iOS 16.0: The Biggest Changes Coming to Your iPhone

 iOS 16 is the latest major release of Apple's mobile operating system for iPhone. It was announced at WWDC 2022 and released on September 12, 2022. iOS 16 brings substantial upgrades to the lock screen, messages, maps, and more.


Some of the key new features in iOS 16 include:

  • A redesigned, customizable lock screen that supports widgets, color filters, and depth effects for photos. Users can create multiple lock screens with different looks.

  • An intelligent dictation feature for typing messages using just your voice.

  • The ability to edit and undo sent messages in the Messages app.

  • Live Text now works in video, detecting text that appears on screen and making it selectable.

  • Improvements to Maps like multi-stop routing and transit cards for Apple Pay.

  • An updated wallet app that supports digital IDs and keys.

iOS 16 is compatible with iPhone 8 and later models. It builds on iOS 15 and continues the evolution of Apple's mobile OS which dates back to the original iPhone OS in 2007. iOS has gone through incremental improvements over the years, bringing new apps, features, and major visual refreshes. With iOS 16, Apple continues to refine the user experience with highly personalized and customizable options focused on communication, connected experiences, and intelligence.

New Lock Screen

The most noticeable change in iOS 16 is the enhanced customization options for the lock screen. Users can now personalize their lock screen in exciting new ways.

Customizable Wallpapers and Widgets

The lock screen features wallpapers with a new depth effect that makes subjects stand out from the background. There are also fresh wallpaper collections showcasing colorful backgrounds, animated weather, astronomy photos, and more.

In addition to wallpapers, the lock screen now supports widgets. Just like on the home screen, users can add useful at-a-glance information as lock screen widgets. Options include calendar events, weather, battery level, alarms, time zones, activity rings, and more.

Widgets on the lock screen are interactive. For example, users can tap a calendar widget to create a new event without unlocking their phone. Overall, widgets make it easier to quickly view essential info without accessing apps.

Notification Changes

Notifications have been redesigned to roll in from the bottom so they don't obscure lock screen widgets and wallpapers. Users can also choose to have notifications appear as a count for a less cluttered look.

Additionally, users can select if they always want to show notifications on their lock screen when the phone is unlocked, or only show them if their iPhone is locked. This gives users more customization over privacy.

Focus Modes

Focus modes are now tightly integrated into iOS 16. Users can enable a Focus mode like Work or Sleep directly from the lock screen. When a Focus mode is activated, apps and widgets unrelated to that mode won't display notifications on the lock screen.

Focus modes provide better control over lock screen distractions based on what a user is doing. Enabling them is now quicker directly through the redesigned lock screen.


iOS 16 brings some helpful new features to the Messages app. One of the most useful is the ability to edit and undo sending messages. Up to 15 minutes after sending a message, you can now edit or undo it completely. This gives you a chance to fix any embarrassing typos or retract something you didn't mean to send.

Messages also now supports SharePlay, which was introduced in iOS 15. SharePlay in Messages allows you to enjoy synced content like movies or songs and shared playback controls all while continuing your Messages conversation. You can launch a SharePlay session from an active chat by tapping the SharePlay icon in the message entry field. SharePlay makes connecting and interacting even more seamless in Messages.

Live Text and Visual Lookup

One of the most exciting new features in iOS 16 is the expansion of Live Text and Visual Lookup capabilities. Live Text was introduced in iOS 15 as a way to detect text in photos and make that text selectable, copyable and searchable.

iOS 16 takes Live Text to the next level by adding the ability to recognize not only text, but objects as well directly within photos or via the camera viewfinder. For example, if you take a photo of a dog, Live Text can now recognize that there is a dog in the image. It can identify breeds, landmarks, products, plants and more.

This opens up some very cool use cases. If you take a photo of a product, you can take action on it directly from the photo. So if it's a pair of shoes you can tap them and be taken to a website to purchase or view more info. The same goes for landmarks, plants, pets and any object Live Text can recognize.

Visual Lookup is another related feature that also sees improvements in iOS 16. Now when you touch and hold on both text and objects in photos, Visual Lookup provides informative overlays about whatever you selected. For text selections, dictionary definitions, translations and Wikipedia entries appear. For objects, you'll see informative cards with details, websites and other contextual actions.

Between the enhancements to Live Text and Visual Lookup, iOS 16 makes photos much more interactive and information-rich. Simply taking a photo unlocks a host of new capabilities for detecting text and objects, looking up information, and taking actions directly within the Photos app. It should be an incredibly handy feature for everything from online shopping, to identifying plants and animals, to getting quick dictionary definitions without ever needing to leave the photo.


Apple Maps in iOS 16 introduces several new features that make navigating and exploring even easier. One major addition is multi-stop routing, which allows users to add multiple stops along a route. Simply enter a destination, tap Add Stop, and add additional destinations. Maps will plan the most efficient route and provide turn-by-turn directions for the entire trip.

Public transit users will appreciate the new transit updates in Maps. You can pin your favorite transit lines and stations, see fares and x-ray views of stations, and receive alerts about disruptions or changes to your route. These updates provide critical information for commuters and travelers relying on public transportation.

Perhaps the most visually impressive update is the new detailed 3D city experience. Supported cities now have highly accurate 3D maps with enhanced details for landmarks, roads, trees, buildings, and more. It looks stunning and provides an immersive view of cities like London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Users can explore these cities in 3D with smooth zoom and pan. This leads to a much more engaging way to navigate and preview destinations.

Between multi-stop routing, transit improvements, and 3D cities, Apple Maps becomes far more useful for trip planning, commuting, and exploring. iOS 16 takes Apple's maps to the next level visually and functionally.

Wallet and Apple Pay

One of the most exciting updates in iOS 16 is the improvements to the Wallet app and Apple Pay. Users can now store ID cards like driver's licenses and state IDs in Wallet, providing a convenient and secure way to present ID when needed.

Apple is working with various states in the US to make driver's licenses and state IDs available in Wallet. The integration uses encryption and authentication to ensure the ID data stays private and secure. When presenting an ID card from Wallet, users can choose what information to share with the verifier.

iOS 16 also introduces Apple Pay Later, a new financing option for Apple Pay purchases. Users can split purchases into four equal payments over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees. Apple Pay Later makes it easy to pay for purchases over time when needed.

Finally, iOS 16 allows users to store and access keys for homes, offices, and hotels in Wallet. Keys that are compatible with smart locks can be added to Wallet for easy access. This provides a secure way to store digital keys and makes it convenient to unlock supported doors and access locations.

Overall, the upgrades to Wallet and Apple Pay in iOS 16 make everyday tasks like payments, identification, and access more seamless. Apple continues to expand the capabilities of Wallet to replace the physical wallet.


iOS 16 brings some helpful new features to the Health app.

Medications Tracking

The Health app now has the ability to track medications and vitamins. You can create a medications list, set up schedules and reminders, and log your doses. This helps you remember to take medications on time and monitor your adherence. The Health app will alert you if you miss a dose based on your schedule.

Sleep Stages

The Sleep app now breaks down your sleep patterns into different sleep stages - Awake, REM, Core, and Deep. You can see the graph of your sleep stages each night to better understand your sleep quality. This data allows you to make lifestyle changes to improve your sleep health.

Activity Improvements

The Activity app is redesigned to showcase more metrics like strides, double taps, and steadiness. Apple Watch users can now track kickboard support in the pool workout. The Workout app now includes multisport workouts for triathletes to easily switch between swimming, biking, and running without stopping their session. Heart rate zones allow users to monitor the intensity of their workout. Overall, the Activity and Workout apps include more data to optimize your workouts.

Accessibility Upgrades in iOS 16

iOS 16 introduces several notable new accessibility features that make the iPhone more usable for people with disabilities. One of the most impactful is door detection, which helps blind or low vision users navigate the last few feet to a door. Using LiDAR, the iPhone can now detect doors, read signs and symbols around the door, and provide guidance to help users open the door and enter.

Another major upgrade is live captions, which automatically generates captions for any audio content playing on the iPhone, whether it's a phone call, video chat, social media video, podcast, or more. The captions are generated on-device in real-time so no internet connection is needed. People with hearing challenges can now follow along easier with any audio content.

For Apple Watch users, iOS 16 adds Apple Watch mirroring which mirrors the Apple Watch display directly on the iPhone for magnification and vision assistance. This allows users to control Apple Watch from their iPhone screen in an accessible way.

Overall, iOS 16 takes major steps to improve accessibility and enable people with disabilities to get the most out of their iPhone. With thoughtful features like door detection, live captions, and Apple Watch mirroring, Apple continues to lead the industry in inclusive innovation.


iOS 16 brings some nice improvements for mobile gaming on iPhone. One of the biggest additions is enhanced support for PlayStation and Xbox controllers. You can now pair a compatible controller to your iPhone or iPad directly over Bluetooth for a lag-free wireless gaming experience.

The new iOS also allows you to quickly discover and connect to gaming controllers and accessories at nearby multiplayer parties using the new Device Discovery feature. This makes it easy to jump into multiplayer games with friends.

For developers, iOS 16 adds new APIs for detecting and connecting multiple controllers, supporting controller rumble, capturing button presses and more. This opens up possibilities for creating more immersive and responsive games.

In addition to controller support, iOS 16 introduces support for contactless payments in games. Users can now make in-app purchases in games quickly and easily using Apple Pay and other contactless payment methods. Simply tap your iPhone or Apple Watch to the NFC reader on the controller to authorize payments.

Contactless payments combined with enhanced controller support takes mobile gaming on iPhone and iPad to the next level. Game developers can now deliver console-quality experiences, while users can enjoy their favorite games to the fullest thanks to these new features in iOS 16.

Other Notable Updates

Dictation - Dictation in iOS 16 has been upgraded with automatic punctuation insertion and ability to easily switch between voice and keyboard.

Family Sharing - Family Sharing now makes it easier for family members to approve purchases and requests. There is also a new dashboard to view shared content.

Home - The Home app has new smart home features like room temperature sensors to trigger climate control automation. There are also new home architecture tools.

Mail - Mail can now schedule emails to be sent at a chosen date and time. There is also an option to cancel delivery of a message.

Safari - Safari has gained shared tab groups to collaborate browsing with others. There is also passkey support instead of passwords for signing into sites.

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