iOS 16: New features and how to download

Lock screen? It’s personal

The best smartphone in the world is getting an OS update in the coming months and who doesn’t want to jump the line and find out everything new and tantalizing about the Apple iPhone’s iOS 16 software update?

Hold on to your smartphones, there’s a new way to customize your lock screen, an easier way to share photos with a group, better updates to iMessage and Mail, and the camera can now extract text from live videos! Let’s take it one at a time.

1) Lockscreen

There’s a new way to customize your lock screen and it’s a wild refresh after many years. The wallpaper features a multilayer effect that puts the time artfully behind the subject. You can also add background filters, create your own wallpapers with emojis, choose from Apple’s library and switch between multiple lock screens just by swiping.

You can also add widgets to the lock screen which is clearly inspired by Apple Watch widgets. These tiny widgets give you instant information at a glance. Things like upcoming calendar events, the weather, battery levels, alarms, time zones, Activity ring progress, and many more are possible to be added to the lock screen.

There’s also something called Live Activities that gives you a constant spew of real-time information without harassing you with notification alerts. Things like real-time sports game alerts, workouts, ride-share, or food delivery orders.

Notifications also don’t cover your artsy wallpapers anymore. They roll up from the bottom without covering your entire screen.

2) Focus

Focus is now integrated into the lock screen wallpaper. You can tie a lock screen wallpaper with a particular Focus and when you swipe to the lock screen wallpaper your apps and focus settings will kick in. For example, You can have a weather wallpaper on the lock screen tied to your workout focus and have only workout apps and music widgets enabled. You can do this for work and home focus too. Even apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari will show information according to the focus set.

3) iCloud Shared Photo Library

Apple has finally decided to give us a shared photo library through iCloud. Families can now dump photos in a shared library and users can add photos manually or share based on a start date or based on people in the photos. 

Alternatively, you can share a photo right from the camera app by toggling between Shared Library or Personal options.

4) Messages

You can now edit, recall sent messages and recover recently deleted messages in the Messages app. You can also tap and hold a subject of an image from your Photos library and drag it to Messages and drop it without a background. In short, it’s now a WhatsApp sticker!

5) Mail

Apple Mail has also got a couple of updates very similar to Messages. You can now cancel the delivery of mails and even schedule emails ahead of time. Apple will nudge you to attach a file in case you forget to do so and have mentioned it in the email. Very similar to Gmail. 

You can also be pinged to check an email at a date and time with Remind Later feature and the Follow Up suggestions will remind you to do exactly what it says.

6) Live Text

Your camera and the AI mambo-jumbo can now extract text from images and videos. You can pause any video and tap and hold the text to copy it. You also use this feature to quickly convert the currency and even translate the text on an image or in a video.

7) Download iOS16

Obviously the latest iOS 16 will be available for your iPhone in September but you can hop on the Apple Developer Program if you can from here — starting today. If that’s not possible then the public beta will be available next month at