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5 iOS 16 features Apple announced but won’t include at launch

Published Jul 13th, 2022 9:39AM EDT
An iPhone 13 Pro on a table next to Apple AirPods
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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When Apple officially releases iOS 16 later this September, a few notable features will be missing. Now, this isn’t to say Apple is eliminating iOS 16 features. Rather, a number of intriguing iOS 16 features simply won’t be part of the initial iOS 16 update. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has followed Apple’s pattern of iOS releases in recent years. We saw this play out most recently with SharePlay. Originally set to be part of the iOS 15 release, it didn’t arrive until iOS 15.1 arrived a little bit more than a month later.

As a quick aside, it’s worth noting that Apple enthusiasts back in the day would often make fun of Microsoft for routinely announcing new features that would either ship months late, or not at all. Apple, in contrast, for many years made it a habit to ship new products and software features on time, as promised. As Steve Jobs liked to say: Real artists ship.

With that said, let’s dive in and take a look at a few iOS 16 features that you’ll likely have to wait a few weeks for.

Live Activities – an intriguing iOS feature

Live activities is undoubtedly one of the iOS 16 features I’m looking forward to the most. Unfortunately, it won’t be ready for prime time when iOS 16 ships later this September.

Live Activities makes it easy for users to stay abreast of pertinent information in real-time, directly from the lock screen. This means that users can see how far away their Uber is without having to open up the app. As an additional example, users will be able to keep tabs on live sports scores by simply glancing at the lock screen.

Next-gen CarPlay dashboard

Even though an Apple-branded car seems less likely than ever before, that’s not to say Apple is altogether abandoning automotive-oriented software. On the contrary, the next iteration of CarPlay is undoubtedly Apple’s most ambitious effort to date.

As detailed during the WWDC keynote, the next-gen version of CarPlay can take over the entire instrument cluster. Apple notes that users will be able to personalize everything, including the gauge cluster design. Of course, taking advantage of this feature requires support from automotive partners. And as you might expect, not all auto manufacturers are keen on ceding control of such an important part of the driving experience to Apple.

That said, Apple said that partners will be publicly announced in 2023.


Freeform is yet another iOS 16 feature that won’t be ready by September. This brand new app is essentially a collaborative tool akin to a digital whiteboard. And in the interest of collaboration, it will also be part of iPadOS and macOS.

With Freeform, users can instantly share diagrams and ideas on a blank canvas, while also providing a wide array of support for multimedia content. This includes images, documents, video and audio files, PDFs, and more.

Freeform won’t be part of the initial iOS 16 feature set, but it will arrive with an update later this year.

You can see Apple’s Freeform demo from WWDC below.

Matter support

Apple’s home connectivity software hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm. With that said, most people probably aren’t aware of Matter support. Apple notes that Matter is “a new smart home connectivity standard that will enable compatible accessories to work together seamlessly, across platforms.”

The end result will provide users with a far greater choice of smart home accessories. Matter support, Apple notes, is slated to arrive before 2023.

Web push notifications

Push notifications for web apps in mobile Safari are coming in iOS 16. This iOS 16 feature will be opt-in only and is set to arrive sometime next year.

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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