While the headline feature of iOS 16 is the ability to customize the Lock screen with new fonts, widgets, and more, the update will include several other useful features on the iPhone, with five of our favorite additions highlighted below.
iOS 16 is currently in beta for Apple developers only, but Apple said a public beta will be available at some point in July. iOS 16 will be released for all users around September, and the update is compatible with the iPhone 8 and newer.
iOS 16 includes a new Live Activities feature that provides live notifications on the iPhone’s Lock screen. Live Activities will be useful for staying on top of live events or other tasks, such as keeping up with the score of a sports game, tracking the progress of an Uber ride, monitoring the status of a Starbucks order, viewing a timer, and more.
Apple said Live Activities is coming in an update to iOS 16 later this year, meaning that it will not be available when iOS 16 is first released to all users. Apple will be making an API available to developers to offer Live Activities in their third-party apps, so there will likely be all sorts of different use cases for this handy new feature.
Edit or Unsend an iMessage
iOS 16 introduces the ability to edit or unsend recently sent iMessages, as well as mark iMessage conversations as unread after opening them. Apple allows users to edit or unsend an iMessage for up to 15 minutes after sending it.
To edit or unsend a message, users simply need to tap and hold on a bubble and select the appropriate option in the menu that appears. iMessages that have been edited are marked as "edited" below the message bubble, and edited or unsent messages are still visible in their original form to users running older software versions like iOS 15.
Nintendo Joy-Cons Support
Despite not being advertised as a feature on Apple’s website, iOS 16 adds support for the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons and Pro Controller. iPhones running iOS 16 can be used with either single left or right Joy-Cons, or both at once as a singular controller.
In the iOS 16 release notes for developers, Apple said the iPhone supports many additional Bluetooth game controllers on iOS 16, but Apple did not provide a list of the newly compatible controllers. This is on top of the iPhone’s existing compatibility with PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers since the release of iOS 14.5.
Apple Pay Order Tracking
Apple Pay on iOS 16 is gaining built-in order tracking information in the Wallet app for online orders completed via Apple Pay. The tracker provides an order’s estimated delivery date and indicates when a package is out for delivery.
Fitness App Without Apple Watch
Starting with iOS 16, the Fitness app is now available on the iPhone for all users, even if they don’t own an Apple Watch. The app features a daily Activity ring that relies on the iPhone’s motion sensors to estimate a person’s calories burned and steps per day.
For a closer look at iOS 16, watch our video walkthrough of some of the biggest new features.
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