Annual AppleIt kicks off Monday, and with it we can expect an early look at iOS 16 — likely the name of Apple’s next software release for the iPhone. Apple is expected to share previews of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, WatchOS 9, macOS, and other software. We are very excited about the next release of iOS, as it usually includes some cool changes for the iPhone.
Relatively sparse, which is typical of unreleased Apple software. So it will be really surprising to see what new iOS features will be revealed.
The last three versions of iOS were similar. iOS 15 feels like part of iOS 14, which seemed like a continuation of iOS 13. Any visible changes can be turned on and off instead of being forced on your iPhone. For example, if you don’t like home screen widgets or focus mode, you don’t have to use them. Even if you opt out of the more obvious changes, running iOS 15 brings you a host of improvements in the background to keep your iPhone running smoothly and securely. This will likely be the case with iOS 16.
iOS 15 has been out for seven months and the operating system has been relatively stable with very few bugs. Rolling out some features, like Universal Control and SharePlay, took a while, but now everything seems to work. iOS 16 will likely continue where iOS 15 left off, adding new features to the existing design.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things Apple needs to add or improve. My colleagues and I have come up with a list of improvements, additions, and fixes we’d like Apple to make for iOS 16. Some are big, like adding support for the Apple Pencil, and others are small but important, like giving Home screen widgets more functionality. We’ll have to wait until June to see what Apple actually does.
iOS 16: Photos need to copy and paste to make edits
We use iPhones to take photos and videos all the time, and editing photos is just as satisfying as taking them. The Photos app on the iPhone is where most people can tweak: the interface is straightforward, and there are plenty of tools to get the exact look you want.
But the macOS version of the Photos app has one useful feature that improves editing on the iPhone: the ability to copy and paste edits between photos. This is especially useful when taking multiple photos in the same place, such as a restaurant or party. Since all the photos are taken under the same lighting and conditions, you can only edit one photo and then copy and paste those edits into the other photos.
Instead, in iOS 15, I left making these edits one by one for each photo on the iPhone. It’s boring.
In iOS 16, it would be great to see a similar copy and paste feature on the iPhone. We’ll give iOS 16 extra points if the edits you made in the Photos app on a Mac can be applied to the Photos app on the iPhone, and vice versa. But one step at a time.
Always On Lock Screen for iPhone
Imagine being able to look at your iPhone when the screen is off to see the time, notifications, and missed calls. This feature has been available on Android phones for years, where only the important information lights up and the screen is black otherwise. It’s called Always On Screen. Apple offers an always-on option for Apple Watch Series 5 and later, but it’s still absent on the iPhone. Apple could change that with iOS 16 and offer a similar version for the iPhone.
Bring the iPad’s split-screen display to iPhone Pro Max models
iPhone Pro Max has been part of Apple’s lineup since 2019It has a 6.5-inch screen, while And the Both have a 6.7-inch screen that makes watching videos, playing games, and reading articles an absolute pleasure.
But those big screens feel lost when it comes to software. Some iOS apps like Mail and Messages can take advantage of the extra screen space in landscape mode to show a column of message previews next to the currently open message. But other than that, there isn’t much in iOS that takes advantage of those larger screens.
Apple can only bring some features from iPadOS to iOS 16 for Pro Max models, especially the split-screen multitasking display. It would be nice to have Safari open on one side of the phone screen and then run Messages on the other side.
Apple Pencil support for iPhone Pro Max models
The large screen of iPhone Pro Max models requires Apple Pencil support. Samsung has proven that there is a huge audience for the stylus phone with its Galaxy Note and S Ultra devices. Heck, there are $300 phones like the Moto G Stylus that support one.
TheIt is a great stylus that currently works with iPad Mini, Air, and Pro models. But imagine being able to use it on your iPhone 13 Pro Max and its 120Hz screen for drawing and taking notes. Even better, how about an Apple Pencil Mini (think the size of a golf stylus) that can be installed alongside your iPhone Pro Max? Tech reporters can dream, right?
iPhone gadgets need more functions
When the home screen widgets arrived on the iPhone running iOS 14, many of us rejoiced. Apple’s widget app is clean and even Samsung started imitating them. Grid widgets fit anywhere on your home screen. But there is one wrinkle: Home screen widgets are passive. Aside from viewable information or gadget stacks, most of the functionality it provides is the ability to open the corresponding app.
For example, the Apple Music widget displays the song that is currently playing. Clicking on the tool will take you to the Apple Music app. But what if you could click on the instrument to go to the next song? What if you could swipe the weather widget to switch locations? Let’s hope iOS 16 gives more home screen widget functionality.
Let’s put apps anywhere we want
In recent years, Apple has enhanced the Home screen with new items such as widgets and the App Library. You can have multiple pages of apps, and even embed the same app on different home screen pages (which is important if you’re a focus power user).
But when it comes to rearranging app icons on your app page, nothing has changed. The apps are stuck to the invisible program magnet at the top left of the screen. So if you just want to keep apps on a particular home screen page, those apps start filling the screen from the top left corner. You can’t place it at the bottom of the screen without filling the top of the page up first.
Apple, please give us the freedom to move apps wherever we want. This would be a huge boon towards making it easier to access apps with one hand without using accessibility. Also, if you have a home screen wallpaper that you like, you can arrange the apps so you can better see your picture.
More default app options
Currently, you can set the default browser app and the default mail app on the iPhone to be something other than Safari and Mail. In iOS 16, Apple could open the system defaults to more apps, especially for maps and messaging apps. If you are a regular user of Google Maps, it will be more convenient to set it as the main map application instead of Apple Maps.
What do you want to see in iOS 16?
These were a bunch of things we’d like to see in the next version of iOS. But what about you? Are there features or bugs you’d like Apple to add and fix? If you want to explore some leaks of the following iPhone software,.
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