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(Pocket-lint) - Apple typically releases the next-generation iPhone series in autumn alongside an updated version of iOS. For 2022, the new software will be called iOS 16.

During the company's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June 2022, Apple previewed some of the features that will arrive with iOS 16.

Here is everything you need to know about iOS 16, including all the confirmed features, leaked features yet to be made official, when we expect the software to be released and how to try the public beta.

iOS 16: Release date

  • Unveil date: WWDC on 6 June 2022
  • Release date: Likely September 2022

Apple announced the major software update for the iPhone at its annual developer conference, WWDC. It typically releases a developer beta immediately after the conference, which is then followed by a public beta that anyone can test - more on that below.

The official release of the software doesn't usually arrive until September - at the same time as the next iPhone. In 2021 for example, Apple released iOS 15 on 20 September (or about a week after the iPhone 13 event). Should Apple's iPhone 14 event take place this September, then iOS 16 would presumably roll out a week later. Apple has said "fall", though hasn't been more specific than that.

iOS 16: How to try the public beta

The iOS 16 public beta is not yet available. It will probably go live this summer, following a test for developers.

You will be able to install the latest public betas of iOS and iPadOS in less than five minutes. You'll need to join Apple's beta software program first, and then you will be able to install any available betas to test.

Pocket-lint has an in-depth guide that explains how to install an iOS public beta if you need extra help when it becomes available.

iOS 16: Which iPhones are compatible?

  • iOS 16 compatibility: iPhone 8 and up

Although Apple releases major software updates to iOS every year, it tries to ensure older iPhone models are supported. For instance, iOS 15 works smoothly on the 2015 iPhone 6S and later. However, iOS 16 will only support the iPhone 8 and later.

Notably, the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone SE 2016 won't be compatible with iOS 16.

iOS 16: Features

Apple revealed a number of the features coming to iOS 16 when it launches later this year. Here are all the features coming to your iPhone.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 1

Lock Screen

The Lock Screen is seeing some big changes in iOS 16, allowing much more personalisation. Working in a similar way to Apple Watch faces, users will be able to swipe between different Lock Screens, whilst also being able to change fonts, colours, images and add Widgets to each.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 2

Notifications

Notifications saw a big change in iOS 15, but for iOS 16, they will get some more improvements. They will not only appear from the bottom of the Lock Screen in an expanded list view but there is a Live Activities feature that will enable you to keep up with events in real-time, like an NBA game or Uber ride without unlocking your device.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 3

Focus

Focus is also a feature that was announced with iOS 15, but it is expanding in iOS 16. The new software will allow users to set a different Focus per Lock Screen. There will also be Focus Filters that will see the Focus you set filtering out distracting content in everyday apps, like Mail and Safari.

AppleiOS 16 screens photo 6

Messages

Some big changes are coming to Messages too, including the ability to edit a message you've recently sent, as well as Unsend a message - both these will need to be done within 15 minutes. The new software will also enable you to mark any Message thread as Unread so you can come back to it. 

Additionally with Messages, iOS 16 will bring SharePlay to the platform, meaning it won't be specific to FaceTime anymore and you'll be able to watch a movie or TV show directly in Messages whilst still using the thread to chat.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 4

Photos

For Photos, iOS 16 is bringing a better way to share photos with something called iCloud Share Photo Library. This will allow you to share photos with family members seamlessly and automatically, with everyone able to contribute.

You'll be able to share everything or choose what to include based on the start date or people in the photo, for example. There will also be an option in the camera app that will enable you to send shots straight to Shared Library.

Mail

Mail will get improved search in iOS 16, offering suggestions before you start typing. There will also be some new features including Undo Send, Schedule Send and Follow Up.

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Follow Up will remind you to follow up if you haven't had a response, and Mail will also notice if you forget to include an attachment.

Passkeys

A new feature called Passkeys will arrive with iOS 16, offering a new sign-in method that is end-to-end encrypted. It's said to be stronger than all common two-factor authentification types and Passkeys work with non-Apple devices too.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 5

Safari

For Safari, iOS 16 brings with it Shared Tab Groups, allowing you to share tabs and bookmarks, send messages and start FaceTime from Safari itself. Whether you're planning a trip with friends, or shopping online and want to show your partner everything you've found on various websites, you'll be able to share everything in one place.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 6

Live Text

Live Text has been expanded to video in iOS 16, allowing you to pause on any frame that contains text so you can copy, translate, Look Up and share. There are also quick actions in Live Text with the new software, making it easier to call numbers, visit websites, convert currencies and translate languages.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 7

Dictation

Dictation is becoming smarter with iOS 16, with the keyboard remaining on the screen so you can use both voice and touch to enter text. It will automatically punctuate too and you can dicate emoji's as well.

AppleiOS 16 screens photo 8

Apple Pay

Changes are coming to Apple Pay too with iOS 16 including Apple Pay Later, which will allow you to split the cost of something you buy through Apple Pay over four equal payments across six weeks. You'll be able to use the service anywhere you can use Apple Pay, though it is not clear if it's limited to the US at launch.

Other updates to Wallet include the ability to track Apple Pay orders, share keys securely and verify your identity in apps.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 8

Maps

Maps is getting some updates too, including Multistop Routing allowing up to 15 stops and the ability to add Transit cards to Wallet so can top them up without leaving the Maps app. It will also be easier to see how much a fare will cost on the Transit routes.

AppleiOS 16 screens photo 12

Home

The Home app has been rebuilt for iOS 16 with new categories for climate, lights and security, as well as a new Home tab and a multicamera view that shows off all your smart home cameras quickly when you open the Home app.

Support for Matter will also be coming later in 2022.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 10

Family Sharing

With iOS 16, Family Sharing is getting some improvements. It will be easier to create an account for kids and set up devices more easily for kids too. You'll get requests for extra screen time directly in Messages and there will be a feature called Family Checklist too that enables you to update settings as kids get older.

AppleiOS 16 pics photo 9

Health and Fitness

Changes to the Health app in iOS 16 include a Medications feature that allows you to manage, track and understand the medications you take. For the Fitness app, all users with iPhones running iOS 16 will be able to track their fitness goals contribute to their Move ring, even without an Apple Watch.

AppleiOS 16 screens photo 9

Safety Check

A feature called Safety Check will be introduced in iOS 16 that will allow you to review and reset settings for apps, revoke access to things like your location and reset your privacy persmissions.

iOS 16 rumoured features

Whilst Apple revealed many official features coming to iOS 16, there may still be some surprises in September. Here are some of the features that have been mentioned in leaks, but haven't been detailed by Apple as yet. 

Big widgets

LeaksApplePro reported that iOS 16 should introduce "big widgets". It even tweeted an image that showed apps displayed in larger squares and rectangles. But there are critics of this image and it wasn't confirmed in the WWDC preview.

Car crash detection

Rumours indicate the iPhone 14 could feature a car crash detection mode that can determine when a collision has occurred and automatically dial emergency services. Nothing was mentioned during the WWDC preview though.

iOS 16: What do the rumours say?

Here's everything that has happened so far:

31 May 2022: Apple's new iPhone and iPad software will add lots of big changes

According to Bloomberg, iOS 16 includes updates to notifications, messages and the Health app. The software will also include new multitasking panels for iPads.

26 January 2022: Widgets could be changing for iOS 16

LeaksApplePro reported that iOS 16 should introduce "big widgets".

1 November 2021: Could iOS 16 bring a car crash detection feature?

Rumours indicate the iPhone 14 could feature a car crash detection mode that can determine when a collision has occurred and automatically dial emergency services.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle and Maggie Tillman.