Apple iOS 16 brings massive improvements to lock screen and messages

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2022 kicked off as it usually does — with details aplenty about its next operating system upgrade: iOS 16. It will debut this fall after spending the summer in beta testing, offering more personalization options and an improved lock screen with widgets.

The lock screen is at the center of Apple’s iOS 16 updates, starting with the ability to customize fonts and colors used. It will be possible to add widgets, and create multiple lock screens that you can switch between by swiping across the screen. Apple-supplied wallpapers get a refresh too, with animated and Pride-themed choices.

Notifications appear on the lock screen differently, too. Instead of piling up across the screen, they “roll in” at the bottom of the screen. There’s also a “live activities” feature to display notifications associated with an event like an Uber ride or sporting event in a single tile.

Image: Apple

There’s a major update coming to messages, too: iOS 16 adds the ability to edit typos out of sent messages, recall messages that you didn’t mean to send, and the ability to mark a message thread as unread so you can come back to it later. SharePlay is also coming to messages.

Apple’s powerful Live Text feature will be coming to video. Additionally, there will be more actions available when you use Live Text in photos or videos. Wallet gets some expanded features too, with a way to share saved IDs securely by supplying only necessary information. It’ll be easier to share saved keys, too. Apple Pay gets a new “Pay Later” feature, adding the option to split a bill into four equal payments without interest or fees. Apple Maps will get multi-stop routing in iOS 16, and six more cities will be added to the “detailed city experience” introduced in iOS 15.

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Apple is also adding shared iCloud photo libraries, in an effort to make it easier to share certain photos across family and friends’ accounts. Photos will include sharing suggestions, and image edits and keywords will be synced for all users.

There’s also a new feature called Safety Check, which is aimed to protect people in abusive situations. It allows you to easily revoke access to certain information, like location, that you may have shared with someone else previously.

iOS 16 will most likely debut alongside the iPhone 14 series, which is rumored to offer an always-on display for the first time in an iPhone. But this OS upgrade won’t just support the very latest devices; Apple is known to offer new iOS versions to phones that are five or even six years old. That’s a level of support that Android device makers have struggled to match, though they’ve made significant progress over the past couple of years.

Developing… we’re adding more to this post, but you can follow along with our WWDC 2022 live blog to get the news even faster.

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