Apple has just released the new version of iOS, the company’s operating system for the iPhone. iOS 16 is a free download and it works with the iPhone 8 or later, as well as the the second- and third-generation iPhone SE.
The main change in iOS 16 is a brand new Lock Screen. You can customize how it looks and feels in several ways. When you pick a photo in your photo library, you can now enable a depth effect to make a face stand out from the background. In case photos aren’t your thing, there is now an included wallpaper generator that lets you create color gradients and emoji grids. You can also choose to use dynamic weather-based or astronomy-based wallpapers.
Tweaking the wallpaper is just step one as users can now change the font and color for the clock, and add small, informational widgets so that they can see relevant information at a glance. For instance, widgets can display the current weather, future calendar events and the current time in other time zones.
Another big change in iOS 16 is a new way to share photos with your family and closed ones thanks to shared libraries. Once this is set up, you can choose to store photos in your personal photo library or in the shared library. You no longer have to send photos to each other as anybody in the shared library can view the original, full-resolution photos.
Other improvements include the ability to edit and unsend messages sent via iMessage, some refinements for Focuses, some major changes to the Mail app, a new way to dictate and type text at the same time, a brand new Home app and the introduction of Apple Pay Later in the U.S.
The update is currently rolling out and is available both over-the-air in the Settings app and by plugging your device to your computer for a wired update. But first, back up your device. Make sure your iCloud backup is up to date by opening the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tapping on your account information at the top and then on your device name. Additionally, you can also plug your iOS device to your computer to do a manual backup in Finder or iTunes for Windows (or do both, really).
Don’t forget to encrypt your backup if you back up to a computer. It is much safer if somebody hacks your computer and encrypted backups include saved passwords and health data. This way, you don’t have to reconnect to all your online accounts.
Once this is done, you should go to the Settings app, then “General” and then “Software Update.” You should see “Update Requested…” It will then automatically start downloading once the download is available.
While it’s downloading, you can read our review about the biggest changes in iOS 16 and TechCrunch’s list of all the neat hidden features in iOS 16.