iOS 16 is the sixteenth major release of Apple's iOS mobile operating system for the iPhone. It is the successor of iOS 15, and was announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 6, 2022, alongside iPadOS 16,[3] and released on September 12, 2022. It was succeeded by iOS 17 on September 18, 2023.

iOS 16
Version of the iOS operating system
A picture of the iOS 16 home screen
iOS 16 home screen on an iPhone 14 Pro
DeveloperApple Inc.
September 12, 2022; 19 months ago (2022-09-12)
Latest release16.7.7 (20H330)[1] (March 21, 2024; 28 days ago (2024-03-21)) [±]
Available in41 languages[2]
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
LicenseProprietary software with open-source components
Preceded byiOS 15
Succeeded byiOS 17
Official websiteiOS 16 at the Wayback Machine (archived August 2, 2023)
Support status
Receiving security updates for iPhones that do not support iOS 17. Widespread third-party app support. Drops support for all A9 and A10 Fusion chips, including the iPhone 6S/6S Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 7/7 Plus, and iPod Touch (7th generation).
Articles in the series
iPadOS 16 (derivative for iPad)

It is the first iOS release to be exclusive to iPhones since the first version release of iPhone OS 1, as it drops support for the last iPod Touch. It is also the last iOS release to support iPhone models with a 5.5-inch display, especially the iPhone 8 Plus.[4]

System features edit

Freeform edit

Freeform is a whiteboard app that lets users collaborate together in real time. The whiteboard is an "Infinite" space where users can draw, import files, facetime, message, all fluently in sync.

AirDrop edit

In iOS 16.2, the default setting is "Contacts Only”, and the "Everyone" setting was changed to "Everyone for 10 Minutes,” which reverts to "Contacts Only" after 10 minutes[5] "to prevent unwanted requests to receive content.”[6] This was enabled in iOS 16.1.1 for iPhones in China.[7]

Lock screen edit

  • The lock screen's appearance is customizable and can host Widgets. The font and text color for the date and time can be customized to 8 presets and color effects can be applied to the entire lock screen. The date is now above the time and a small widget can be added next to the date. Other widgets can be added and arranged horizontally on the third row, below the time.
  • Multiple lock screens can be set up.
  • Live wallpapers have been removed because of the new tap and hold gesture that would allow users to customize their lock screen.
  • The lock screen also supports landscape mode, arranging elements horizontally instead of vertically when the phone orientation is horizontal.
  • When listening to podcasts and music, tapping the album cover will cause the cover to appear full-sized in the center of the lock screen with a color-matched background.

Improved focus mode edit

  • Different lock screens can be set up based on the active focus.
  • Focus filters allow apps to show different content based on active focus. For example, Safari will only show work-related tabs if the user enables 'Work focus'. Likewise, the Mail app will only show email messages from an allowed list of work contacts.
  • The user can create lists of apps and contacts to be silenced and lists of those to be allowed.

Notifications edit

  • Notifications roll up from below the lock screen, rather than above.
  • It is possible to show notifications in three different styles: count, stack or list. Notifications can be grouped together with two fingers to reduce them to a counter.
  • "Live Activities" show a UI within a large notification that always stays on screen, and continuously updates to show users real time activity. (Useful for watching the score live when the user is not watching. etc.)

Control Center edit

  • A new drop-down menu in Control Center shows all apps that have recently accessed the camera, microphone or location, new control center toggle for quick notes.
  • The sound recognition Shazam feature integrates its history with the main Shazam application's history, instead of the histories being separated.

Status bar edit

The status bar can display the battery percentage on iPhones with Face ID, so the user doesn't need to pull-down the Control Center to see it.

Improved dictation edit

During text dictation, the keyboard is always present and allows the user to switch from speech to manual typing and vice versa without interruptions. It is also possible to insert emojis through dictation. Auto-Punctuation automatically inserts a period when there is a pause in the dictation.

Improved Live Text edit

  • Ability to select and manipulate text in videos.
  • Quick actions are commands available directly on the Live Text. It is possible to make price conversions to another currency or translate text on the fly.
  • Support expanded to Japanese, Korean, and Ukrainian.

Improved Visual Search edit

  • Visual Search is able to extract objects and people recognized in photos; they can be interacted with to do things such as drag and drop them into other apps.

Siri improvements edit

  • It is possible to end cellular and FaceTime calls by simply saying "Hey Siri, hang up".
  • Siri can announce notifications on speaker.

Spotlight edit

  • A new button to access Spotlight directly from the Home Screen.
  • The search input text box is now anchored to the keyboard, instead of being at the top, in order to be more accessible using the phone with one hand.
  • More image results from apps like Messages, Notes, and Files.
  • Quick actions like starting a timer or running a shortcut.

Translate edit

Spoken Content edit

Improved accessibility edit

  • Door detection is a feature that allows visually impaired people to be guided by the camera. It is able to recognize the presence of a door and signals how many meters away it is.
  • A new accessibility setting allows the user to prevent phone calls from being ended by locking the phone.

Wi-Fi network improvements edit

Previously saved Wi-Fi networks are shown which can be edited, deleted or selected to view the network password after authentication via Face ID or Touch ID. Prior to this change, users’ only option for removing previously connected-to networks was to tap ‘forget this network’ from within the settings app which could only be done if connected to that network. Users also had (and still have) the ability to wipe all previously known networks from their iOS devices by choosing ‘erase network settings’ from Settings–>General–>Transfer or reset iPhone(at bottom)–>Reset–>Reset Network Settings. The latter option is frequently advised to those seeking to fix a multitude of both Wi-Fi and cellular network issues arising on users iOS devices.

Cellular network improvements edit

During the configuration of the Cellular Network, the eSIM from another iPhone can be transferred via Bluetooth.

Backup edit

Backups to iCloud can also be made on 4G, alongside 5G and Wi-Fi.

Face ID edit

Face ID works when the phone is oriented horizontally. It is limited to the iPhone 13 and later.

Keyboard edit

Haptic feedback can be enabled for the keyboard; while typing text a small vibration can be felt which simulates the pressing of mechanical keys.

Controller support edit

iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and tvOS 16 have support for connecting Nintendo Switch Joy-Con and Pro Controllers.[8]

Augmented reality edit

A new framework dubbed RoomPlan will allow apps to quickly create 3D floor plans of rooms using the LiDAR Scanner introduced with the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.[9]

App features edit

Messages edit

  • Sent messages can be edited within 15 minutes and can be deleted within 2 minutes.
  • Ability to mark an entire discussion as unread.
  • SharePlay is now available in the Messages app to watch a movie or listen to music with friends, without requiring them to make a FaceTime call.
  • Recover deleted messages for up to 30 days.
  • Collaboration: ability to invite someone to work on a project, so that every time someone edits a shared document, the user receives updates in a thread of the Messages app. It works with iOS apps such as Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, Safari, and third-party apps designed to take advantage of this Collaboration feature.
  • On audio messages previously sent or received, users can swipe with the finger on the sound wave graph to position at the exact point.
  • Ability to report SMS/MMS junk to Carriers.

FaceTime edit

Live Captions automatically transcribes what is said during a FaceTime call.

Mail edit

  • Mail messages can be scheduled to be sent later.
  • Recently 'sent' emails can be canceled within ten seconds.
  • Ability to put on top and set a reminder for messages the user hasn't responded to yet.
  • Improved search corrects typos based on the content of their messages.
  • New rich links give email messages more context and details at a glance.

Maps edit

  • Multi-stop routing is now available. Multiple intermediate stops can be added to routes, for a maximum of up to 15 stops. Users can also ask Siri to add a new stop point while they are navigating.[10]
  • Pay in Transit, now can calculate cost of fares.
  • New MapKit features supporting Look Around and the Detailed City Experience.

Photos edit

  • Photos can be shared from the user’s library with five different contacts. Shared photos can be edited or deleted freely by these contacts.
  • The Hidden and Recently Deleted albums are now protected by Face ID or Touch ID, unless the user turns this off in Settings.
  • It is now possible to copy filters and effects from an image to other images.
  • It is possible to search for certain text inside of images.
  • When cropping photos, there is now a Wallpaper format which will crop the photo to the same aspect ratio as the devices display.
  • Automatic duplicate detection automatically detects and groups duplicate photos or videos together. The higher quality version will be kept and the relevant data of the duplicates will be merged into the kept photo.

Camera edit

  • While taking photos, there is a button to toggle between whether the photo will be automatically shared to their Shared Photo Library or only be saved to their personal photo library.
  • The Camera app has the live translate feature built-in the viewfinder.

Safari edit

  • Shared tab groups: Groups of tabs can be shared with others to work on them together and see in real time which tab others are looking at.
  • Pinned tabs: in the opened tabs view, tabs can be pinned to the top.
  • Tab group start pages: each tab group can have a different start page containing Favorites, Frequently Visited, etc.
  • Extension syncing: users can view which extensions are installed on other devices and decide to install them on the current device. After they are installed, they are synced across all devices and are enabled on one device, so that they enable on all of them.
  • Website Settings syncing: website settings such as Page Zoom, Request Desktop website, Use Reader automatically, etc. can be synced across all devices, so just set them on one device that are automatically set to all others.
  • Added support for AVIF image format[11]

Notes edit

  • A quick note can be created directly from the Lock Screen.
  • Quick notes can be created in any app using the share menu.

Contacts edit

  • Duplicate contacts are now automatically detected and users can merge them individually.
  • When sharing contacts, individual fields can be selected to only share that information.
  • It is possible to group contacts into separate lists to better organize them and easily send an email to all the members of that list.
  • Ability to export contact lists to file

Calendar edit

  • It is now possible to copy and paste events between the various days of the calendar.

Files edit

  • New Quick Actions on a file allow the user to convert an image to another format JPEG, PNG, HEIF and resize it to Small, Medium, Large, Original.

Tips edit

  • The tips UI has been refreshed.

Books edit

  • The toolbar containing the reading settings, search and bookmarks has been replaced by a pop-up panel placed in an icon at the bottom in order to increase the space available for the contents and also to be more accessible when using the phone with one hand.
  • Ability to adjust the line spacing, character spacing, word spacing and activate the full justification for text.
  • A new theme calibrates the page colors automatically based on the ambient light using True Tone.

Health edit

  • Users can add and manage the medications they take.
  • Sleep stages allows users to monitor the sleep phases detected by the Apple Watch.

Apple News edit

  • New "My Sports" section for highlights, videos and news regarding sports teams. Users can add their favorite sports teams for use with My Sports.
  • Expanded local news.
  • New Favorites group.

Weather edit

  • New forecast modules for details about air quality, local forecasts, etc.
  • Hourly forecasts for the next 10 days, with minute-by-minute precipitation intensity over the next hour.
  • More detailed and easier to understand interactive graphs have been added that show exact trends over time of temperature, wind, humidity, etc.
  • Receive government notifications about severe weather events like tornadoes, winter storms, flash floods, etc.

Fitness edit

  • The app is now available even if the user doesn't own an Apple Watch.

Home edit

  • Added support for the new international standard Matter for home automation.

Apple TV edit

iOS 16 allows cross-device connectivity in tvOS 16 for new experiences between Apple TV, Apple Watch, and iPhone.[citation needed]

Security and privacy edit

Lockdown mode edit

Lockdown mode is a special mode that, when activated, raises the security to the highest possible level by restricting some features of the OS, apps and web platform, in order to protect users from the rarest and most sophisticated attacks.[12]

Unlike many other security features, lockdown mode is regarded as an “extreme, optional”[12] mode that is not intended to be activated by the majority of users. Rather, it is designed as a defense against advanced malware and mercenary spyware, such as clickless exploits or zero-click attacks, which are often hyper-targeted toward influential individuals such as journalists, diplomats, politicians, activists, lawyers, and high-profile business people.[13][14]

It is possible to disable the Lockdown mode on specific websites and apps by acting from the Safari’s Website Settings and the Lockdown mode's Web Browsing setting.

Passkeys edit

Passkeys allows the user to authenticate to services that implement WebAuthn across their devices without using passwords. Passkeys are generated by the phone and permission is granted via Face ID or Touch ID.[15]

Safety Check edit

Safety Check resets all access permissions given to people, apps, and devices for an iCloud account when activated; this is designed to help those in abusive relationships.

Rapid Security Response edit

Important security updates are now distributed without requiring an entire OS update. Users can optionally remove the security updates, although the standard update will still include the security fixes.[16]

Clipboard security improved edit

Applications and websites now require permission to copy from the clipboard.

Private Access Tokens edit

Private Access Tokens are a new technology that replaces CAPTCHAs and helps in identifying HTTP requests from legitimate devices and people without compromising their identity or personal information.[17]

Brand Indicators for Message Identification edit

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) helps users to easily verify authenticated emails sent by brands by displaying the brand's logo alongside the email's header.

Known issues edit

Supported devices edit

iOS 16 requires iPhones with an A11 Bionic[a] SoC or later, which means it drops support for devices with an A9[b] and A10 Fusion[c] SoC, officially marking the end of support for the iPod Touch. iOS 16 is the first version of iOS to drop support for an iPhone SE. However, iPhones with an A11 Bionic SoC have limited support[d] while iPhones with an A12 Bionic SoC or newer[e] have full support.[18]

The cutoff for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus has been criticized due to the iPad 5th, 6th and 7th generations supporting iPadOS 16 despite having similar or even weaker hardware.[19]

Release history edit

The first developer beta of iOS 16 was released on June 6, 2022. iOS 16 was officially released on September 12, 2022.

Previous release Current release Current beta release Security response
iOS 16 releases[20]
Version Build Codename Release date Release notes
16.0 20A362 Sydney September 12, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.0.1[f] 20A371 September 14, 2022 Release notes
16.0.2 20A380 September 22, 2022 Release notes
16.0.3 20A392 October 10, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.1 20B82 SydneyB October 24, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.1.1 20B101 November 9, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.1.2 20B110 November 30, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.2 20C65 SydneyC December 13, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.3 20D47 SydneyD January 23, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.3.1 20D67 February 13, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.4 20E247 SydneyE March 27, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.4.1 20E252 April 7, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.4.1 (a) 20E772520a May 1, 2023 Release notes
16.5 20F66 SydneyF May 18, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.5.1 20F75 June 21, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.5.1 (a) 20F770750b July 10, 2023 Security content
16.5.1 (c) 20F770750d July 12, 2023 Security content
16.6 20G75 SydneyG July 24, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.6.1 20G81 September 7, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7 20H19 SydneySecurityDawn September 21, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7.1 20H30 October 10, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7.2 20H115 SydneySecurityDawnB October 25, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7.3[g] 20H232 SydneySecurityDawnC December 11, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7.4[g] 20H240 December 19, 2023 Release note
16.7.5[g] 20H307 SydneySecurityDawnD January 22, 2024 Security content
16.7.6[g] 20H320 SydneySecurityDawnE March 5, 2024 Security content
16.7.7[g] 20H330 March 21, 2024

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X
  2. ^ iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and the first-generation SE
  3. ^ iPhone 7, 7 Plus and the final iPod Touch
  4. ^ Using cameras to track medications in the Health app and ending cellular and FaceTime calls through Siri is not available on iPhones older than the iPhone XS/XS Max and XR.
  5. ^ iPhone XS, XS Max, XR
  6. ^ Only available for iPhone 14 models
  7. ^ a b c d e Only available for devices not supported by iOS 17: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X

References edit

  1. ^ "iOS 16.7.7 (20H330) - Releases - Apple Developer". Apple Developer. Apple Inc. March 22, 2024. Retrieved March 5, 2024.
  2. ^ "Apple – iPhone XS – Technical Specifications". Apple. Archived from the original on January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Johnson, Allison (June 6, 2022). "Apple iOS 16 brings massive improvements to lock screen and messages". The Verge. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  4. ^ Johnson, Allison (June 5, 2023). "Apple announces iOS 17 with StandBy charging mode and better autocorrect". The Verge. Retrieved June 8, 2023.
  5. ^ Clover, Juli (December 13, 2022). "iOS 16.2 Features: Everything New in iOS 16.2". MacRumors.
  6. ^ "About iOS 16 Updates". Apple Support. iOS 16.2.
  7. ^ Perez, Sarah (December 7, 2022). "Apple changes AirDrop security for all with iOS 16.2 after backlash over restrictions in China". TechCrunch.
  8. ^ Warren, Tom (June 7, 2022). "iOS 16 supports Nintendo's Switch Pro and Joy-Con controllers". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  9. ^ "iOS 16's RoomPlan captures 3D floor plans in seconds | Cult of Mac". Archived from the original on June 8, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  10. ^ Fathi, Sami. "Apple Maps Gaining Support for Multi-Stop Routing in iOS 16 and Expanding New Maps to 11 More Countries". MacRumors. Archived from the original on June 6, 2022. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  11. ^ "WebKit Features in Safari 16.0". September 12, 2022. Archived from the original on September 25, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Apple expands commitment to protect users from mercenary spyware". Apple Inc. (Press release). Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  13. ^ "Apple's new Lockdown Mode will offer 'extreme' security measures. You probably won't use it". Popular Science. July 7, 2022. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  14. ^ Sherr, Ian. "Apple's New Lockdown Mode for iPhone Fights Hacking, Spyware". CNET. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  15. ^ Purohit, Alkesh (August 28, 2022). "Apple expresses 95% of iCloud user as of now have 2FA empowered in front of Passkeys launch". Apple Product Review And Update. Archived from the original on August 29, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  16. ^ "Update your iPhone or iPad". Apple Support. Archived from the original on August 28, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  17. ^ "Replace CAPTCHAs with Private Access Tokens – WWDC22 – Videos". Apple Developer. Archived from the original on June 9, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  18. ^ Johnson, Allison (June 6, 2022). "Apple iOS 16 brings massive improvements to lock screen and messages". The Indian Express. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  19. ^ "Apple Faces User Backlash After Dropping Support for iPhone 7 from iOS 16". Archived from the original on August 22, 2022. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  20. ^ "About iOS 16 Updates". Apple Support. Retrieved January 23, 2023.

External links edit

Preceded by iOS 16
Succeeded by