iOS 16: News, Price (Free!), Release Date, and Features

Editable texts, customizable lock screens, Siri improvements, a Safety Check and much more are all included in this release

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The iOS 16 update features the ability to customize the lock screen, and the ability to edit as well as unsend texts, and lots more.

iOS 16 Release Date

Following its long history of iOS updates, Apple released iOS 16 on September 12. iOS 16 first appeared in June at WWDC 2022.

If your phone is compatible with iOS 16 (the list of supported devices is below), the easiest way is to get the iOS update wirelessly via Settings > General > Software Update.

iOS 16 Price

iOS updates are always free! Not all phones are compatible (see below), but for the ones that can install it, there's no need to pay anything.

iOS 16 Features

The iCloud shared photo library feature was Initially expected for inclusion in first release of iOS 16, but it has been delayed to a future release.

Here are some of the more noteworthy changes:

  • Focus schedules & filters: A Focus can turn on automatically depending on the situation, like when you're in a specific location or app. For example, certain Safari tabs can open when you're in work mode.
  • Lock screen customization: Not only can you customize the iOS 16 lock screen to do things like adjust the font and position of elements, you can include widgets and Live Activities—and link the lock screen to a Focus. If you build more than one lock screen, you can switch between them at any time.
  • Battery percentage: Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to represent the battery level as a percentage number instead of a visual representation.
  • Edit & unsend texts: Lots of other messaging apps support unsend, and now it's available in iMessage. You can even edit a message after you send it; you can do this up to five times per message, and a history log will be available to show past edits. You'll have two minutes to unsend a text (or 10 seconds if you're unsending an email).
  • Shared Tab Groups: Share groups of Safari tabs with friends, and even collaborate with them in real time as people close and open tabs.
  • Live Text: Easily capture text from paused video or images, and instantly interact with it—e.g., track shipments or translate text.
  • Siri changes: In iOS 16, Siri can process more requests offline, hang up for you in FaceTime calls, and send messages without requiring a confirmation.
  • Accessibility improvements: Magnifier mode can identify people and doors to read signs or labels; you can fully control Apple Watch from iPhone; and automatic live captions are available for audio, video, and conversations, including FaceTime video calls.
  • Health app tracking: Make a list of all the medications you take to keep track of it all right there on your phone, and log when you take them for a full picture of your consistency. You'll also see if there are any concerns about medication interactions.
  • Wi-Fi passwords in Settings: You can view, share, and delete saved Wi‑Fi passwords in Settings.
  • Safety Check: The Settings app is introducing this new feature to help you in very specific situations where you need to quickly reset the access you've given to other people.
  • SharePlay via Messages: Share music, games, movies, and more with contacts directly in Messages.

See Apple's iOS 16 page for a lot more on how Mail, Safari, Maps, Home, FaceTime, Apple Pay, Apple Watch, iCloud, and more are changing.

Some features require at least an iPhone XR or iPhone XS. According to 9to5Mac, these include Live Text in videos, quick actions and new languages in Live Text, emoji in texts, and several others.

iOS 16 Supported Devices

If your phone can run iOS 15, it'll work with iOS 16, too, with iPhone SE 1st gen, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 7 being the exceptions.

In addition to the above, the following devices are compatible with iOS 16:

  • iPhone Pro Max (11 and newer)
  • iPhone Pro (11 and newer)
  • iPhone (11 and newer)
  • iPhone mini (12 and newer)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation and newer)
  • iPhone X & XR
  • iPhone XS & XS Max
  • iPhone 8 & 8 Plus

The Latest News About iOS 16

You can get more smartphone news from Lifewire. Here are some stories about iOS 16 specifically:

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