Here are all the key Apple iOS 16 updates announced at WWDC 2022
Here are all the key Apple iOS 16 updates announced at WWDC 2022
Note: This article was first published on 7 June 2022.
Apple WWDC 2022 is a developer-centric conference for app developers in the Apple ecosystem, but the first keynote also drops plenty of updates on Apple’s upcoming software and hardware changes.
Here, we summarise what Apple is bringing to iOS 16, which affects your iPhones. Without further ado:
Personalised Lock Screen
Apple’s iOS 16 Lock Screen now gets Depth Effect in your chosen Lock Screen photo. Depth Effect offers a multi-layered effect, setting the photo’s subject in front of the clock on the screen to create a sense of depth.
Pressing and Holding down the elements on your Lock Screen enables further customisation to how your Lock Screen looks, with iOS 16 offering Lock Screen filters, backgrounds, and different font typefaces and colours.
The Lock Screen also now supports Widgets, chosen from the same Widget Gallery in your iPhone. This lets users see details like weather, battery levels, Apple Health metrics, and more at a glance.
Apple also has a gallery of customisable preset Lock Screens, and is easily selected with a swipe. For a start, Apple has Pride and Unity type Lock Screens, Weather-based Lock Screen, and Astronomy for a bird’s eye view of the solar system.
Notifications now “roll in” from the bottom of the Lock Screen instead of appearing in the dead centre like before.
Live Activities is a new type of real-time notification for apps that’s no longer static. Basically, it’s an evolving Notification that updates itself as progress rolls in, with Apple’s example being an ongoing basketball league playoff. Developers can tap into Live Activities API for their apps when iOS 16 rolls out.
The new Lock Screen also works with Focus with a Link Focus option to specific Lock Screens. In addition, focus itself is improved further, with filters that cut across Safari, Messages, and other Apple first-party apps.
Apple’s default text messaging app (Messages) now comes with three long-overdue features. Users can directly edit sent messages, undo sent messages, and also mark threads as unread for viewing later. SharePlay is also now supported on Messages, so users can watch synced content together while texting. FaceTime also gets a built-in SharePlay shortcut directly to supported third-party apps.
Dictation (voice-typing) now keeps the on-screen keyboard open so users can type or voice their text. Also, Dictation now has automatic punctuation and emoji dictation by speaking the emoji out.
For Siri, Apple launches App Intents API, allowing developers to build Siri compatibility into their apps more easily. Siri can run certain shortcuts once an app is downloaded, so it doesn’t require an upfront setup.
Live Text and Visual Look Up upgrades
Live Text now works in videos – you can pause while a video plays, and copy-paste text seen in the photo. It works with currencies, translation, and more. Developers also get Live Text API to enable their Apple apps with such functionality.
Visual Look Up now allows users to tap and hold on an image’s subject to lift and place it in apps, like messages. The feature is also expanded beyond animals, now supporting birds, insects, and statues.
Photos get shared library with loved ones
iCloud Shared Photo Library allows up to six users to share and contribute photos of specific memories into a separate Apple iCloud storage.
All users in the group have the same level of access to the iCloud Shared Photo Library, including adding, editing, or deleting the photos. The Camera app also gets a toggle that indicates if the photo taken goes into the shared library or the user’s personal library.
Apple Pay Later and Apple Wallet updates
Apple Pay Later is Apple’s very own Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) feature, where Apple Pay splits up the cost of purchases into four separate payments across six weeks with zero interest and fees on Apple’s end. Apple Pay Later is accepted “in places where Apple Pay is already accepted”, which covers Singapore.
Apple brought support to Wallet ID to more states in the U.S., with organisations like the TSA accepting verification on Wallet ID. It also gets digital tie-ups, allowing identification in Wallet ID to be used for apps that require proof.
Keys in Apple Wallet can now be shared with trusted users via messaging apps like Messages, Mail, and more.
Apple iOS 16 also sees further Apple Maps updates. Multistop routing allows users to plan up to 15 multi-stops in a single journey. The feature also works on Siri, so drivers can add stops using their voice to Apple Maps while driving. Users can also plan routes on a Mac and transfer them over to iPhone when they’re ready to commute.
Apple Maps also help users keep track of their transit, with transit updates, journey cost, card balance lookup, and top-up of transit cards, all without leaving the Maps app.
Apple is also extending its new detailed map format to 11 more countries (Singapore was part of the first 10, so we’re covered here).
Better sporting news in Apple News
Apple News now gets a new My Sports section, which covers different leagues, matches, and sports news within the user’s favourite sport. Unfortunately, My Sports is only available in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia at launch (and nowhere else yet).
A new feature called Family Sharing makes it easier to set up Parental Controls and Quick Start Setup for new devices on behalf of family members. When a ward (like a child) requests more screen time, the guardian or parent can accept or decline screen time extensions in Messages.
Safety Check is a new privacy tool for users whose personal safety is at risk from domestic or intimate partner violence. The tool allows users to quickly remove all access they’ve granted to others by revoking permissions and shared data. It also signs the victim out of iCloud on all other devices that might be in the abuser’s hands.
While it sounds like an emergency reset on your shared personal details, Safety Check is designed to cut off digital access from abusers or toxic contacts in your life. Safety Check also gives users a glance at who currently has access to your information.
Apple HomeKit integration with Matter
Matter is a relatively new smart home protocol supported by Apple, Google, Amazon and other major smart home players in the Connectivity Standards Alliance, designed for interoperability of smart home appliances. Now, Apple HomeKit is integrated with Matter starting from Fall 2022, giving users greater control over their smart home.
The My Home app for smart home controls is also better designed, with categories of appliances listed at the top (lights, locks, speakers etc.), and tapping into each category brings the user to an overview of the appliances across their home.
CarPlay (available on 98% of U.S. personal cars) now gets a next-generation user interface. Based on the sneak peeks seen at WWDC 2022, the new CarPlay is now more deeply integrated into a car’s hardware.
CarPlay now unifies the entire car interface – like gauge clusters (speed, RPM, fuel), radio, maps, air-conditioning and weather updates – into a single dashboard.
The gauge cluster can be customised based on user preferences (e.g. modern digital signage or traditional themes with dials and needles). That’s all Apple shared at WWDC, but more information will come later this year.
Other iOS 16 Apple shared about but did not flesh out are Personalised Spatial Audio (which uses TrueDepth camera on iPhone to map out audio fields), Quick Note, and Rapid Security Response.