11 new iPhone features you should be using if you aren’t already

This story is part Focal Point iPhone 2023CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

Apple’s iPhone software just keeps getting better. With iOS 16.3first released in January, Apple adds a number of small but significant updates to iOS 16 iPhone software, including iCloud security keys and new wallpaper options. Less iOS 16.3.1 update in February then brought a few bug fixes and security updates. And now, the release iOS 16.4 and it is new emojis are just around the corner.

All these updates are added to the Apple updates iOS 16which first appeared in September for anyone with a compatible iPhone. Installing operating system software on iPhone gives you new features and settings like more customizable Lock screenway edit sent messages and a magical photo editing tool. In addition, iOS 16 brings back battery percentage icon.

iOS 16 was announced last spring at Apple’s WWDC conference before it was announced together iPhone 14. If you’re curious about what else iOS 16 has to offer, read on as we break down the 11 best new features for your iPhone. Just make sure you’ve already completed these three steps firstand get acquainted lesser known features in iOS 16 too.

Ability to edit and “undo” messages

“Embarrassing typos are a thing of the past,” Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said at WWDC when he unveiled three of the most requested features for the Messages app.

First in iOS 16 you can edit sent messages. So if you notice a typo after posting, you can edit the post afterwards. A small “edited” appears in the space below the message.

In Messages, you can edit previously sent messages.


Next, and this might be my favorite new feature, you can now recall sent message. If you accidentally send an unfinished message, you can use the Undo Send tool to prevent it from being read and hopefully look less chaotic to your friends and family.

Finally, you can mark messages and message threads as unread. This can be a great tool when you don’t have time to reply to a message right now, but want to make sure you get back to it later.

Video: Testing iOS 16 (edit/delete sent messages, new Lock Screen and more!)

New customizable Lock Screen

One of the things you look at most on your iPhone is the lock screen, especially if you have an iPhone with Face ID. iOS 16 brings the most a major update to the iPhone lock screen yet. Press and hold customize your lock screen. You can try several different styles by swiping. Each style changes the background color filter and lock screen font so that they all complement each other. This feels a bit like Apple’s take on Google’s Material You, which was released with Android 12.

You can also customize fonts for the time and date, and add lock screen widgets like temperature, activity rings, and calendar. Widgets resemble the Apple Watch’s lock screen complications.

Your iPhone becomes even more customizable in iOS 16. You can choose how your lock screen looks, down to the font and color.


You can even set up multiple custom lock screens with different widgets and easily switch between them with a swipe. There is also an image shuffle option that automatically changes the images on the lock screen.

One a feature we were hoping Apple would add was an always-on display. It’s on almost all Android phones; even the Apple Watch does. Well, with the new one iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the always-on display has finally arrived.

iOS 16 adds a feature that developers can use called Live Activities. This is essentially a mini-view of the real-time progress of your workout, sporting event, or Uber ride on your iPhone’s lock screen.


Announcements and live action

Sometimes notifications can cover the lock screen image, so iOS 16 moves notifications to the bottom of the screen. When you get them, instead of being compiled into a list, they look like a vertical carousel. Not only does this look better, but it should be a big help when using the iPhone with one hand.

iOS 16 aims to solve another notification problem as well. Sometimes you get a bunch of notifications in a row from one app, like the score of a basketball game. The new Live Activities tool for developers makes it easier to keep events live on your lock screen instead of getting a series of interruptions.

Live Activity should make it easy to follow the progress of sporting events, workouts, or even an Uber ride.

Bypass CAPTCHAs using Private Access Tokens

CAPTCHA – which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart – has been a necessary evil on the Internet. CAPTCHAs are designed to ensure that a person is using a website or service, not a bot. I find them annoying because they often involve reading oddly written letters or searching for all the pictures with a truck in them. With iOS 16, Apple plans to start replacing these awkward interactions with Private Access Tokens.

According to a video on Apple’s website introducing Private Access Tokens, sites that support the token will log in and verify that you are indeed human without having to play any of the standard CAPTCHA games. Apple says in the video that the company is working with other companies to support this feature, so we can’t say that CAPTCHA will die after iOS 16 is announced. But the concept may offer some relief if adopted.

Wallet and Apple Pay later

Multi-state ID cards are available in your Wallet app, along with more security and privacy features. In iOS 16, you can also protect your identity and age. So instead of showing your exact birthday, the Wallet app shows your ID and that you’re over 21.

iOS 16 makes it easier to share keys with apps like Mail and Messages. When your friend receives the key, they can add it to the Wallet app on their iPhone. Apple said it is working to ensure shared keys are an industry standard and free to others.

iOS 16’s Wallet app is getting a bunch of small but significant updates, including the Apple Pay Later payment plan.


Apple Pay supports new types of payments and adds a new feature called Apple Pay latera A service like Klarna which allows you to split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks with no interest and no fees. Future payments are managed through the Wallet application, so tracking dates and payments is easy.

However, Apple Pay does not end there. The new feature also helps you track Apple Pay orders and allows merchants to provide detailed receipts and tracking information. This should make it easier to keep up to date with the status of all your orders.

You can tap and hold on the subject of the photo and separate it from the background. Then you can share it by dragging it to another app, like Messages.


Tap and drag the Visual Look Up app to get images

In iOS 15, Visual Look Up analyzes your photos and can identify objects like plants, landmarks, and pets. iOS 16 takes this to the next level. When you touch the subject of a photo, like the dog in the image above, you can lift it out of the background and add it to apps like Messages. Basically it is a a tap and hold tool that removes the background from a photo.

Apple sometimes overuses the word “magic,” but this feature really looks like it.

During the WWDC keynote, Apple CEO Craig Federighi introduces SharePlay for the Messages app.


SharePlay comes in messages

SharePlay, which debuted in iOS 15, enables a shared experience when you’re connected to someone via FaceTime. You can watch TV shows, listen to music in sync and more. iOS 16 adds the ability to find more supported apps SharePlay From FaceTime.

But perhaps one of the coolest things Apple did for SharePlay was make it work in the Messages app. Apple said this was one of the top requests from app developers. Now, when you want to share a movie on Disney Plus, you can start SharePlay together with a friend while chatting in the Messages app.

With Security Check, you can quickly reset location sharing and access passwords. It is intended to help people in abusive relationships.


The purpose of the security check is to help people in violent relationships

Security check is a new feature designed to help people in abusive relationships. It allows you to check and reset who has access to your location data as well as passwords, messages and other apps on your iPhone.

Focus mode updates and focus filters

The focus mode gets several updates. The first is about Focus behavior in widgets and lock screen skins. So you can set one lock screen when Work Focus is on and another for exercises.

Apple added special Focus filters that use your iPhone’s focus mode in apps. For example, in Safari, you can limit the tabs that can be displayed depending on which focus mode you are using.

Apple Maps adds public transport ticket cards

Maps gets several updates. You can plan trips with up to 15 different stops along the way. If you start planning a trip using the Maps app on your Mac, you can share it on your iPhone.

And something similar to what Google announced for Google Wallet in Android 13, you can see public transit fare estimates as well as add money to a fare card from Apple Maps.

In iOS 16, you can customize Quick Launch for a specific child using iCloud parental controls and settings.


iCloud Family Checklist

iCloud is getting several new features. One of the most interesting is the ability to quickly set up a new device for your child. When the Quick Start appears, you have the option to select a user for the new device and use all the existing parental control settings that you have previously selected and configured. However, this is not what many of us still want: the ability to assign separate users to the same device.

There’s a new family checklist with tips on how to update settings for your kids as they get older, like a reminder to check your location sharing settings or share your iCloud Plus subscription.

Watch more everything announced by Apple on its Sept. 7 “Far Out” event. In addition, here how to download iOS 16.

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