Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference kicked off this Monday with major updates to iOS first. iOS 16 will debut this fall alongside the new iPhone 14 lineup and will enter beta testing this summer.
The new version brings a major design overhaul to the lock screen, giving the user more personalisation options and widgets, enhanced privacy features, refreshed Wallet and more.
iOS 16 is available for a private beta starting Monday and will be available for the general public to test starting next month until it debuts later this fall.
Another new feature announced today was Safety Check, aimed at protecting people in abusive relationships. The feature lets you revoke access to any sensitive information you may have shared with someone previously.
The feature also includes an emergency reset that lets users sign out of iCloud on all their devices, reset privacy permissions and limit messaging to the device they’re currently using.
Safari now has passkeys, meant to replace passwords. Instead, passkeys use TouchID or FaceID for biometric authentication and the iCloud keychain to sync your data between devices with end-to-end encryption. This functionality also extends to other apps and the web in general.
Users can customise fonts, colours and even placement of the lock screen image itself with more freedom. Multiple lock screens can be created and switched between by simply swiping. The lock screen can now also be made for specific focus modes, which transform all the focus settings for a particular focus mode and apply it to the lock and home screen.
Notifications are changing too. They’ll now be stacked at the bottom of the screen instead of covering the entire lock screen. There’s a new “live activities” section that’ll show live notifications like tracking a game or an Uber ride.
First up, driver’s licenses and ID cards are now accepted in Arizona and Maryland, with 11 additional states working on bringing the functionality over. The first locations now accepting Wallet IDs are select TSA security checkpoints.
Apple Wallet can now share saved IDs by giving only the required information. Sharing keys stored in your wallet is easy as well. Last but not least, Apple Pay is now getting a pay later option allowing users to buy items and split the bill into four smaller payments paid over six weeks with no interest or fees.
The feature will be available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted online or in-app using Mastercard. There’s Apple Pay order tracking, letting users receive receipts and order tracking information straight inside the wallet app for supported merchants.
iOS 16 adds two major features to iMessage — the ability to edit already sent messages and to delete sent messages altogether. Message threads can now be marked unread, and SharePlay is also supported.
Shared iCloud photo libraries are a thing now, making it easier to share specific photos with family and friends. More new features include sharing suggestions, image edits and keywords that are synced for all users.
Every member of the shared photo library can add, edit, favourite, or delete the shared media, which also appears in each user’s Memories and Featured Photos tabs.
Multi-stop routing is coming to Apple Maps with iOS 16, letting users add up to 15 spots and six more cities, including Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago and Sydney, being added to the detailed city experience announced in iOS 15.
Maps are also being extended to 11 more countries, including France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Belgium, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.
Transit updates are also coming to Maps. Riders can now see how much their journey will cost, add transit cards to their Wallet, check balances, and recharge them all from within Maps.
Apart from major announcements, there were a lot of more minor updates as well.
- The fitness app now works with iPhones without users needing an Apple Watch.
- Apple’s Health app can now track medications letting users build a medication list and create schedules and reminders to track their medications or supplements. Users in the US can now scan medication labels to get more information on their medication.
- Apple News now has a My Sports section that lets people follow their favourite teams and leagues. The new section will be available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
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