iOS 16 update tracker: release date, beta download, features, supported devices, etc.

ByLance T. Lee

Jul 29, 2022

iOS 16 is the new software Apple announced for its iPhones during WWDC 2022. It’s considered one of the biggest iOS updates in years, due to the array of features it comes with. The feature list of iOS 16 includes new lock screen customization, better notification organization, and many more. Apart from that, the update also focuses on deeper intelligence and new improved ways to share things with your family and friends. The iOS 16 beta update is now available to download, while the final version is expected to start rolling out to compatible devices later this year. Since there’s a lot to check out, here’s a summary of everything you need to know about iOS 16, including its release date, features, supported devices, and more.

iOS 16 release date

Apple is expected to roll out iOS 16 to supported devices after the launch of the iPhone 14 series. The latter could be unveiled as early as September. That said, iOS 16 is available to developers and public beta testers right now. It is in the testing phase and would include a bunch of bugs and issues. We don’t recommend downloading the iOS 16 beta to your primary device, but if you must, follow the process below:

iOS 16 Beta Download: How to Install iOS 16 Beta on Supported Devices

  • Back up your iPhone data first. You don’t want to lose your files and folders when installing iOS 16 beta
  • After that, head to Apple Developer Program Registration Website using your iPhone
  • Tap the two-line icon and choose Account. Sign in with your Apple ID to continue
  • Once you’re done, tap the two-line icon again and select Downloads
  • Swipe down and tap Install profile button in iOS 16 beta -> allow profile to download to your device
  • Now launch Settings app -> tap Downloaded Profile under Apple ID banner -> select install
  • You will be asked to enter your iPhone passcode. Enter it and proceed with the installation
  • Once the profile is installed, go to Software Update -> select Download and Install -> and choose Install Now to sideload the iOS 16 beta on your device. That’s it!

iOS 16 Supported Devices

Here is the list of iPhones eligible for the iOS 16 update:

  • iPhone 13 Series
  • iPhone SE 5G and second generation
  • iPhone 12 Series
  • iPhone 11 Series
  • iPhone Xs
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8Plus

Apple has dropped support for the iPhone 6s and 7 series and therefore you will not see the iOS 16 update in these devices as well as iPhones released before them.

iOS 16 features

iOS 16 comes with a long list of features, which includes a revamped lock screen, message editing, improved Safari and Mail app, among others. Here is a brief overview of some of the notable features of the new operating system:

India-specific features

iOS 16 brings better support for Indian users. Now with Siri you can set alarms and timers, launch apps, get directions, listen to music and check the weather in English or local languages.

Lock screen

With iOS 16, Apple has brought significant customization options to the lock screen. You can now create multiple lock screens on your iPhone, each with a different wallpaper, time font, focus mode, and widgets. Moreover, you can switch between these lock screens according to your preference. Besides the option of customizing the style and font of the lock screen clock, the clock detects the depths of the subjects on the wallpaper image and displays the time which dynamically overlaps on some of these depths. Moreover, iOS 16 lock screen supports Photos Shuffle, Widgets and notification stacking.

Pictures

Other than the ability to lock hidden albums and recently deleted albums. It also detects duplicate photos so you can erase unwanted photos and free up iCloud storage space. Additionally, the Photos app can now copy edits you previously made to one photo and paste them to another. It can also Lift subjects from the background in portrait images or in images where subjects can be detected easily. Apart from Photos, this feature is also available in Screenshot, Quick View, Safari and many other supported apps. This feature does not only work on people, but on various other subjects.

posts

Apple’s default Mail app now supports editing messages, unsending, and marking as read. iOS 16 beta 4 update limits editing to five times for a given message with the available 15 minutes and reduced the no-send window from 15 minutes to just two. In addition, deleted messages can be recovered within 30 days of deletion. Apart from this, the Message app also enjoys features like SharePlay, Collaboration and SIM filter. The latter can be used to view text messages from a particular SIM card if your iPhone has two numbers. As for Collaboration, it allows you to send an invitation to collaborate on a project to people, and everyone on the feed can add their contributions such as documents, spreadsheets or projects.

Another great feature you’ll get with Messages in iOS 16 is support for event reminders. Based on your messages, if there are any events, Siri will remind you of them through Siri Suggestions.

Access keys

Passkeys is another cool feature available in iOS 16. It is a private virtual key that provides easy login to different websites. With Passkeys, you can be safe from phishing as Passkeys do not store passwords on websites, so there is no risk of your password being leaked. The feature is not limited to Apple devices and can be accessed even on non-Apple devices.

Mail

With iOS 16, it’s obvious that Apple wants its messaging app to be as good, if not better, than its competitors. Now we get features like smart fixes that fix typos while you search for something in the app, better search results and many more. Other than that, if you have mentioned any attachments or recipients in the mail, and if you miss adding them, the app will let you know before sending the mail.

Another cool feature is the ability to cancel, schedule, and set reminders for emails. The messaging app now also supports rich links, so you don’t waste time wondering what’s on the other side of the link you received in an email.

Safari

Safari in iOS 16 supports tab groups where tabs can be grouped together, depending on preference. You can also share these tab groups with others and let others work on them. Additionally, the tab group now has a dedicated start page, with customizable options. Other than that, tabs in tab groups can be pinned.

Other features added to Safari

  • A new extension API that allows developers to create different types of Safari web extensions. There is also the Enhanced Sync feature which syncs all your Safari extensions as well as website settings across all your Apple devices.
  • Safari now supports translating web pages in the following languages: Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, Polish, Indonesian, and Dutch. Apart from that, you can also translate images using Live Text.
  • Safari now offers site-based passwords
  • There’s also a new option to manage your Wi-Fi passwords in Settings.

Siri also has offline support and the ability to adjust Siri’s wait time for you to finish speaking before you can respond.

You can also share your medication data with anyone, but only you can control the data. Along with the health app, Apple is also bringing the Fitness app to all iOS 16 compatible iPhones, where you can track your fitness data even if you don’t have an Apple Watch.

iCloud Shared Photo Library

Key features brought to iCloud with iOS 16 include the ability to share your photo libraries with any of your friends and family. You can also share photos based on date, people and many other options. The library also has the ability to share images automatically.

Other Features

  • Maps: You can now add a hop-on hop-off route along your driving route in Maps. You can make multiple stops on your Mac and then sync it to your iPhone or do it directly from the Maps app.
  • Key sharing: You can share your security keys with the people of your choice.
  • Dictation: Dictation completely changes the way you send messages or add texts. It also adds commas, periods, emojis and question marks where needed. You can start dictation by tapping the dictation icon on the keyboard.
  • Family Sharing: You can now set up an account for a child with the required parental control rights. If kids want more screen time, they can ask for it in messages, and it’s up to parents to approve it or not.
  • game center: New redesigned dashboard where you can see your friends’ game activity and achievements.
  • Keyboard haptics: Keyboard haptics is another long-awaited feature that fans have been asking to bring to the default keyboard app and Apple has finally heard from fans with iOS 16.


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