While iOS 16’s main feature is the ability to customize the lock screen with new fonts, widgets, and more, the update will bring several other useful features to the iPhone, with five of our favorite additions highlighted below.
iOS 16 is currently only in beta for Apple developers, but Apple said a public beta will be available sometime in July. iOS 16 will be released to all users around September and the update is compatible with iPhone 8 and newer.
iOS 16 includes a new Live Activities feature that provides live notifications on the iPhone’s lock screen. Live Activities are useful for keeping up to date with live events or other tasks, such as keeping track of a sports game score, tracking the progress of an Uber ride, monitoring the status of a Starbucks order , viewing a timer and more .
Apple said Live Activities is coming in an update to iOS 16 later this year, meaning it won’t be available when iOS 16 is first released to all users. Apple will make an API available to developers to serve Live Activities in their third-party apps, so there will likely be all kinds of different usage scenarios for this nifty new feature.
Edit or undo an iMessage
iOS 16 introduces the ability to edit or delete recently sent iMessages, as well as mark iMessage conversations as unread once opened. Apple allows users to edit or delete an iMessage up to 15 minutes after sending.
To edit or undo a message, users simply need to tap and hold on a bubble and select the appropriate option from the menu that appears. iMessages that have been edited will be marked as “edited” under the message bubble, and edited or unsent messages will still be visible in their original form to users with older software versions such as iOS 15.
Nintendo Joy-Cons Support
Despite not being advertised as a feature on Apple’s website, iOS 16 adds support for the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons and Pro Controller. iPhones running iOS 16 can be used with a single left or right Joy-Cons, or both at once as a single controller.
In the iOS 16 release notes to developers, Apple said that the iPhone supports many additional Bluetooth game controllers on iOS 16, but Apple has not provided a list of the new compatible controllers. This is in addition to iPhone’s existing compatibility with PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers since the release of iOS 14.5.
Tracking Apple Pay orders
Apple Pay on iOS 16 gets built-in order tracking information in the Wallet app for online orders completed through Apple Pay. The tracker displays the estimated delivery date of an order and indicates when a package is ready for delivery.
Fitness app without Apple Watch
As of iOS 16, the Fitness app is now available on iPhone to all users, even if they don’t have an Apple Watch. The app has a daily Activity ring that relies on the iPhone’s motion sensors to estimate calories burned and steps taken per day.
For a closer look at iOS 16, check out our video walkthrough of some of the biggest new features.