The biggest changes coming to your iPhone next week with iOS 16

Apple is finally unlocking your lock screen's potential with iOS 16. 

Alex Choros
Group Reviews Editor
Read More
September 09, 2022
4 min read

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This article originally appeared on WhistleOut.com.au

Apple has confirmed the latest version of its iPhone operating system - iOS 16 - will be available next week. The manufacturer has said it will go live on September 12, but that could end up being quite late in the day in Australia, or even on September 13. watchOS 9 will also launch alongside iOS 16, but iPadOS 16 isn't expected until October. 

Key new features include lock screen customisation, some highly requested updates to Message, and an Apple Pay driven Buy Now Pay Later service.

Here's a look at what to expect.

IOS 16 preview
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You'll be able to customise your lock screen

The update you'll notice first in iOS 16 is a redesigned lock screen. Inspired by the Apple Watch, you'll be able to completely customise your lock screen. In addition to picking your photo, you can set custom typography, colours, and filters.

You'll also be able to add widgets to your phone screen, such as your calendar, Apple Watch activity ring, world clocks, weather, and battery indicators for devices like your AirPods. Developers will also be able to build their own widgets.

You'll be able to have more than one lock screen, and you'll be able to swipe to switch between them.

As part of this redesign, notifications will now roll in from the bottom of the lock screen, and can be minimised entirely. Apple is also adding a new style of "live activity" notification that acts as a persistent banner for tracking things like live sport or an Uber order without being bombarded by multiple individual pings.

Focuses will tie into apps

Apple is expanding on the Focus functionality it introduced in iOS 15. Your Focus can be tied to your lock screen, so swapping your lock screen can change your Focus. For example, if you have a Work lock screen, swiping into it will set your phone into work mode.

Focuses will also be able to filter into apps. For example, your Work focus can make it so you only see work-related tabs in Safari, work-related conversations in Messages, and work inboxes in Mail.

Developers will also be able to integrate this into their apps.

Messages is finally getting some features we've all been asking for

Messages is getting three highly requested features in iOS 16. You'll be able to edit an iMessage after you send it, you'll be able to undo sending an iMessage, and you'll be able to mark a conversation as unread if you want to remember to come back to it after.

You'll be able to interact with text in videos In iOS 15, Apple introduced Live Text - a feature that lets you interact with text in photos. In iOS 16, you'll be able to do the same with any frame in a paused video.

Apple is also augmenting Live Text with quick actions, so you'll be able to convert currency or translate text right in the photo or video.

Similarly, a camera view is being added to Apple's Translate app for translating larger images.

Apple Pay Later

Apple is getting into Buy Now Pay Later with Apple Pay Later. It's the same old thing where you split a payment into four equal payments. You'll pay your first quarter immediately, and then the remaining three instalments every two weeks. Apple says there'll be zero interest and zero late fees. You should be able to use Apple Pay Later anywhere you can Apple Pay, but it doesn't sound like this will be available in Australia initially.

Multi-stop routes in Apple Maps

iOS 16 routing will add multi-stop routing to Apple Maps, which will let you plan journeys of up to 15 stops. You can also plan routes on your Mac and then access them on your iPhone. Google Maps has had multi-stop journeys for years now, so this is very much Apple playing catch-up.

You'll also be able to see public transport fares right into the Maps app. Again, it's not clear whether this functionality will work in Australia at launch.

Shared photo libraries

iOS 16 includes a feature called iCloud Shared Photo Library, which lets you share an entire photo library with up to five other people. Edits are shared across the group, and a toggle in the camera app will let you send photos directly to the shared library as you shoot.

Safety Check

Apple has been working with organisations that support victims of domestic violence to build Safety Check. The feature can be used to reset the access you've granted anyone else, such as to data or your location. It also resets your privacy message, stops sharing your location, and protects access to your messages by signing you out of iCloud on all other devices.

Everything else

iOS 16 has plenty of other features:
  • Dictation will let you use the keyboard and voice together. Or example, you can select text with the keyboard and then replace it with your voice. It will also intelligently add punctuation.
  • The Fitness app will be available to all users, even if you don't have an Apple Watch. It will provide a stripped-down guestimate of your activity, based on data from the iPhone motion sensors. You'll only get one ring - a move ring.
  • You'll be able to take Quick Notes from any app, using the Sharing menu. You'll also be able to lock individual notes using your device's passcode.
  • Order tracking directly in Apple Wallet.
  • Family Sharing is getting some improvements, making it easier to configure parental controls and set up new devices for your kids. You'll also be able to respond to requests for extra screen time in the Messages app, rather than having to open up Settings.
  • A redesigned Home app with greater visibility of your smart home devices
  • A redesigned CarPlay interface that can be used to control car features like aircon, and also expose driving info like your speed and fuel gauge. We won't see vehicles with the new version of CarPlay until late next year, however.

Can I update to iOS 16?

The iPhone 8 and newer will be able to upgrade to iOS 16. This means the original iPhone SE, the iPhone 6s family, and the iPhone 7 family will be stuck on iOS 15.

You can install iOS 16 on the following iPhones:

iPhone 13, Phone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone SE (2022), iPhone 12, Phone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE (2020), iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus

Disclosure: This author owns shares in Apple

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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