iOS 16 Review : What Does Apple’s Big iPhone Update Bring? | Tech Reviews
After a lengthy public beta phase, iOS 16 is now available for download for compatible iPhones. What innovations does the operating system bring? The practical test by Fadvices reveals it.
Parallel to the presentation of the new iPhone models around the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro , Apple also announced iOS 16 as part of the Apple Keynote 2022. Now the new iPhone operating system is here! FADVICES has already tried out a previous version (beta) of iOS 16 and reveals what new features the update brings. In a separate article on the Apple Keynote 2022 , we summarize all the highlights for you .
iOS 16: Finally a personal lock screen!
Basically, iOS 16 does not bring a technical revolution, but visually the difference is larger than with iOS 15 in the previous year. The reason: Apple is giving the iPhone a completely new lock screen! Not only does it look better, it also offers more information at a glance than before. For Apple’s software boss Craig Federighi, the system delivers “the biggest update the lock screen has ever seen”. It’s about personalization and information. The way to your personal lock screen is simple: a long press on the lock screen is enough to adjust the look. The font and color of the time display can be selected, as can your own photos as a background. You can also try different color filters for the background by swiping your finger from right to left– as if you were pulling back and forth curtains in the background. Cool: The coloring mainly affects the background in several filters, the color of the foreground remains almost unchanged. It is worth choosing a suitable motif: If the background can be clearly separated from the foreground, iOS 16 places the person in front of the time. So that the ad does not emblazoned on the forehead of the loved ones, the photo should have some “space” above the person.
The clownfish is back!
With iOS 16, the classic clownfish wallpaper known from the very first iPhone makes an appearance . It can be tracked down in the wallpaper gallery in the iPhone settings under Wallpaper > Choose a new wallpaper > Collections (image on the far right of the row). A nice nod to 15 years of the iPhone. The whole thing is implemented with a sense of detail: the time is spatially placed between the anemones.
Widgets provide information at a glance
In addition to a chic look, there is more up-to-date information: For the first time, widgets reminiscent of the clock faces and complications from watchOS can be stored on the lock screen. For example, the system shows the next calendar entry, the current weather and the current fitness level. The lock screen gallery (accessible from Settings > Wallpaper > Choose new wallpaper ) makes customization easier. There, Apple offers collections of images and more.
Live view of weather and space
A highlight is likely to be the weather background image, which also permanently depicts the current weather conditions – as well as the ready-made dynamic astronomy images with the current phases of the moon or the view from space of the current location. Nice detail: In the astronomy background, your own location is displayed with a small dot on the globe. Earth view has been one of the most popular lock screen themes on previous iOS versions.
News ticker on the lock screen
Lock screen notifications are also more powerful in the future. For example, apps display dynamic live information on the lock screen via the “Live activities” function, such as the current weather, sports results, the current delivery status – third-party providers can also adapt their apps accordingly if desired. In addition, it will be easier in the future to call up complete app functionalities directly from the lock screen. However, the API that third-party apps use to use the Live Activity feature isn’t available immediately with iOS 16, it’s scheduled for release in 2023. In one respect, users have to adapt: notifications will soon be displayed from bottom to top. According to Apple, this should provide more clarity, especially in connection with widgets.
iOS 16: A lock screen for every focus
With iOS 16, Apple is expanding the extension of the do not disturb function to very different focus environments that was introduced with iOS 15. The setup, for example, should be easier – and each focus can be combined with its own lock screen design consisting of a background image and widgets. Practical: With a swipe of your finger, you can activate the associated focus environment by changing the lock screen.
Blocking mode against espionage
Anyone who suspects that they are being spied on can activate ” blocking mode” and use this emergency brake to isolate practically all data sniffers. However, this means that many iPhone functions can no longer be used. Nevertheless, a function that does not exist with other smartphone manufacturers. The option is at the bottom of the “Privacy & Security” menu in Settings.
Messages and mails with callback function
Messages (the Apple app of the same name is called iMessage) are more powerful with iOS 16. Great: Messages sent by mistake can be retrieved or edited later up to 15 minutes after they were sent. And you can restore deleted iMessages up to 30 days after deletion if needed. There are also better options for sharing content and an expanded SharePlay.
Perhaps even more important for many: E-mails are also given a return function. Shortly after sending, the delivery of the electronic mail can be revoked by tapping on the “Revoke sending” field that is displayed for a short time at the bottom of the mail program. And e-mails can be composed in advance, just like on a PC, and then sent automatically at a later time. To do this, hold your finger a little longer on the arrow symbol to send, then select the desired date and time for sending. In the future, Mail will recognize whether you have forgotten important parts of a message, such as an attachment. Apple has not yet revealed what this knowledge is based on: In the first test, however, e-mails with terms such as “attached” or “enclosed” could also be sent.
iOS 16 makes dictations suitable for everyday use
The dictation function is more suitable for everyday use in many places thanks to the update to iOS 16: Recognition should be better, and the function should also set punctuation marks and emojis automatically. The keyboard remains visible even while a dictation is running. This makes it easier, for example, to type in special technical terms and to manually correct individual words. Siri will be better at communicating in the future: Messages can also be sent without confirmation via the language assistant. And the command “Hey Siri, hang up” ends hands-free calls and FaceTime calls.
Keyboard: Typing noticeable in the future
Hidden in the “Sounds and Haptics” settings, under the “Keyboard Feedback” entry, is an option that allows typing to be accompanied not only by sounds, but also with haptic feedback. To do this, you must activate the “Haptic” switch. In the test, the feedback was very pleasant and less drastic than the vibration feedback available on many Android phones. So there is nothing wrong with activating the function immediately after installing iOS 16.
Apple Maps: competition for Google Maps
Apple Maps (Apple Maps) has a difficult time against Google Maps. In 2022, local users should also benefit from a number of innovations. Fresh are routes with several intermediate stations – up to 15 stops are possible. Routes can optionally be planned in advance on the Mac and transferred to the iPhone. Apple has announced the integration of public transport tickets for local and long-distance transport, as well as high-res street images in the style of Google Street View. It remains to be seen which of these functions can be used with iOS 16 and where in Germany. Cycle routes, for example, are still not available across the board.
iOS 16: Family Sharing – also for photos
If all or several family members have an iPhone or another Apple device, Family Sharing is a useful feature. Here Apple follows up, especially with iCloud functions: This makes it easier to share photos with the whole family. Unlike in the past, they don’t just release pictures in individual albums; in the future, a shared family photo library can be set up. Everyone can post and edit snapshots here. You can use a switch in the camera app to specify whether freshly taken photos should be sent there automatically. Thanks to face recognition, images of specific people, such as family members, or from specific periods of time can be automatically set. The access of other users to photos can be defined in detail. Practical: In the “Family Checklist”
iOS 16: Completely overhauled CarPlay
A big step is the presented new generation of CarPlay. Thanks to encrypted communication directly with the vehicle’s on-board electronics, this should bring important journey information to the large CarPlay screen, such as the current speed and acceleration. However, the new system also includes fresh software in the car itself. There should be detailed announcements later in autumn 2022. But one thing is already clear: local manufacturers – such as Audi, Mercedes and Porsche – will also be there at the start.
Fitness app even without an Apple Watch
iPhone users without an Apple Watch will also soon be able to use the fitness app. If you always carry your smartphone with you, you will also receive information on steps, distances covered, steps, calorie consumption and training from apps from other providers. The incentive to close the movement ring every day will also attract iPhones in the future. Challenges and fitness competitions with other iPhone and Apple Watch users can also be accepted. The sophisticated training, fitness and health information that an Apple Watch offers with the upcoming watchOS 9 is of course missing.
Health app: Take the medication!
In the Health app, lists for medication can be created, managed and provided with schedules and reminders. However, the list is not only intended for medicinal preparations. If desired, it also reminds you to take food supplements, such as vitamin pills from the drugstore. The designations could be freely typed in while trying them out. Practical: add medicines simply by scanning the label. There is even a warning if the software detects known critical interactions with other drugs – the feature is initially only available in the USA. The health data can be shared with others – either directly with Apple users via the health data or as a PDF “health file” with health institutions.
More security: No more passwords!
The new data protection tool “Safety Check” is intended to help identify and prevent possible stalking or other security threats to partners or close friends. Because in a critical situation, all previously granted access to personal data can be removed in one fell swoop. For macOS, Apple has introduced a secure login with Passkey, which extends to iPhones running iOS 16. In the German version of the smartphone operating system, the feature can be found under the “iCloud passwords & iCloud keychain” function ( Settings > Passwords > Password options). The system uses biometric authentication via Face ID or Touch ID on the iPhone and the encrypted synchronization of the keychain with passwords via iCloud to securely log into websites or apps – whether on a Mac, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV. The special thing about Passkey: other apps and websites that support logging in with Apple’s system do not transmit the password itself, only the individual passkey. The catch: The whole thing only works with apps or websites that support login via Apple. The US group assumes that more and more sites will gradually support the system. Because the temptation of a world without passwords is great.
Safari: Surfing along made easy
Are you brooding over holiday planning together with your loved ones and surfing through a number of hotel websites? Browsing the web together just got easier with the new Safari. Entire tab groups with multiple web addresses can be shared with friends and family members. Requirement: You need an Apple device with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura and the latest Safari. Interesting in this context: The new Safari in iOS 16 uses Passkey.
Smart-Home-App: iOS 16 learnt “Matter”
The new Home app aims to make it easier to control smart home accessories. Not only does a clearer display serve this purpose, but also a new and more reliable software architecture. Support for the “Matter” smart home standard is to follow with a later update for iOS 16.
Which iPhones will run iOS 16?
All devices with an Apple A10 Fusion processor or higher are eligible for iOS 16. These are all models from iPhone 8 (2017) – compared to iOS 15, Apple is giving the update a maximum of five years. These devices are compatible with iOS 16:
- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
- iPhone SE (2020)
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 14 , iPhone 14 Plus , iPhone 14 Pro , iPhone 14 Pro Max (already ship with iOS 16)