iOS 16: The big features we didn’t see at WWDC 2022 – CNET | Hot Mobile Press

This story is part of WWDC 2022CNET’s full coverage of Apple’s annual developer conference.

Apple previewed the developer beta from iOS 16 at WWDC 2022. The iPhone update brings many changes. But despite numerous upcoming features, there are some things we’re seeing on other Apple products and Android phones that don’t seem to be coming to iOS.

I don’t want to discount the good highlights, like the new customizable lock screens Edit and send iMessage texts and the Revision of Apple Maps, among many others. But a few of these features that the iPhone still doesn’t include aren’t new at all and are pretty easy to find if you just look beyond the devices Apple makes.

What we wanted: always-on display
What we have: It could be in code

Many Android phones over the past decade have incorporated an always-on display that takes advantage of OLED screens by only illuminating the necessary pixels to display at-a-glance information like the time and some notifications. Although Apple has been using OLED screens since 2017 iPhone Xthis type of lock screen has not yet been implemented in iOS.

That could change, however, according to a 9to5Mac report, according to how the operating system is doing multiple references to an always-on display within its code. While a code reference is far from any sort of confirmation that the feature is in active development, it’s possible Apple is considering the feature in a future device.

A screenshot of the iOS 16 Messages app

In Messages, you can edit previously sent messages.


What we wanted: Better texting to non-iPhones
What we have: An improvement to group texting

Apple’s iMessage in iOS 16 gets the ability to edit and retrieve messages that haven’t been viewed yet, but these improvements are still mostly iPhone-only features that don’t push that Overall status of text messages within the phone industry. When it comes to texting every other non-iPhone phone, iOS still falls back to the decades-old texting standard, which lacks conveniences like typing indicators and smoother group texting.

While Google has gotten phone carriers to support those RCS standard that includes these features – admittedly for several years with setbacks – The standard currently remains Android only, with Google claiming that they would like to work with Apple for interoperability.

The odds of that seem as bleak as ever, but there is some hope for group chats between iPhone and Android phones. iOS 16 adds support for message reactions sent via SMS, which currently arrive as a series of messages about how a person “liked” or “loved” a message.

Instead, the Messages app now translates these into the appropriate icon, much like it already does when everyone in the group chat is using an iPhone. Google recently added a similar feature into its Messages app and translates iPhone reactions in the same way. This move won’t massively improve these group chats, but I’ll take it as a convenience.

Split view in iPadOS.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

What we wanted: Split view on larger iPhone models
What we have: Nothing yet

Apple’s iPad tablets have long offered the ability to run two apps side-by-side to take advantage of the larger screen. The iPad also gets its own multitasking boost with iPadOS 16 Thanks to the new Stage Manager. Android phones also have the ability to run multiple apps at the same time. But on the iPhone even with that iPhone 13 Pro max and its 6.7-inch display, there is no way to use two apps at the same time.

Apple allows limited multitasking on the iPhone, e.g. B. Viewing a picture-in-picture video on another app, but it would be great to occasionally display a condensed version of the Mail app alongside Safari, or to place the Calculator app alongside a budgeting app.

Multiple lock screens appear on and off an iPhone.

iOS 16 gives you a ton of new ways to customize your lock screen.

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

What we wanted: More home screen, customization of the settings menu
What we have: New lock screen options

One of the great features of Android 12 is the ability to customize entire theme of your phone – including custom colors for notification pulldown. While iOS 16 brings more control over the lock screen, going further and allowing for themed customization that extends to notifications and the various settings menus would be a great next step.

Besides a custom theme, it would also be great if home screens allowed you to place apps anywhere you want. While widgets can help with this (I use a full-width weather and calendar widget to move my first row of apps down), some people may want to place their apps solely on the bottom row of their home screen. While the existing focus modes and app library feature already let you customize which apps appear on the home screens, the next logical step for customization would be to give you free rein on placement.

That Lock screen was a big focus during the iOS 16 presentation. Maybe next year Apple will focus on the home screen again.

A phone with Pay Later on top showing upcoming payments

Apple Pay Later in iOS 16.


New iOS 16 features could still arrive

While Apple gave a first look at iOS 16 at WWDC 2022, it didn’t provide a teaser about the upcoming iPhone 14 range, which is expected to arrive this fall. Sometimes Apple reveals certain iOS features alongside the new phone line, such as: B. how Cinema mode debuted with the iPhone 13.

An always-on display, in particular, could be just the sort of feature debuting with the next iPhone, especially if it’s a feature that takes advantage of the higher refresh rate displays introduced with the iPhone 13 range. For example, the Apple Watch always-on display was introduced with the Apple Watch Series 5 and wasn’t otherwise available via a software update for other Apple Watch models.

It’s also worth remembering that some of the new iOS features won’t make it to every iPhone. For example, Face ID in landscape mode only comes to supported iPhone models, and it’s currently unclear which iPhone models will be excluded. iOS 16 is also the first software update not to come to the iPhone 6S, the 2016 iPhone SE or the iPhone 7 line.

We’ve reached out to Apple if there are any developments on iOS 16 feature ideas that we’re still hoping will arrive ahead of the release of the software update later this year.

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