iOS 16: New features, iPhone compatibility, release date
11 'iOS 16' stories
February 2022 - May 2022
iOS 16 will be the next major milestone release of Apple’s operating system for the iPhone and iPod touch. The update will be introduced in June and likely be released to the public in September. Here’s everything we know so far.
Table of contents
New features in iOS 16
Apple is set to introduce a new version of iOS in the next few months. The codename of this update is Sydney. So far, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says this new version will bring “nice upgrades.”
Rumors are still vague, but it seems Apple plans to introduce a new Lock Screen. It seems like iOS 16 won’t have an “end-to-end redesign” to its interface.
Revamped notification system
In an April edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman writes that iOS 16 will bring “fairly significant enhancement across the board, including an update to notifications.”
Focus mode will be even better
One of the most important features of iOS 15 was the Focus mode feature. According to a new string added to iOS 15.5 beta, Apple is working on a revamped version of this function as there’s a warning message telling users that the chosen Focus mode requires a software update to be enabled:
Using an allowed list for this Focus will cause these settings to be lost on your other devices with newer software.
A device with newer software has updated this Focus to use a new configuration this device doesn’t support. To continue editing notifications on this device, update to the latest software or use an allowed list for this Focus.
Apple News, health features, and rOS hint
In addition to all these features, it seems like Apple will bring improved health features. iOS code also suggests Apple News will get an update and some older devices won’t support it anymore. Last but not least, Gurman suggests that iOS 16 will be full of hints about Apple’s upcoming Mixed Reality headset, which could be announced later this year.
According to iPhonesoft, based on knowledge of someone running an internal seed, Apple plans to drop support for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and the original iPhone SE with iOS 16.
With that in mind, here are the iPhones that could possibly receive iOS 16:
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
- iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XR, XS and XS Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone SE (2nd gen)
- iPhone SE (3rd gen)
- iPod touch (7th gen)
It’s important to note that since Apple discontinued the seventh-generation iPod touch, it may not receive iOS 16. We’ll discover in a couple of weeks from now.
When will iOS 16 come out?
iOS 16 will likely be announced on June 6, during WWDC 2022’s keynote. The event will be online, although some students and developers will be able to attend the keynote in person at Apple Park.
Following the announcement, Apple will test the operating system for a few months until it’s released for all users around September, as the company has done over the past years.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman recently said that the iOS 16 beta build release schedule is a bit different this year. According to the journalist, Apple has plans to introduce the first public beta of iOS 16 along with the third developer beta in July.
The reason, according to Gurman, is that the current internal builds are “a bit buggy.” As a result, Apple engineers will need more time to make the iOS 16 beta stable enough before letting anyone install it on iPhone and iPad devices.
iOS 16 feature requests
9to5Mac’s Parker Ortolani created a fun concept that Apple could 100% adopt. According to Parker, Apple should add interactive widgets, persistent focus toggle, and more:
Widgets don’t really get any love on the iPhone with iOS 15. There are a few new built-in ones for Apple’s apps like Find My, Game Center, and Mail. But widgets still aren’t truly interactive or easily resizable. We looked at two of Apple’s own apps as good examples for how to make a widget interactive but still unobtrusive.
The Home app is the app that needs interactive widgets the most. It would be great to turn a HomeKit product on or off with a tap using a small widget. For people who use scenes, a medium-size widget could include your scenes and let you swap between them on the fly. Voice Memos would benefit from an interactive widget, too. Imagine being able to take a voice recording right from your Home Screen or Lock Screen.