10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to.
We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS 16.1, which is currently in beta testing, but some of the features are not expected until later in the year.
iCloud Shared Photo Library
iCloud Shared Photo Library will make it easier for you to share photos with your family members or friends in the Photos app. The feature will let you and up to five other people add, edit, or remove photos in a shared library accessible via iCloud.
Apple delayed the launch of iCloud Shared Photo Library and now says it is coming later this year.
Live Activities for Third-Party Apps
iOS 16.1 will expand Live Activities to third-party apps in the App Store. The feature allows iPhone users to stay on top of real-time events, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right on the Lock Screen or in the Dynamic Island.
Live Activities appear at the bottom of the Lock Screen on iPhone 13 models and earlier, as well as on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. On the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, Live Activities appear in the Dynamic Island when the device is unlocked, or on the Lock Screen when the device is locked or in always-on display mode.
Once the iOS 16.1 Release Candidate is available, developers will be able to submit apps with Live Activities to the App Store.
The feature will also be supported in Apple's TV app for select sports leagues, including the MLB for users in the U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea, along with the NBA and Premier League for users in the U.S. and Canada only.
Emergency SOS via Satellite
All four iPhone 14 models include a new Emergency SOS via Satellite feature that is set to launch in November in the U.S. and Canada.
Emergency SOS via Satellite is designed to allow iPhone 14 models to connect directly to a satellite, allowing users to send text messages to emergency services when outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. When it launches in the U.S. and Canada, Apple says the service will be free for the first two years, which suggests that Apple might be planning to charge for the service at some point in the future.
Apple says that in "ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and the horizon," a message might take 15 seconds to send via satellite, but it can take over a minute for a message to send "under trees with light or medium foliage."
Apple Music Classical
In August 2021, Apple announced the acquisition of classical music service Primephonic. At the time, Apple said it planned to launch a dedicated classical music app in 2022 that combined Primephonic's user interface with additional features.
Apple continues to prepare for the launch of the Apple Music Classical app, but specific details and an exact release date are still unknown.
Clean Energy Charging
iOS 16.1 includes a new Clean Energy Charging feature that Apple says "aims to decrease the carbon footprint of the iPhone by optimizing charging times for when the grid is using cleaner energy sources." The feature is available in the U.S. only.
Apple Fitness+ Without an Apple Watch
Apple Fitness+ will be available to iPhone users without an Apple Watch starting with iOS 16.1, iPadOS 16.1, and tvOS 16.1. Without an Apple Watch, iPhone users will not see real-time metrics like heart rate and calories burned during a workout.
Launched in December 2020, Apple Fitness+ features a library of over 3,000 workout and meditation videos, with new content added weekly. The subscription-based service is available through the Fitness app on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV in 21 countries, with U.S. pricing set at $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Apple says it will be releasing a new digital whiteboard app called Freeform for the iPhone and iPad later this year. The app is described as a "flexible canvas" that will give users the "ability to see, share, and collaborate all in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes," complete with full support for the Apple Pencil.
Freeform will allow users to start a session from FaceTime and view updates from others right in an iMessage conversation thread.
Matter Accessories in Home App
Matter is an upcoming connectivity standard that will enable compatible smart home accessories to work together seamlessly across multiple platforms, including Apple's HomeKit, Amazon's Alexa, and Google's Home. On the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple says Matter support is coming in an update to the Home app later this year.
Controlling Matter accessories with the Home app and Siri will require a HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV 4K, or Apple TV HD running as a home hub.
Battery Percentage Icon for More iPhones
Apple finally made battery percentage visible in the status bar again on iPhones with a notch, eliminating the need to swipe down. Starting with iOS 16.1, the optional feature is expanding to the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, and iPhone 13 mini.
Stage Manager for More iPad Pros
Last week, Apple announced that iPadOS 16.1 will expand Stage Manager to iPad Pro models with A12X and A12Z chips released in 2018 and 2020.
Stage Manager will not have external display support on older iPad Pro models, limiting the feature to four apps on the built-in display. Apple has also delayed external display support for Stage Manager on iPad Pro and iPad Air models with the M1 chip and said this functionality will be reimplemented in a software update later this year.