iOS 16 review: Apple unlocks the lock screen

ySimply in time for the arrival of the iPhone 14 line, iOS 16 is formally right here, after spending a number of months in beta. I’ve spent the previous week or so testing the newest model of the software program, and there are many new issues to attempt, together with customizable lock screens, Messages app enhancements and a few smarter AI methods. Equally vital, it is not buggy. The most recent model of Apple’s cell working system works with the iPhone 8 and later fashions, though some options require the comparatively current A12 chip. (Extra on that later.)

This 12 months’s iOS launch is an replace that you will discover—one thing that was exhausting to say about iOS 15, whose most notable options relate to media sharing, focus modes, and SharePlay. iOS 14, now two years previous, has added widgets to the icon grid and rocks your house expertise for the primary time because the launch of the iPhone. With iOS 16, Apple lastly tackled the lock display.


  • Customizable lock display
  • Visible search is smarter and extra helpful
  • Contact typing
  • Only a few launch errors


  • Some options require the newest iPhone
  • Others have to assist third-party apps

Private lock display

The lock display is used to show a clock and nothing else. Issues are a bit completely different now, however let’s begin with the clock. The font is thicker and you’ll even select the colour of the textual content and there’s now room for instruments. You might not like the brand new default font look (I do not), however the excellent news is that it is customizable, with many font kinds and colours. You’ll be able to in fact select photographs for the lock display, which is nothing new, and you’ll apply filter kinds and even select a blended set of photographs to cycle by means of. If the pictures are taken in portrait mode, you can even allow the multi-layer picture impact, with the topic of the picture showing in entrance of time. You probably have an iPhone 14 Professional, take a look at our full assessment of our ideas on At all times On Show and, in fact, Apple’s new dynamic island.

There are two completely different areas of widgets that you may customise. First, there is a skinny sq. on the high of the clock that matches one-line textual content (suppose: the date, probabilities of rain, or the subsequent calendar occasion.) Under that, there is a sq. that may maintain as much as 4 completely different widgets—a mix of 2×1 and 1×1 icons. From the lock display, you possibly can faucet this to launch on the event itself, however do not count on to get any extra info by long-pressing the icons, which looks as if Apple’s manner of increasing the data these instruments present. . Possibly in iOS 16.1 or iOS 17?

iOS 16 review

Matt Smith / Engadget

Much like the primary residence display widgets debuting in iOS 14, third-party app builders will take a while to issue widgets into their updates and in your cellphone, however I am positive productiveness, health monitoring providers, and extra will bounce right into a shell. Google particularly appears prepared to affix in: the upcoming Gmail widget will get a spot on the lock display when it turns into out there.

The brand new lock display retains a number of the basic options as effectively. You’ll nonetheless see sign power and battery icons (now with proportion studying)Digicam and flashlight shortcuts are each nonetheless out there so that you can make the most of. Oddly sufficient, the battery indicator solely visually repeats the cost when the battery is beneath 20 %, which is counterintuitive when it is at 50 %, for instance.

The lock display replace additionally serves as a rejuvenating option to showcase an iOS 15 function that may be fairly formidable to arrange: focus modes. Now you can set the main focus mode for particular person lock screens (one for private, one for work, and one for sleep), every with their very own customized widget and picture codecs. In the event you hardly ever change your wallpaper throughout the week, you can also make a enjoyable image of your loved ones on the weekend, for instance, and set it to your private focus mode.

Conversely, I’ve a buzzing motivational quote on a black background once I spend an excessive amount of time on deadlines and set my cellphone to Do Not Disturb. The flexibility to swipe between focus modes makes it simpler to make use of in on a regular basis life. Certain, I may have achieved that previously from the top-right dropdown, however I did not. With iOS 16, I already use focus modes very often.

Higher messaging expertise

iOS 16 review

Matt Smith / Engadget

Apple’s unique messaging app will get some distinctive methods, together with new Visible Lookup options. It now handles copying and pasting photographs, dragging themes from photographs, screenshots and extra, and turning them into easy-to-share stickers. Lengthy press on the item/animal/particular person and your iPhone (if it is an XS or later) will attempt to minimize it away from the background, prepared to stick it some other place.

It is amazingly correct for such a sluggish methodology. I really like him. Visible search expertise in iOS 16 are much more in depth, with the brand new means to raise textual content from a video. Along with movies you are taking your self, you need to work with full-screen movies in net browsers.

Messages has additionally expanded its sharing capabilities past SharePlay and Stickers. Now you can ship paperwork, spreadsheets, and extra, so long as they’re saved in certainly one of Apple’s workplace software program file varieties. We hope that third-party assist for Microsoft and Google Suite will observe quickly.

Apple makes up for misplaced time elsewhere, too. Lastly, you possibly can edit and unsend messages within the Messages app – in the event you’re quick sufficient. You’ll have as much as quarter-hour to edit after the message is first despatched, with the chance to vary your message as much as 5 instances. You’ll be able to see any modified messages from different individuals utilizing iOS 16 as effectively, which will likely be grey (blue?) beneath the patched message. Unsend options are just for iPhone to iPhone Messages.

Equally, now you can undo sending and scheduling emails from the native Mail app. (Lastly.) There are additionally more moderen options you are most likely already accustomed to on Gmail, like options for once you’ve forgotten an attachment or recipient. .