Welcome to what I think are the essential features of iOS16, which brought several improvements and innovations. One of the most notable features is the completely redesigned lock screen, which allows users to personalise its appearance and features to suit their needs.
This article walks you through the new customisation options, including widgets, integration with focus modes, and new notification systems. In addition, we’ll cover the shared photo library on iCloud, iMessage message editing and history, the return of the battery percentage indicator, displaying saved Wi-Fi passwords, and lockdown mode for added protection.
Get ready for an in-depth look at these features that let you get the most out of your iPhone and streamline your daily use.
Redesigned lock screen
One of the most significant changes in iOS 16 is the completely redesigned lock screen, which can now be personalised to your needs and preferences. The lock screen can now be customised in various ways, from adjusting styles and wallpaper options.
But let’s get back to the customisation options. In settings, you can now customise the style and colour of the time or even add widgets directly to the lock screen, making the phone noticeably more enjoyable and accessible.
For example, Apple users can add a Weather widget to their lock screen to give them an instant overview of the current status and forecasts. In practice, however, you can add any widget you would otherwise only have on your desktop.
Aside from the native apps, this also offers other apps and several utilities and tools. In the context of this change, we also definitely can’t forget to mention the lock screen linking to focus modes. With the arrival of iOS 15 (2021), we saw all-new Focus modes, replacing the original Do Not Disturb mode and noticeably expanding its capabilities.
iOS 16 takes this even further – linking each mode to the lock screen, which can therefore change according to the current mode. This allows you to push your productivity at work by displaying the right widgets, setting a darker wallpaper, sleeping mode, and so on.
We mustn’t forget to mention the brand-new notification systems and lock screens. If you’re uncomfortable with the current method, you can change it within iOS 16. Overall, there are three ways – Number, Set and List.
You’ll find these options in Settings → Notifications → Show As, so we recommend trying each style and finding the one that works best for you. You can see how to do it in the gallery attached below.
Shared photo library on iCloud
Want to share selected photos with your family? If so, you’ll appreciate the so-called shared photo library on iCloud, designed for exactly this purpose. This way, you get an additional library for family albums, photos and videos that pre-selected users can access.
However, you must activate this new feature as part of the iOS 16 operating system. First, go to Settings → Photos → Shared Library, then run through iCloud’s Shared Photo Library setup wizard.
Additionally, in the wizard itself, the system will ask you to select up to five participants to share the content. At the same time, you can instantly transfer existing content to this new library and then collaborate to create it.
In the native Photos app, you can switch between libraries by tapping the three dots icon in the top right.
Editing iMessage messages and their history
Another important new feature Apple users have been calling for years concerns iMessage. As part of iOS 16, it will finally be possible to edit messages already sent, bringing Apple’s system one step closer to competing platforms that have been around for a while.
On the other hand, it’s important to know how the message may have changed and whether its meaning has changed. The new system includes a history of messages and their modifications.
In this case, go to the native Messages app, open a specific conversation and find the message that has been modified. You’ll find the blue text “Edited” below it, which you can tap to see the complete history. You can see how it all looks in practice in the gallery above.
Return battery percentage indicator
The arrival of the iPhone X was quite revolutionary. With this model, Apple set a new trend, bringing an edge-to-edge display phone thanks to the home button’s removal and the bezel’s narrowing. The only exception was the top screen cutout.
This is because it houses a hidden TrueDepth camera along with all the sensors for Face ID technology, which can unlock the device and authenticate other operations based on a 3D facial scan. At the same time, the familiar battery percentage indicator has disappeared due to the cutout.
Apple users, therefore, had to open the control centre each time to check the battery. But iOS 16 finally brings a change and the percentage indicator back to us! There’s just one catch – you have to activate it yourself. In that case, go to Settings → Battery and activate Battery Status there.
But it’s also worth mentioning that this option is missing on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini. In addition, the percentage indicator has a newer design and shows the percentage directly in the battery icon.
This was one of the things I added to my iPhone 2G years ago when jailbreaking. Today it looks comical, but it was.
Display of saved Wi-Fi passwords
You may have been in a situation where you needed to share the password with your Wi-Fi network. If you need to share your password with an Apple device user, then it’s fairly simple – the system recognises the situation, and you must tap the share button.
But if it’s a user of competing systems (Android, Windows), then you’re simply out of luck, and without knowing the password, you can practically do without. In fact, until now, iOS has lacked a feature to view saved Wi-Fi passwords.
If you go to Settings → Wi-Fi, tap Edit at the top right and authenticate with Touch/Face ID, you can find a specific network in the list of Wi-Fi networks and tap the ⓘ button to view your saved password.
This way, you can see the passwords for all your saved networks and share them with friends if needed.
The iOS 16 operating system has received a rather exciting novelty, designed to secure devices from hacker attacks. This role is taken on by the brand new Blocking Mode, with which Apple is targeting “important people” who could theoretically face attacks.
It is, therefore, a feature primarily for politicians, investigative journalists, police and criminals, celebrities and other publicly exposed people. On the other hand, it is necessary to consider that activating the blocking mode will limit or disable some options and functions.
Specifically, it will block attachments and selected features in native Messages and incoming FaceTime calls, disable certain web browsing options, remove shared albums, disable the connection of two devices via cable when locked, remove configuration profiles, and so on.
According to the above description, the lockdown mode is a more robust protection that can come in handy occasionally. If you are interested in security in general and would like to know how to activate the mode if necessary, then it is quite simple. Go to Settings → Privacy & Security → Blocking Mode → Turn Blocking Mode on.