages.
Dictation has also been improved as it now allows users to move fluidly between voice and touch input, so you can type to add text or move the cursor without having to interrupt dictation.
You can also retrieve messages for up to 30 days after you delete them, send an invite to collaborate on a project in Messages, and receive alerts when someone makes an edit to a collaboration.
Suggested by Apple in May, several new accessibility features are coming to iOS 16, such as port detection, which helps you locate ports, read signs around them, and get instructions for opening them.
There’s also the option to view live captions on a FaceTime call, control your Apple Watch from your iPhone, hang up calls with Siri, and more.
Live text is also getting improvements – you can copy and paste text into video, as well as being able to copy and translate text.
Wallet is undergoing privacy improvements, with in-app ID verification being enabled for third-party apps.
Touch-to-pay on iPhone is also coming to iOS 16, eliminating the need for any point-of-sale terminals. Plus, you can view receipts and track orders directly from Wallet.
There’s also Apple Pay Later, which splits purchases into four interest-free payments spread over six weeks, and Order Tracking, which lets you see the latest information about your Apple Pay orders.
Maps will finally let you store recent trips in the app and you can send them from a Mac or iPad device.
You can also add multiple stops on a route, and during a trip you can ask Siri to add another destination, hands-free, in case another task comes up, while ‘Look Around’, Apple’s version of Google Street View, is being open to third-party applications.
Additionally, you can view transit fares and, without leaving Maps, add transit cards to Wallet, replenish your card, and see low balances.
iOS 16 is getting a big boost in sports, with Apple News getting a new My Sports section to let you view schedules, standings and scores for your favorite teams.
Live updates for sporting events can also be added to the lock screen, so if you can’t tune in, you’ll still be updated with the score.
Apple’s Family Sharing feature allows you and your family to share an account, for example, to view photos and videos, and for parents to approve purchases made by minors.
In iOS 16, it will be easier for parents to set age-appropriate content restrictions, and parents or guardians will be able to respond to Screen Time requests in Messages.
A quick start feature for iPad will let you sync the settings you’ve set up on your iPhone to an iPad by simply holding your phone close to the tablet, and there’s also a family checklist feature, making it easy for you to make sure all of the content on an iPhone is safe and secure for kids.
The ability to share photos and videos on iCloud has been widely requested, and the iCloud Shared Photo Library will allow up to six people to share a library. Users will be able to upload photos to the Shared Library using a new toggle in the Camera app and will receive smart suggestions for sharing photos that include other users of a shared library.
a new privacy tool called The Safety Check was introduced to help people at risk of partner violence or harassment.
Users can quickly revoke all access to Messages and other accounts they’ve granted to a partner, and an emergency reset feature helps users easily log out of iCloud on all other devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messages only to the device in their hand. Users can also stop sharing their location with this tool.
It also lets you generally check and manage which people and apps you’ve granted access to your information.
Home App is redesigned
In conjunction with the new Matter smart home standard, the Home app is being redesigned to make it easier to manage your smart appliances and rooms.
You’ll be able to see all your rooms in a single view, along with categories for lighting, weather, security, and more. You can tap a category to see more detailed status information and view up to four security cameras at once.
You can also add smart home widgets to the lock screen, allowing you to view your home status at a glance and quickly access smart home controls.
You can use your iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to create a personal spatial audio profile for your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, for what Apple calls “an even more accurate and immersive listening experience.”
Apple’s Fitness app is being made available to all iPhone users, even if they don’t have an Apple Watch to help them keep track of their fitness. The app will use your iPhone’s motion sensors, along with step and distance tracking, and workouts from third-party apps, to help you reach your daily movement goal and estimate your calorie burn.