Apple announces iOS and iPadOS 16: First look at the new features

Apple kicked off its annual developer conference today at its headquarters in Cupertino. During the keynote, they took the wraps off iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 and showed off many of the new features that will be coming to Apple devices later this year. Like with past major iOS updates, Apple will release a public beta of iOS and iPadOS 16 in July, and then likely release the final version for everyone later this year alongside the iPhone 14.

We’ll first look at what’s new for iOS 16 for iPhone then look at some of the unique features designed for the larger screen in iPadOS 16.

New Lock Screen for iPhone

Let’s start with a look at the new lock screen for iPhone, which finally allows you to add custom widgets. These take inspiration from Apple Watch complications, making it easy to get information at a glance, such as upcoming calendar events, the weather, battery levels, alarms, time zones, activity ring progress, and more. And like with the Apple Watch, you can create multiple Lock Screens, each with a unique design and widget configuration.

To further increase the utility of the lock screen in iOS 16, Apple added a concept called “Live Activities”.  These widgets are continuously updated and help users stay on top of things that are happening in real time — such as a sports game, workout, ride share, or food delivery order — right from the Lock Screen.

What’s new in Messages

You can edit or delete recently sent messages, recover recently deleted messages, and mark conversations as unread so they can come back to them later. In addition, SharePlay is coming to Messages, making it possible to enjoy synced content like movies or songs and shared playback controls all while chatting in Messages.

Updates to the Mail app

The mail app also received a long-overdue update, which includes an overhauled search feature designed to deliver more relevant, accurate, and complete results, including recent emails, contacts, documents, and links. You can also schedule emails ahead of time and cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox.

Wallet adds shareable hotel keys

Digital hotel keys are becoming more and more common at the major hotel brands, and an update in the Wallet app allows you to share your digital hotel key with another iOS user.

Maps adds support for multistop routes

Apple Maps added the ability to create multistop routes when planning a trip. You can add up to 15 stops and use Siri to add new stops to a route when navigating via CarPlay.

My Sports

Apple News introduced a new My Sports section to easily follow favorite teams and leagues; receive stories from hundreds of top publishers; access scores, schedules, and standings for the top professional and college leagues; and watch highlights right in the News app. You can also add a Live Activity widget to the lock screen to show real time scores for the games you’re following.

The Next Generation of CarPlay

CarPlay has fundamentally changed the way people interact with their vehicles, and the next generation of CarPlay goes even further by deeply integrating with a car’s hardware. CarPlay will be able to provide content for multiple screens within the vehicle, creating an experience that is unified and consistent. Deeper integration with the vehicle will allow users to do things like control the radio or change the climate directly through CarPlay, and using the vehicle data, CarPlay will seamlessly render the speed, fuel level, temperature, and more on the instrument cluster.

You will be able to personalize their driving experience by choosing different gauge cluster designs, and with added support for widgets, you will have at-a-glance information from Weather and Music right on their car’s dashboard. More information about the next generation of CarPlay will be shared in the future, and vehicles will start to be announced late next year.

Medications tracking

The Health app adds Medications, allowing you to conveniently build and manage a medications list, create schedules and reminders, and track medications, vitamins, or supplements. In the US, you can simply point your iPhone camera at a label to add a medication, read about the medications you’re taking, and receive an alert if there are potential critical interactions for medications.

Live Text and Visual Look Up Enhancements

Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognize text in images across iOS, and it is now expanding to include video. You can pause a video on any frame and interact with text. Live Text also adds the ability to quickly convert currency, translate text, and more.

What’s new in iPadOS 16

iPadOS 16 includes many of the same features in iOS16, including the same improvements in the Mail and Messages app, live text analysis for videos, My Sports in the News app and a redesigned (Smart) Home app. iPadOS 16 also received several new features designed to improve productivity collaboration for those using the iPad as an everyday computer.

The Weather App Comes to iPad

The Weather app is now available for the iPad’s larger display. You can see the most important weather information at a glance, or explore maps to check precipitation, air quality, and temperature. You will also be notified when a severe weather alert is issued in their area, or check the air quality using a color-coded scale.

Stage Manager adds new Multitasking features

Stage Manager is an entirely new multitasking experience that automatically organizes apps and windows, making it quick and easy to switch between tasks. For the first time on iPad, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes in a single view, drag and drop windows from the side, or open apps from the Dock to create groups of apps for faster, more flexible multitasking. The window of the app users are working on is displayed prominently in the center, and other open apps and windows are arranged on the left-hand side in order of recency.

FreeForm

The new FreeForm app allows users on multiple iPads to collaborate in a single real time space. Coming to iPadOS 16 later this year, Freeform allows collaborators to start a session from FaceTime and see the updates from others right in the Messages thread.

Everything else Apple announced today

WatchOS 9 introduces more customizable watch faces, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages, a first-of-its-kind AFib History feature, and an all-new Medications app. Read more here 

New M2 Processor designed for the new Macbook Pro and Macbook Air. Read more here

MacOS Ventura adds new productivity and continuity features for Apple desktop and laptop computers. Read more here

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