iOS 16 tips & tricks

iOS 16 brings probably the biggest overhaul to the iPhone lock screen ever, but that is not all that’s new in the latest version of the platform.

There are quite a few new features in the system and you might want to master them with our easy-to-follow tips and tricks. Next time, you might just steal the thunder at that one party with your intricate iOS knowledge or… be the best tech support for your family come Thanksgiving. 

The first thing you want to do on iOS 16 is customize your lock screen and make it truly personal.

To do so, you long press on the lock screen, then tap on Customize and here you can select a picture as your new lockscreen. I love that the iPhone automatically recognizes the edges and hides them behind the clock, it’s like suddenly you have a fashion magazine cover on your lockscreen. It also animates in stages when you turn your phone on, a really nice little touch.

You have a bunch of options here: you can select a set of images to shuffle throughout the day, you can set an emoji wallpaper with cool patterns, you have new astronomical screens that show you real life weather conditions, and so on.

#2. Add widgets to your lock screen

Secondly, you have to try out the new lockscreen widgets. You have a spot for one widget at the very top row, and then below the clock, you can place four small sized widgets or two larger sized ones. And a tap on a widget brings you directly to the app it is associated with. Currently, only a few Apple apps support this, but in just a couple of months we imagine most popular apps will have a lockscreen widget.

#3. Connect a Focus to your lock screen

Apple goes a step further, and you can tie your custom lock screen to a particular “Focus”, so the moment you switch to a Work Focus, you have a work lockscreen for instance. Neat!

#4. Change fonts and colors

And did we mention you can customize individual elements of the lock screen? You can pick between different fonts and colors, make it truly yours.

#5. Haptic feedback while typing

Next up, you now get haptic feedback while typing. Android has had this feature for like a decade, so we don’t know what took Apple this long but it’s here.

It is not turned on by default, but you simply go into the Sounds & Haptics menu, tap on Keyboard Feedback and turn the Haptic option on. It’s a very nice and tight, subtle vibration for every tap and it feels great!

#6. Password protect your photos

There are a few new features in the Photos app too, with your hidden and recently deleted photos now protected with Face ID or a passcode, which is great for those photos that you don’t want your friends or family to accidentally stumble upon. Hey, some people need their privacy after all!

#7. “Location” reminder when sharing photos / videos

Another useful feature is that when you share a photo or a video, the share sheet tells you if that file contains your location.

You can easily tap on the options menu and disable the location to protect your privacy.

#8. Lock notes with Passcode

You have the same option now for notes that you can lock with either your iPhone passcode, or you can even create a separate password for notes for your account, but keep in mind that if you forget that, you won’t be able to open the notes.

#9. Unsend and edit iMessage

iMessage now brings a few very welcome features. First, you can edit or unsend a message within the first 15 minutes of sending it, but after that it becomes uneditable.

That’s a great option to have for that one text that you instantly regretted sending out.

#10. Cutout background from photos

You can also just easily use the new automatic subject selection tool from your photos. We were surprised how in just an instant the phone would cut out the background quite accurately and you can then paste that image into an iMessage or email, or really anywhere.

#11. Text from video

And did you know that you can now easily pick up live text from video? You just pause the video, zoom in, tap on the text, and the selection is impressively accurate.

This is great if you are in a foreign country and need to translate something, or just copy a bunch of text.

#12. Easy Unit Conversions

It’s also now super easy to convert units from imperial to metric, you can just say 35 miles to Siri and it will convert that to kilometers, or type in an amount of money in a foreign currency and it would convert that to the default currency for your region. Or if you want to convert the temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Super useful!

#13. Quick Notes

Finally, one useful new feature is Quick Notes. This allows you to share any selection, photo, video, webpage or just any file into a quick note.

If you select a memorable paragraph from an article you read, you just tap on the share icon, and save it as a quick note and it will automatically have the source link there too.

#14. Subtitles and Playback Speed with new video player

Video scrubbing to navigate around a video is implemented in a much nicer way in the new video player in iOS 16, and you get automatic subtitles, playback speed controls, plus you can use the Live Text function from within the player!

Final Words

There are many other new features in iOS 16, but those are the ones I found made the biggest change in the way I used my iPhone. Some of these are profound like the lockscreen widgets and customizations, others are more subtle, but all seem to work great even in this beta stage and I cannot wait to see third parties bring their widgets to the lock screen as well.

Do you have a favorite new feature?


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