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5 incredible new iOS 16 features that’ll change the way you use your iPhone

Published Jul 11th, 2022 9:26AM EDT
iPhone 13 Pro Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Over the past few weeks, Apple has been working hard to bolster iOS 16 ahead of its official release in September. This means that engineers have been working on enhancing performance, adding features, and of course, eliminating pesky bugs. iOS 16 beta 3 arrived last week and we can expect the fourth beta soon enough. Now if you missed Apple’s WWDC keynote, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of 5 awesome iOS 16 features that, taken together, make this upgrade a can’t-miss.

Brand new lock screen customizations

Image source: Apple Inc.

Without a doubt, the ability to customize the iPhone lock screen is the most striking new iOS 16 feature. Apple has long kept a firm hold on how iOS looks and feels. But the company is finally giving users the power to set up their iPhone how they see fit.

With iOS 16, Apple is providing users with a slew of lock screen customization options. Users can pick between varying backdrops, fonts, colors, designs, and background wallpapers. It’s also possible to have your lock screen shuffle through a suite of photos throughout the day. Even better, users can create multiple lock screens and easily swap between them as they see fit.

In typical Apple fashion, the customization process is both intuitive and engaging. If you’re running a beta version of iOS 16, you can start exploring different lock screen options by simply long pressing on the lock screen itself.

Live Activities

This is one iOS 16 feature that will likely see heavy use by a lot of users. The Live Activities feature in iOS 16 makes it easier for users to stay on top of live events in real-time, right from the Lock Screen.

For example, if you’re trying to keep tabs on how close an Uber is to picking you up, you’ll no longer have to unlock your phone, fire up Uber, and examine the map. Rather, this iOS 16 feature will enable users to track the progress of their Uber from the Lock Screen.

Another example Apple showed off during its WWDC keynote is the ability to quickly check live sports scores without having to unlock your device, as illustrated by the photo below:

Image source: Apple Inc.

Unsend or edit a text message

We’ve all been there. For whatever reason, you end up sending a text message to the wrong person. This can be embarrassing, if not downright horrifying depending on the parties involved. And sometimes, you might have the right recipient, but you may accidentally send a text message with an embarrassing or inappropriate typo.

If this sounds familiar, iOS 16 has a feature you’ll be excited about. While there’s no denying that Apple’s Messages app isn’t as feature-rich as an app like WhatsApp, Apple is finally starting to take Messages more seriously. And with that said, Messages is beginning to get some power user features, including the ability to either unsend a text message or edit it after it’s already been sent.

While the feature does open up doors for abuse, Apple is looking to mitigate this issue by limiting the ability to edit or unsend a text to a 15-minute window after a text is sent.

It’s worth noting that this feature will only work on two devices that are both running iOS 16.

Haptic feedback on the keyboard

If you’re into haptic feedback, this iOS 16 feature is something you’ve probably been pining for a long time. Put simply, iOS 16 will let users turn on a setting so that they can feel a slight vibration every time they press a letter.

If you’re already running the iOS 16 beta, you can turn the feature on by going to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Keyboard Feedback.

Live Text in Video

Live Text was one of the cooler features Apple introduced with iOS 15 as it allowed users to select, copy, lookup, and translate static text within photos. And with iOS 16, Live Text is coming over to video.

Apple notes that Live Text for videos will work with Photos Quick Look, Safari, and other apps.

A demonstration of how the feature works can be seen below. It’s undoubtedly an intriguing iOS 16 feature.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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