This year there is a feeling that Apple has decided to go through the list of “whims” of users and finally implement many of them in iOS 16. As soon as the certificates became available to developers, I installed the first beta version on the iPhone. Surprisingly, it works quite stably and for the first few days of using some, I did not notice critical bugs. (But still, I recommend waiting for at least a public beta).
However, let’s talk about some of the most interesting innovations in iOS 16:
New lock screen. You can now add widgets and customize them, as well as create several different lock screens and switch between them. And the watch can “hide” behind a person if you put a photo as wallpaper. I think everyone has already seen it in the presentation. But what you can choose from widgets, I want to show in detail. Some say that now everything looks too busy and “like in android”. Slightly so, but we’ll see how it will be further when there will be added third-party applications.
Once again redesigned interaction with notifications You can now swipe them into a neat stack at the bottom or hide them from the screen altogether. It has become much easier to control the player because you do not have to stretch to the middle of the screen.
More features added to Focus mode, including integrating the aforementioned lock screens. They can be linked to Focus modes. Thus, by selecting a different lock screen, you can automatically turn on a certain mode and vice versa.
Filters have also been added to Focus mode, meaning that only certain calendars, email entries, or tab groups in Safari can be left active (and a developer API has been added, so third-party apps can also hide certain content in Focus modes). In my opinion, these are important improvements that will be useful.
But I’m still waiting for the system to be able to recognize contacts from the Allow notifications list because now it automatically works (apparently) with standard Messages and applications that can link a contact to a contact in the phonebook. Since the release of this feature, only Slack offered me to do it, everyone else is in no hurry. You can still invert this feature, i.e. hide notifications from certain people (however, it will only work on devices with the new system).
Photo. In addition to the joint albums mentioned in the presentation (which I haven’t found in the system yet), a few more interesting features have been added. The Hidden and Recently Deleted folders can now be protected with biometrics, and there’s a new Duplicate folder that searches for the same photos and offers to combine them, leaving the best ones and collecting metadata from all of them.
This is a very cool feature that I’ve been waiting for for a long time (sometimes I have to switch photos between devices before they have time to sync resulting in duplicates). In addition, the application now automatically selects the main object in the photo and allows you to distribute, copy or simply drag and drop into another application in one click. And it does it pretty well.
Updated homepage of the smart home app. They changed the overall style by removing the individual room tab and redrawing the icons. This refreshed the look a bit, but some decisions became even more controversial. For example, the readings of sensors that now are on a small bar on the entire blank screen (if there are no other air conditioners such as thermostats). And I would like a little more new icons for lighting. Third-party applications have gone much further in this regard. Yes, Apple is trying to make this application simple and easy for everyone, but the icons could still do more.
Passkeys. There was already an article about the idea and technology and you can already try it. Demo-page from Hanko. By the way, the function in the system is available since the last WWDC. The technology is planned to be introduced next year, but Passkey can already be added to GitHub as a two-factor authentication method instead of a physical key (synchronized between iPhone and iPad, all as promised).
The updated search in the mail app (from what I’ve noticed, they’ve begun to highlight the search query in the message preview), and added the ability to remind email later, postpone sending, or cancel within seconds of sending.
Safari has also added new features. Unfortunately, I was not able to test the distribution of tab groups, but some other features are also interesting. You can now pin individual tabs within groups of tabs or add bookmarks specific to that group of tabs (or Favorites, as Apple calls them). It is also finally possible to edit the passwords offered by Safari. Sometimes a site does not accept passwords that contain hyphens. This is not a problem now.
Live Text can now find and interact with the video test. If it finds some important information, it can suggest quick actions (translate, convert currency, create a calendar event, etc.). If there is no separate button, you can simply select the text, and suggestions for action on it will be in the context menu (not sure if this is a new feature, but I would like it to work anywhere in the system, not just in this mode). New languages have been added for recognition, including Ukrainian (unfortunately, it can’t translate into Ukrainian yet).
Improved voice typing. You can now type and interact with the keyboard at the same time, but this is currently only available in English.
Health has added the ability to control medication use, with reminders and warnings of incompatibilities. At one time I did not find a convenient third-party application for this. But here they have already tried, in fact. When creating it is possible to customize the icon with a rich selection of both shapes and colors. You can export the drug list to a PDF document directly from the application. By the way, I noticed the same possibility for medical records.
A fitness appliance (previously only a watch) is now available to everyone but in a very limited way. There is a circle of activities, there are awards. So far I haven’t been able to add anyone to share the activity – this feature in the first beta is quite crude (or it is necessary that a person also had iOS 16).
A few new features have been added to the privacy section: completely deny access to any of your data to third parties and programs; check which people or programs have access to your data and take it away if necessary.
These were the most important and interesting innovations. Many more things have been added/changed in other applications, such as new features in iMessage (they finally add what we have long been accustomed to in Telegram). To my surprise, iOS 16 works well right away, right from the first beta for developers. I want to believe that this update will correct the shortcomings of previous years.