iOS 16 is here and it’s going to change the way hundreds of millions of people use their iPhones. No, there are no wholesale changes to the entire iPhone interface like iOS 7, but there are dozens of major new features, both large and fairly small, that come into play almost every time you pick up your phone.
We’ve been using iOS 16 since the beta arrived, and these are the five features we think will become part of the way millions of people use their iPhones every day. They’re so handy, or just so integrated into the basic iPhone experience, that they’re likely to soon become a staple of the iPhone experience — the kind of thing we’ve just come to associate with the platform.
Custom Lock Screens
After updating to iOS 16, every time you pick up your iPhone, you’ll be greeted by this massive change. Even before you unlock it.
The new lock screen is customizable, attractive and contains more useful information than ever. And with the great photo treatments, linked Focus modes and Photo Shuffle, it will also change dynamically throughout the day.
It used to be that everyone with an iPhone had the same lock screen, just with a different background that was usually obscured by a huge list of notifications. Your lock screen as a truly customizable, usable piece of smartphone real estate is a sea change. Check out all the ways you can customize your lock screen before getting it on your iPhone and trust us, you’ll never want to go back.
Editing and undoing messages
Those “blue bubble” iMessages are about to become even more valuable. With iOS 16, you can edit an iMessage up to 15 minutes after you send it (it will be marked as “edited” on their screen). It’s perfect for correcting typos or clearing up a message that might have been a bit at short.
Of course, if you can edit a post, you can just edit it away everything, effectively remove. So Apple lets you easily “undo” iMessages too. Here you only have 2 minutes to do this, but it’s a great feature if you’ve ever replied to the wrong thread before.
It’s a little thing…a barely noticeable new switch hidden in the Sound and haptics menu in Settings. But the new keyboard haptics in iOS 16 make a huge difference to the way it feels to type on your iPhone.
If you haven’t found this feature yet, turn it on (assuming Apple doesn’t enable it by default) and try it out for a few days. Then try turning it off to feel the difference. It makes your iPhone so clunky and lifeless! This is one of those things that Android phones and even some third-party iPhone keyboards have had for ages, but this change in Apple’s built-in keyboard will make your iPhone more enjoyable every time you touch the keyboard.
Dictate with voice and keyboard
Speaking of the typing experience, the new Dictation in iOS 16 is really something else. Many people use iPhone dictation all the time, others never touch it, but when iOS 16 lands on your iPhone, everyone will want to use it.
First, dictation is faster and more accurate, and it automatically adds punctuation (at least commas, periods, and question marks). You can also add many different emoji via dictation. But what really changes the game is that the keyboard remains visible and active while you dictate. You can speak, switch to typing, go back to speaking, all without missing a beat.
Will it make mistakes? Yes, always (though less often than in iOS 15). But now you can quickly tap and correct a misspelled word with your voice or keyboard, then tap back at the end of your text to continue talking.
The whole name of the dictation game is: does it take less time to fix the dictation errors and shortcomings than to just type everything? With iOS 16, that ratio becomes a lot better, and it will make dictation a great way to enter text for many more people.
Extract subjects from images
This feature is so simple and so simple that it will always be used in social media and messaging. Just tap a photo–each photo and drag the subject out, leaving the background. Seriously, that’s all you need to do.
There can sometimes be a few nuances, especially if you’re trying to save the image for later. And while it works with any image, it really needs a clear difference between subject and background to work optimally. Still, this is one of those “it’s like magic” things that, while certainly not something from Apple inventedwill be built into the operating system so thoroughly that it to feel like an Apple thing.
It requires at least an iPhone with an A12 Bionic processor, which means an iPhone XS or newer.