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iOS 16 is out now – here are some of our favorite new features

This upgrade is absolutely worth it.

ios 16 icon with blurred iphone in background
Image: KnowTechie

In case you missed it, Apple dropped the public build of iOS 16 this week. That means you’ve now got tons of new features to check out.

Some of these have been advertised for months, like the ability to tweak your lock screen to your liking. This includes widgets, which were limited to the Home screen.

You can (finally!) edit iMessage messages after you’ve sent them, as well. Then there are lesser-known updates, like being able to put the battery percentage back on the status bar.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite features included in the latest iOS build. Make sure to keep reading if you are still learning your way around iOS 16.

Status bar battery percentage

screenshot of apple iphone showing the battery percentage in ios 16
Image: KnowTechie

Those who want to know exactly how much battery life is left will love this. Apple has added a new battery icon that contains the battery percentage.

No more days of wondering if that smaller battery icon is at 40%, 30%, or something else. The only thing that would make it better is if the background shrank too. It only changes when you reach the dreaded 20% battery left level.

Messaging improvements

imessage typing bubble on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Apple created the modern mobile messaging app with iMessage. Since then, every other company has overtaken them but no longer.

Now you can do multiple new things with iMessage. These include editing, unsending, and even deleting an iMessage after you’ve sent it.

You’ll only be able to do this if the recipient is also on iOS 16, so maybe your first message should be to remind them to update.

SharePlay now works in Messages, so you don’t have to jump to another app to watch videos with your bestie.

You’re also going to get the ability to report SMS messages as spam. This has been a long time coming, but it’s nice to finally have the feature.

The other cool new feature is the ability to mark conversations as unread. Long-press on the message and tap Mark as Unread from the menu that appears.

Mail improvements

email app on mobile device
Image: Unsplash

You might be able to ditch your third-party mail apps now. Apple Mail in iOS 16 gets many of the features you probably switched for in the first place.

When sending mail, you’ll get ten seconds to tap the “Undo Send” button that appears. Finally, the end of embarrassing follow-up emails when you accidentally send them too early.

Tapping that button puts the email back into draft mode so that you can add the rest of your thoughts.

Mail also gets the ability to schedule sending, so you can avoid blowing up someone’s inbox at 3 AM. Hold the send button down and choose your desired time.

You can also swipe right on emails in your inbox to create a reminder. We love this feature, so we can resurface actionable emails when we know we have time to respond.

Improvements to the Photos app

ios 16 background removal
Image: KnowTechie

One of our favorite new features in iOS 16 is the inbuilt background removal tool. It works on any image displayed on your iPhone and lets you drag the subject of that image into any other app.

The Photos app now has a duplicate images tool to help you claw back precious storage space. You also get the ability to lock photo albums with Face ID, to hide things from prying eyes.

You can also copy and paste edits from one image to another. Perfect for batch editing your pictures, so they all have the same mood.

Apple Maps

apple maps multistop feature
Image: KnowTechie

Apple Maps has multiple new improvements. The biggest of these is multi-stop routing so that you can plan trips more thoroughly. Up to 15 different stops can be added, and Siri can add additional stops while you drive.

New transit features also landed in Maps. These include Apple Pay integration if you store your transit pass in your Wallet, and the price of public transit will show on your route.

Haptic typing

You can now get haptic feedback from the virtual keyboard. I know, right, something Android had for forever, and it’s now on iPhone.

You can also turn off the typing sound from the same menu, which is an even better addition in our opinion.

Live text in video

iphone ios 15 live text
Image: KnowTechie

Remember when Apple added Live Text into iOS 15? The feature made it possible to copy and paste text from any image.

Well, now you can do it in videos, as well. Pause a video, tap on the text in view, and you’ll be able to copy and paste it into any other app.

Lock screen customization

apple ios 16 lockscreen examples
Image: KnowTechie

The biggest visual change in iOS 16 is the redesigned lock screen. You’ll be able to customize this deeply, including paying homage to your favorite emoji.

Widgets also have a new home on the lock screen. Apple’s first-party apps like Clock, Fitness, and News have widgets you can add to the lock screen.

App developers can also build widgets to pin here, with some of the big developers already doing just that. Our favorite third-party camera app, Halide, can now be opened from the lock screen. Magic.

Other notable mentions

joy-con controllers and ios 16 icon for apple
Image: KnowTechie

Now you get more controller options, with the ability to connect Nintendo Joy-Cons and the Switch Pro controller. iOS has long let other Bluetooth controllers connect, so this completes the set.

The Translate app can do (limited) translations from any image. That’ll come in clutch if you’re reading a menu in another language, but the number of supported languages is small currently.

Dictation is getting improvements, including the ability to do punctuation and emoji. Oh, the onscreen keyboard will also stay open, so you can make minor tweaks as you dictate.

One deeply hidden feature is that Face ID will now work in Landscape on your iPhone. iPads have done this for years, so it’s great to finally see it appear on iPhones.

iOS 16 is packed with feature improvements

Apple really has made meaningful improvements to iOS this year. Some announced features aren’t available at launch, like iCloud Shared Photo Library, but that should be coming later this year.

CarPlay is also getting a revamp, with Apple showing off previews of what could come. Expect to hear more on this over the next year.

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Editors’ Recommendations:

Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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