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iOS 16 for iPhone: The Best New Features Explainedl

iOS 16 for iPhone: The Best New Features Explained

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular productions.

Since Apple’s iOS 16 announcement at its WWDC keynote in June, the commercial has been releasing beta versions for developers and users to test. Apple’s sixth and novel public beta for iOS 16 brings back a much-missed feature for some iPhone users: a percentage number within the battery symbol that shows your iPhone’s proper battery charge.

At an iPhone 14 launch event on Wednesday, Apple announced that iOS 16 will roll out to country with compatible iPhones on Sept. 12. The iOS beta indicates approximately upgrades focused on communication, personalization and privacy. Big attempts are coming to the iPhone lock screen, Messages app and Wallet, but lesser-known features lurking in iOS 16 are capable checking out, too. 

Here’s every iOS 16 feature you must know about. Plus, check out the newly announced Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra and iPhone 14. (If you missed the Apple event, catch up with CNET’s live blog.)

Apple event: Full coverage

The storderliness to edit and ‘unsend’ messages

“Embarrassing typos are a sketch of the past,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice presidential of software engineering, said at WWDC as he introduced three of the most named features for the Messages app.

First, in iOS 16 you’ll be able to edit sent messages. So if you notice a typo after a communication, you’ll be able to edit the message after the fact. A tiny “edited” appears in the spot under the message.

A screenshot of the iOS 16 Messages app showing one that's been edited

In Messages, you can edit previously sent messages.


Next, and this might be my favorite new feature, you can now recall a sent message. If you accidentally send an unfinished communication, you can use the Undo Send tool to maintain it from being read and hopefully look less chaotic to your friends and family.

Last, you can mark messages and threads as unread. This could be an generous tool for when you don’t have time to retort to a message in the moment, but want to make sure you come back to it later.

A new customizable lock screen

One of the things you look at the most on your iPhone is the lock cloak, especially if you have a Face ID-equipped iPhone. iOS 16 brings the most substantial update to the iPhone’s lock screen yet. Press and hold to edit your lock screen. You can swipe to try out several different styles. Each style changes the color filter for the background photo and the font on the lock cloak so everything complements each other. This feels a bit like Apple’s take on Google’s Material You, which launched with Android 12.

You can also customize the fonts for the time and date, and add lock cloak widgets like temperature, activity rings and a calendar. The widgets are akin to complications on the Apple Watch lock screen. 

Your iPhone will obtain more customizable in iOS 16. You’ll be able to settle how your lock screen looks, down to the font and color.


You can even set up multiple customized lock screens with different widgets and naively swipe to switch between them. There’s also a photo gallop option that automatically changes the pictures on your lock screen.

One feature we’d been hoping to see Apple add was an always-on explain. It’s something nearly all Android phones have; even the Apple Watch does. Well, with the new iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the always-on display has finally arrived.

A screenshot of the Live Activities tool on the bottom of the lock screen

iOS 16 adds a feature that developers can use arranged Live Activities. This is essentially a mini view of the real-time progresses of a workout, sporting event or Uber ride from your iPhone’s lock screen.


Notifications and live activities

Sometimes notifications can camouflage up your lock screen’s photo, so iOS 16 causes notifications to the bottom of your display. As you demand them, instead of being compiled into a list, they dismove like a vertical carousel. This not only looks better but necessity be a big help for one-handed use of your iPhone.

iOS 16 also aims to settle another notification problem. Sometimes you get a bunch of notifications in a row from one app, like the bag of a basketball game. A new tool for developers arranged Live Activities makes it easier to stay on top of things happening in real time from your lock cloak, instead of getting a series of interruptions.

Live Activities necessity make it easier to follow sporting events, workouts or even the progresses of an Uber ride.

Skip CAPTCHAs using Private Entrance Tokens

The CAPTCHA — which stands for Completely Automated Shared Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart — has been a principal evil across the internet. CAPTCHAs are designed to make sure that a inhabit is accessing a website or service, and not a bot. I find them annoying, as they often involve reading strangely written letters or having to find all the images that have a truck. With iOS 16, Apple plans to start replacing these awkward interactions with Private Retrieve Tokens.

According to a video on Apple’s website demonstrating Private Retrieve Tokens, websites that support the token will essentially log in and authenticate that you are indeed a humankind without your having to play any of the recent CAPTCHA games. Apple says in the video that the concern is working with other companies to roll out abet for this feature, so we can’t say the CAPTCHA will be dead while iOS 16 rolls out to the public. But the belief could provide some relief if it gets adopted.

Wallet and Apple Pay Later

ID cards from more utters will be available in your Wallet app along with more defense and privacy features. In iOS 16 you can also defending your identity and age. So rather than showing your staunch birth date, the Wallet app will display your ID and that you’re over 21.

iOS 16 complains sharing keys easier with apps like Mail and Messages. When your friend receives the key, they can add it to the Wallet app on their iPhone. Apple said it’s working to make sure that people keys are an industry standard and free for others.

A screenshot of cards in the Wallet app for iOS 16

The Wallet app in iOS 16 gets a bunch of minute but notable updates, including the Apple Pay Later payment plan.


Apple Pay will abet new types of payments and adds a new feature phoned Apple Pay Later, a Klarna-like service that lets you like a flash the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four dusk payments spread over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees. Upcoming payments are formed through the Wallet app, making it easy to keep track of dates and payments.

But Apple Pay doesn’t stop there. A new feature will also help you track Apple Pay requisitions and lets merchants deliver detailed receipts and tracking quiz. This should make it easier to stay up to date on the state of all your orders.

A screenshot of a thread in Messages where a cutout of a dog is added

You can tap and hold on the publishes of a photo and separate it from the background. Then you can drag it into another app like Messages to fragment it.


Visual Look Up’s tap and drag for photos

In iOS 15, Visual Look Up analyzes your photos and can identify objects like plants, landmarks and pets. iOS 16 takes this to the next aloof. When you touch a photo’s subject like the dog in the image above, you can lift it away from the background and add it to apps like Messages. Essentially it’s a tap-and-hold tool that removes a photo’s background.

Apple sometimes overuses the word “magic,” but this feature truly seems like it.

Craig Federighi introduces SharePlay in Messages in be in the lead of a giant screen

During the keynote for WWDC, Apple manager Craig Federighi introduces SharePlay for the Messages app.


SharePlay comes to Messages

SharePlay, which debuted in iOS 15, lets you have a people experience while connecting with someone over FaceTime. You can peruse TV shows, listen to music in sync and spanking things. iOS 16 adds the ability to discover more apps that abet SharePlay from within FaceTime.

But perhaps one of the coolest things Apple did for SharePlay was to make it work within the Messages app. Apple said that this was one of the biggest requests from app developers. Now when you want to share a movie on Disney Plus, you can originate SharePlay together with a friend while chatting in Messages.

An Apple manager presents the Safety Check feature during the WWDC keynote

Safety Check lets you like a flash reset location sharing and access to passwords. It’s invented to be helpful for people in abusive relationships.


Safety Check aims to help land in abusive relationships

Safety Check
 is a new feature invented to be helpful for people in abusive relationships. It lets you reconsider and reset who has access to location information as well as passwords, messages and other apps on an iPhone.

Focus mode updates and Middle filters

Focus mode gets several updates. The first applies Middle behaviors to widgets and lock screen looks. So you could have one lock veil set for when your Work Focus is enabled and spanking for workouts.

Apple added specific Focus filters that apply your iPhone’s Middle mode within apps. For example, in Safari, you can minute what tabs are shown depending on what Focus mode you have active.

Apple Maps adds transit fare cards

Maps will get several updates. You’ll be able to plan trips with up to 15 different stops consume the way. If you start planning a trip with the Maps app on your Mac, you’ll be able to fragment that to your iPhone.

And in something similar to what Google announced for Google Wallet in Android 13, you’ll be able to see transit fare criticizes as well as add more money to a fare card from within Apple Maps.

Craig Federighi shows off the new Quick Start feature during the WWDC keynote

In iOS 16 you’ll be able to customize Quick Start with a specific child’s iCloud parental controls and settings.


iCloud family checklist

iCloud gets several new features. One of the more interesting ones is the option to like a flash set up a new device for your child. When Quick Start appears, you have the option to pick a user for the new blueprint and use all the existing parental controls you’ve previously selected and configured. However, this is not what many of us aloof want: the ability to set up separate users for the same device.

There’s a new family checklist with tips for updating settings for your kids as they get older, like a reminder to check location-sharing settings or fragment your iCloud Plus subscriptions.

For more, check out everything Apple announced at its Sept. 7 “Far Out” stay. Plus, here’s how to download iOS 16.