iOS 16: release date, features and which iPhones are compatible

See the full list of Apple handsets that will run the new software update, and what it has to offer

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Apple's IOS 16 ― one of the biggest operating system updates in the history of iPhones ― is here.

The IOS 16 “is a big release, with updates that will change the way you experience iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The new version of IOS 16 has arrived to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 14 devices, which were shown off at Apple's Far Out event last week. The update is scheduled to arrive on compatible phones on September 12.

Here is a look at what's new with IOS 16, which includes changes to the lock screen, messaging and photo library.

Which iPhones will have the IOS 16 update?

Apple has said that the free software update will be for iPhone 8 and later. That means it will be available for the following devices: iPhone SE, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The iPadOS version meanwhile has been delayed, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who has a long history of accurate reporting on the technology company's product plans.

He said it can be expected in October rather than September, while previously the company launched the iPad and iPhone software simultaneously.

“Launching iPadOS 16 and IOS 16 a month apart could create headaches for consumers who own both an iPhone and iPad,” he wrote.

“For instance, new iMessage features like message retraction and editing won’t work seamlessly between IOS 16 and iPadOS 15 devices.”

iPadOS 16 will be getting Stage Manager, which allows users to handle several tasks at the same time.

Goodbye Captcha?

Ah, those pesky (but important) tests that delay your payments for a few extra seconds as you are challenged on how many squares on the screen have traffic lights or motorbikes, or something like that.

OK, the first time you did it the process may almost have seemed like fun, but thereafter it was a nuisance you could do without — except for the actual security it was providing.

Now, Apple is introducing Private Access Tokens as part of IOS 16.

It says these are a powerful alternative that help you to identify HTTP requests from legitimate devices and people without compromising their identity or personal information.

New personalisation features

The lock screen won't just be a place for a background image and the time any more.

Apple's IOS 16 will allow for widgets to be introduced, showing the likes of weather, calendar events and Air Pod battery level. Several lock screens can also be saved if you fancy changing to a different style.

An expanded notification list view will be added, along with live activities that will allow you to follow the progress of a food delivery or the score in a sports match.

iCloud Shared Photo Library

A separate iCloud library will allow up to six users to collaborate and contribute. Users can send photos to the Shared Library automatically by using a new toggle in the Camera app.

Every user in the Shared Photo Library has the ability to add, delete, edit or tag their favourite shared photos or videos, which will appear in each user’s Memories and Featured Photos, allowing everyone to relive family moments.

Updates to Messages

Users can edit or recall recently sent messages, recover recently deleted messages, and mark conversations as unread so they can come back to them later.

Users can edit a message for up to 15 minutes after sending it and can unsend a message for up to two minutes after sending it, Apple said. Users can make up to five edits to a given message. Recipients will be able to see a record of edits made to the message.

Undo send is available for 10 seconds after sending.

Apple also said that SharePlay is coming to Messages, making it possible to enjoy synced content such as movies or songs and shared playback controls, all while chatting in Messages.

Tools for Mail

Did you ever send that email and moments later you wish you hadn't?

Users of IOS 16 can schedule emails ahead of time and are even given a moment to cancel delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox.

Mail also detects if an attachment has been forgotten, and includes the biggest overhaul to search. It will use state-of-the-art techniques to deliver more relevant, accurate and complete results, Apple said.

Here are Apple's newest technologies from WDCC 2022

The new MacBook Air is unveiled during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, US, on Monday, June 6, 2022.  Apple unveiled the most significant overhaul to its popular MacBook Air laptop in more than a decade, bringing a fresh design, new colors and a speedier M2 processor from its homegrown chip line. Photographer: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

Apple Pay Later

This new financial product allows users to split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal instalments over six weeks without being charged interest or late fees.

It marks the iPhone maker's entry into the growing buy now, pay later (BNPL) industry.

For now, it appears that only iPhone and Mac users in the US will be able to use Apple Pay Later. It remains unclear if it will made available for Apple customers in the UAE.

Apple Pay Later does not require any integration and works with a user’s Apple Pay, the company said. It requires no extra work from the developer or merchant side.

When is the new iPhone 14 out?

The series will include the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, as well as the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 14 and iPhone Pro will come with a 6.1-inch screen, while the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max will have 6.7-inch displays.

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models start from $799 (Dh3,399) and $899 (Dh3,799), respectively, while the iPhone 14 Pro costs $999 (Dh4,299) and the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099 (Dh4,699). Trade-in will be available at Apple stores.

Pre-orders began on Friday, September 9, for customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the UAE, the UK, the US, and more than 30 other countries and regions. The iPhone 14 will be available from September 16 and the iPhone 14 Plus from October 7.

The iPhone 14 will be available in Malaysia, Turkey, and 20 other countries and regions from September 23.

Fitness app

This is available to all iPhone users to help track and meet fitness goals, and does not require an Apple Watch.

Motion sensors on the iPhone can track steps, distance, flights climbed and workouts from third-party apps, which can be converted into an estimation of active calories to contribute to users’ daily “Move” goal. Users can also share their “Move” ring with friends for additional motivation.

Health app

Users will be able to create lists, schedules and reminders, and track their medications, vitamins or supplements.

In the US, users can point their iPhone camera at a label to add a medicine, read about the medications they are taking and receive an alert if there are potential critical interactions.

— This article was first published on June 8, 2022

Updated: June 23, 2023, 1:55 PM