Tech

iOS 16 is here: The 9 most important features






It’s that time of year again, Apple presented the latest software updates at WWDC. This also includes iOS 16, which this year comes up with a large number of innovations. Including a completely revised lock screen.

As every year, Apple gave the first preview of the next software versions in the Apple ecosystem as part of the WWDC. iOS 16 took up a large part of the presentation, and Craig Federighi and Co. presented a whole range of new functions for more than 30 minutes. We have summarized the most important ones for you.

Probably the most important change was not long in coming, Federighi introduced the new, editable lock screen right at the beginning. Contrary to the status quo, where not much can be adjusted on the iPhone lock screen apart from the background image, iOS 16 allows extensive customization. A long tap anywhere on the lock screen opens edit mode. The user can choose from a gallery of ready-made styles or create their own lock screen. Among other things, the color scheme and even the font can be changed. Additionally, widgets can now be placed directly on the lock screen, a feature users have been asking for since the introduction of widgets on iPhone. This results in many practical applications, so you can display information such as the weather, details about your current workout or the result of a football game directly on the lock screen.

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A nice detail is the so-called multi-layer effect, with which motifs can be moved in front of the displayed time. This gives the lock screen a spatial, visually appealing look.

The lock screen has long been taboo, but in iOS 16 you can make numerous customizations.

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The lock screen has long been taboo, but in iOS 16 you can make numerous customizations.

©Apple

You can create several different lock screens and switch between them with a simple swipe. This also works in combination with the focus mode introduced in iOS 15. For example, you can set up your own lock screen that is automatically activated during your working hours (or when you are at your place of work).

Apple also provides an interface for developers to create their own widgets for their apps.

Messages are coming soon from below

In a subordinate clause, Apple also introduced that notifications are now displayed from bottom to top. This keeps the main part of the lock screen free of ads.

Three “revolutionary” news app innovations

Anyone who has ever followed an Apple keynote knows that even small updates are often enthusiastically praised. This year, the News app is a good example. Because while the new features are undoubtedly useful, they tend to fall into the “long overdue” category. Sent messages can be edited later in iOS 16, so you can finally correct your typos. You can also delete sent messages after they have been sent so that your chat partner can no longer read them.

Finally, you can mark message threads you’ve already opened as unread.

Dictation becomes more efficient

With the help of the dictation function, text can also be spoken instead of written, an AI converts the spoken word into text. So far, this was basically practical for quickly writing longer texts, but it was also prone to errors. Since the keyboard is hidden while dictating, correcting mistakes is tricky. In iOS 16, the keyboard remains visible during dictation, typed text and dictated text can be freely combined. In addition, the artificial intelligence automatically inserts the appropriate punctuation marks. We will extensively test how well this works after iOS 16 is released.

Translates and converts live text – also in videos

One of the most fascinating new features in iOS 15 was the Live Text feature, which can be used to extract text, phone numbers, addresses and generally anything written from photos. In iOS 16, the function will be further expanded. It will also be possible to read out text in videos. All you have to do is pause the video and mark the desired text with a long tap, like in a photo. However, this function must be built in by the developers of the video app, which is why Apple provides a corresponding interface.

Live Text can also translate text and convert currencies in iOS 16.

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Live Text can also translate text and convert currencies in iOS 16.

©Apple

In iOS 16, Live Text is also able to translate selected text and convert foreign currency totals to local currency.

Visual Lookup: Cut objects out of images with a tap

An impressive example of technical finesse was an addition to the “Visual Lookup” function, which is actually designed to recognize objects such as plants or animals in photos and display information about them. iOS 16 also has the ability to crop and crop these objects with a simple tap and drag to paste them elsewhere as your own photo. The whole thing works with artificial intelligence and is known from image editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop, but usually requires some computing power and takes some time. It will be interesting to see how the iPhone copes with this task.

New features for the iPhone wallet – but only in the US

Apple has announced some new features for the wallet app, but these are reserved for Americans for the time being. With Apple Pay Later, payments via Apple Pay can be divided into four separate installments. Keys for cars, buildings, hotel rooms and the like can now be shared with others, for example by email. In addition, in some US states it will be possible to store your personal identification data in the wallet and to verify yourself with services. We prefer not to make predictions as to when such a function will arrive in Germany.

Own library for family photos

The new iCloud Family Photo Library makes it easier to share photos with loved ones. Different users of the same account can share photos to this shared library, so all members have access to them. Each user can choose which photos they want to share and use different sorting methods. For example, you can choose to only share photos of specific people. A dedicated button is added to the camera app. If this is activated, all photos taken are shared directly in the family library.

In iOS 16, you can share family photos in a dedicated photo library.

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In iOS 16, you can share family photos in a dedicated photo library.

©Apple

The feature can also be set to automatically share photos if family members (specifically their iPhones) were present when the photo was taken. Different permissions can be assigned to the different family members, for example whether photos from the media library can be edited or deleted.

Safety Check: protection for victims of abuse

Features like “Where is?” or checking messages across multiple devices is supposed to make life easier, but can also have a negative impact on people affected by domestic violence. In order to protect users from being tracked down or spied on in such cases, Apple is introducing the Safety Check. In the event of a risk, the iPhone user can stop third-party access to all personal data and, if necessary, log out of all other devices. The device in the user’s hand remains the only one on which the data of the person concerned can be called up.

When will iOS 16 be released?

A developer beta is available starting today, with the public beta to follow in July. The release will take place in autumn, probably like every year together with the start of sales of the new iPhone generation.

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