Apple has just released the latest version of iOS, which includes significant changes to the lock screen, an update to the company’s messaging system, and an attempt to do away with passwords. That’s just a sampling of the notable features available; iOS 16 promises significant changes across the board and provides a solid foundation for the company’s next generation to build on. If all of this scares you, you can simply download the security updates and keep your device on iOS 15.
You don’t have to own the most recent iPhone to upgrade to iOS 16. The operating system will function properly on an older device. Although the iPhone 14 is about to be released, Apple’s latest operating system will work on iPhones dating back to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which were released in 2017. At the very least, all iPhone SE users will require a second-generation device, which was released in 2020. The older iPhone SE, which debuted alongside the iPhone 6S in 2016, is not compatible with Apple’s most recent operating system.
What does iOS 16 bring to the table
The most noticeable change is the lock screen, which is now highly customizable. Users can now configure widgets to view information such as sports scores, schedules, and messages without having to unlock their devices. On the most recent version of iOS, backgrounds are also more customizable. Photo subjects can now appear in front of the lock screen’s clock, and the photos that make up your phone’s background can be shuffled throughout the day.
Apple’s iMessage system has also been updated significantly. Messages can now be edited or deleted after they’ve been sent, and they can also be marked as something you’ll return to if you notice one while you’re too busy to respond. SharePlay is also available in iMessage, allowing you to share shows and videos with friends or groups while chatting.
Other features include improved photo editing, smarter dictation, updated navigation software, more sharing options, a reimagined home app, new fitness features, a CarPlay update, and updates to Apple Pay.
It’s a security game changer
Among the usual security updates is a potentially game-changing feature known as “Passkeys.” Everyone understands that they should use a different password for each account, and that those passwords should ideally be a long string of random numbers and letters. Keeping track of that, however, can be a nightmare, and signing in to an account with a complex password can be inconvenient — so many people simply don’t bother.
Apple hopes to “introduce a more secure and easier way to sign in” with Passkeys. According to its developers, the new method is “stronger than all common two-factor authentication types.” According to Apple, the generated keys “also work on non-Apple devices,” so it could be the all-encompassing security solution that many have been looking for. The company has also included a “rapid security response” feature, which can quickly apply small security tweaks in between larger security updates.
A Safety Check feature has also been added to assist people who are victims of domestic violence. Users can review the access they’ve granted others, reset various app permissions, and limit Messages and FaceTime communications to “the device on hand.”
How to update to iOS 16
Installing the latest version of iOS on your iPhone is incredibly simple, and the process hasn’t changed much since the iOS 15 update. Everything should be done for you if you have automatic updates enabled. If you want to avoid manual updates in the future, go to Settings, General, and Software Update, then toggle the automatic updates option (so it’s switched to the on position).
Things are still pretty simple if you want to make the jump manually. Apple suggests that you first make a backup. Software updates can fail, and having your important data, photos, and apps backed up to the cloud ensures that nothing is lost if iOS 16 fails.
Simply plug in your device, connect to WiFi, navigate to the iCloud section of the settings menu, log into iCloud, tap iCloud Backup, and then “Backup Now.”
If you are concerned about storing data in the Cloud for any reason, you can back up your phone by plugging it into a Mac or a PC.
After you’ve backed up your data, keep your device plugged in and connected to a WiFi network. Return to Settings, select General, and then Software Update. You will be given the option of remaining on iOS 15 and only downloading critical security updates, or upgrading to iOS 16. Select the iOS 16 update option. Install now, and your phone should take care of the rest.