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Apple reveals new iOS 16 features set to enhance sharing and communication

By Mitchell Hageman
Tue 7 Jun 2022

Apple has unveiled an all-new Lock Screen experience and new ways to share and communicate in iOS 16.

The new update will allow users to personalise their Lock Screen, keep family photos in iCloud Shared Photo Library and recall sent messages and schedule mail. It will also give them the opportunity to discover more with the Live Text and Visual Look Up features.

A multilayer effect is deployed as part of the new experience to create a sense of depth, and users can also change the look of the date and time with expressive type styles and colour choices.

The Lock Screen also features widgets that take inspiration from Apple Watch complications, making it easy to get information at a glance. Users will be able to quickly see upcoming calendar events, the weather, battery levels, alarms and time zones. Activity ring progress and other related widgets will also be shown.

Live Activities is also a new feature that helps users keep track of things happening in real-time, such as a sports game, workout, ride-share or food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. Notifications have also been redesigned to roll up from the bottom, making it easier for users to get a fast and clear view.

As part of the new updates to mail, users can schedule emails ahead of time and are even given a moment to cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient's inbox.

Live Text also uses on-device intelligence to recognise text in images across iOS, and Visual Look Up introduces a new feature that allows users to tap and hold on the subject of an image to lift it from the background and place it in apps like Messages.

CarPlay will now be able to provide content for multiple screens within a vehicle, and Apple Pay Order Tracking enables users to receive detailed receipts and order tracking information.

Safety and ease of use are also something the company hopes to provide. Safari adds shared Tab Groups to share a collection of websites with friends and family, making it easier to add tabs and see what others are viewing. 

Browsing in Safari also has passkeys, which are unique digital keys that are easy to use and never stored on a web server. Keys in Wallet will also get extended support.

"iOS 16 is a big release with updates that will change the way you experience iPhone," says Apple's senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi. 

"We have re-imagined how the Lock Screen looks and works with exciting new features that make it more personal and helpful, introduced iCloud Shared Photo Library for families, streamlined communication through new capabilities in Messages and Mail, and harnessed enhanced intelligence with updates to Live Text and Visual Look Up."

The developer preview of iOS 16 is available to Apple Developer Program members starting today, and a public beta will be available to iOS users next month.

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