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Apple introduces iOS 16 with a revamped widget-covered lock screen

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Apple has shown off iOS 16 at the WWDC 2022 keynote, with a new lockscreen and more.

As usual for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, the iPhone maker has shown off the upgrades of its next milestone operating system versions, which includes iOS 16. Arriving in the fall to coincide with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro range, iOS 16 brings with it the usual array of performance improvements, major changes, and new features.

Rather than taking iOS in a new design direction, the interface of iOS 16 is quite similar to that of iOS 15. While the general look and feel is similar, features included in the mobile operating system have certainly changed.

Lock Screen

The lock screen has been given a makeover, to make it a more useful element of iOS. This includes the introduction of widgets, which bring more data to the lock screen than the existing notifications, time, and torch and camera buttons.

The intention is that there will be more data for the user to see, without needing to fully unlock the iPhone to see it.

The lock screen is personalizable, including the ability to add Portrait mode photos and filters. The clock can have different fonts and colors, while the new wallpaper gallery can suggest photos for you to use.

Multiple lock screens can be made, with a Lock Screen Editor able to make screens like you would configure Apple Watch faces. Other elements include a Weather lock screen with animation, emoji wallpaper, and an astronomy collection.

Notifications have been updated to show new elements at the bottom of the screen. The new Live Activities and API can show glanceable notifications, and for Music Live Activities, they can show album art as well.

Focus modes have also been extended to the Lock Screen, so you can show a specific Lock Screen based on which Focus is active. Speaking of Focus, Focus Filters now takes Focus into apps, such as showing only specific tabs in Safari, certain Mail accounts, or other specified information types in other third-party apps.

Messages

Messages benefits from the ability to edit messages after they have been sent. You can also delete messages forever from a conversation, and mark a thread as unread.

Shared With You is updated with a new API, which will allow developers to access the system within their apps.

SharePlay is being improved with a dedicated button in FaceTime. It is also coming to Messages, so multiple conversation participants can watch a video in sync and chat via text.

Improved dictation should also help users compose their messages with more ease. There is also easy switching between touch and voice using on-device dictation. There’s also automatic punctuation and emoji.

In the weeks ahead of WWDC, Apple did reveal a number of accessibility features coming to iOS early. The list includes the LiDAR-based Door Detection, assistive physical and motor accessibility features, and Live Captions.

Apple usually releases the initial developer beta for iOS shortly after the WWDC keynote completes. Public betas typically start a few weeks later, generally by or after the second developer build.

The final release of iOS 16 to the public will occur in the fall, accompanying the introduction of Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineup.

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