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The update is focused on personalising the experience of using the iPhone and bringing new ways of adjusting how the phone looks and works, Apple said. Apple has also added changes to built-in apps, such as Messages, which can now undo sent messages or edit them after the fact.
That includes what it says is the “biggest ever update to the lock screen”, with a whole host of ways to change how it works.
Apple has added the option to adjust how the Lock Screen looks, with new typefaces and colours on the time and other information, for instance. And users can add special widgets – showing live information when a cab is on the way, for instance.
It appears to borrow from the design of the Apple Watch, giving users the option to change how the display looks within a limited number of parameters, and the option to swipe between different versions. It may also be inspired by the huge success of a new update that users found could allow them to dramatically change their home screen.
Notifications will also be changed, so that they can be pushed towards the bottom of the screen or hidden entirely, in part to allow users to see their home screen in the normal way. And a new “live activities” update will let people avoid sending repeated push notifications about things such as sports, instead showing information as it happens.
The lock screens will also work alongside the “Focus” tools that were introduced with iOS 15 last year. Users can have different lock screens depending on their focus – choosing a specific set of widgets when they are at work, for instance.
Apple will also make changes to its built in apps, such as Messages. The app now allow users to delete and edit messages, as well as mark them as unread.
It also brings the addition of SharePlay – which lets users watch things at the same time over FaceTime, and now Messages. iOS 16 also adds new dictation tools, which lets people move between dictating messages and writing them using the keyboard.
And Apple also brings new updates to the tools introduced last year that allowed users to grab text from an image. Now, it is possible to grab objects: so a picture of a dog could be lifted out of a broader image and then sent on to a friend, for instance.
The company is also adding new changes to family sharing. The most significant of them is the addition of an iCloud shared library – allowing families to share their photos with each other, and the option to add images that only show all of the family together.
iOS 16 also brings new privacy features, including “Safety Check”, which is intended to help users exert control over their devices and data. Users can cut ties with people in their family, for instance, or check who has access to their location.
Apple has faced some criticism for the way that its products can be used to gather location data, with its AirTags. Users have complained that they can be used to track people without their permission, and Apple has added a range of new updates intended to make them more safe.