iOS 16 launch live blog – it’s here, but what does it have?

13 minutes, 39 seconds Read

You’ve most likely been following the news of iOS 16 since it was announced back in June at WWDC 2022, and now the latest update for your iPhone is available, as long as you have an iPhone 8 and above.

However, as you may be waiting for the Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro if you’ve already pre-ordered, iOS 16 will already give your lock screen a refresh for starters.

But it doesn’t stop there – there’s some big gains in accessibility features to help detect when there’s objects in close proximity, alongside being able to lift subjects out of an image.

With this in mind, we’ll be live throughout the day to keep track of the latest release to iOS, and which apps will be taking advantage of iOS 16 as well.

Our hands-on impressions:

Today’s best iPhone 14 deals:

Hello, and welcome to the live blog of iOS 16’s launch. I’m Daryl, Software Writer at TechRadar, and I’ll be keeping you up to date throughout the day on iOS 16 and more.

iOS 16 Lock Screen

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

If anything, the lock screen is one of the biggest changes in iOS in recent years. Our US Editor in Chief Lance Ulanoff spoke to Apple SVP of Engineering Craig Federighi back in June all about it.

Selfie on iPhone 8 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

While iOS 16 will run on an iPhone 8 and above, that doesn’t mean you’ll get all the features available to someone on an iPhone 14.

With this in mind, I’ve written up exactly what won’t be available on certain iPhones running iOS 16.

Obscura 3 widget on iOS 16

(Image credit: Obscura)

If you’ve used Obscura 3 lately, we’ve got good news for you once iOS 16 arrives. 

While it’s available on the App Store for $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99, a new update is releasing very soon which will bring a widget to the redesigned lock screen, allowing you to launch the app in a much faster fashion.

Twitter user FloWritesCode sent this to us:

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We couldn’t agree more. While I still think it’s slightly odd to have no way to change the flashlight and camera icons on the lock screen, it’s great to have alternative ways to open other apps, or have glanceable information.

iOS 16 Lock Screen Widget Edit

(Image credit: Future)

If you want to make sure that you’re ready to update to iOS 16 later today, our US Mobile Editor Philip Berne has written up this mega-useful guide on how to do just that.

A man running with an Apple Watch

(Image credit: Apple)

Let’s not forget that watchOS 9 is also scheduled to arrive later today, bringing new watch faces, the ability to control your Apple Watch using gestures, and much more.

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Here’s a great feature that may relieve some frustrations from one of our great freelancers – tapping the album artwork in iOS 16 on the Lock Screen, will minimize it.

How about that?

Personal Best on iOS 16

(Image credit: Shaun Donnelly)

Here’s another app that’s ready to go once iOS 16 launches – Personal Best accesses your fitness and health, and turns it into leaderboards, insights and more.

On iOS 16, this now expands to the Lock Screen, so you can see all of these at a glance without reaching for the app.

Flighty app on iOS 16

(Image credit: Flighty)

If you find yourself tracking flights, then Flighty is one that’s about to also take advantage of iOS 16’s new lock screen.

Once you’ve installed both updates, you’ll be able to:

  • Use a daily countdown with the weather outlook 
  • View booking code, gate, and seat number at the right time  
  • Display an in-flight progress bar, even offline 
  • Also works well for tracking friends and family 

There’s also a Live Activities widget that will make use of the ‘Dynamic Island’ on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models.

LockLauncher on iOS 16 Lock Screen

(Image credit: Taher)

Here’s an app that makes you think ‘Why didn’t I think of that?

LockLauncher allows you to place widgets on the iOS 16 Lock Screen to launch a variety of apps – from Instagram to BeReal and more.

Its developer Taher tells me that the app will launch as soon as iOS 16 does, so do look out for it. It could be a much easier way of launching some apps without even going to your Home Screen.

Messages in iOS 16

(Image credit: Apple)

Back in July, I highlighted some more improvements that are in iOS 16, such as Messages. You’ll finally be able to undo sending one, alongside being able to edit one as well once it’s been sent.

However, you’ll only have two minutes to do these before it’s set in stone, so make sure that the error is corrected as soon as.

Countdowns iOS 16

(Image credit: Shayes Apps)

I’m a big user of this app, as is my wife, so to see Lock Screen widgets come to Countdowns is something we’re looking forward to trying out.

Its developer Stephen Hayes tells me that there’s going to be many iterations of how you can display these widgets on your iPhone, from small widgets to big ones to better exclaim a coming event in your life, however big or small.

Once again, it’s currently scheduled to be released as soon as iOS 16 is available.

Someone holding the iPhone X

(Image credit: Future)

Just to note – I’ve been testing out iOS 16’s public beta since it came out in July on my old iPhone X, and found it to be very warm during use.

This would mainly happen when I’d switch between different Lock Screens such as the Earth view. It hasn’t improved throughout the beta period, so I’d proceed with caution if you’ve got an older iPhone that you’re planning to use iOS 16 with.

PlantDaddy iOS 16

(Image credit: TechRadar)

I’ve been re-arranging my office lately to free up some space, but at the same time, there’s been some plants that have been in need of some extra care there.

PlantDaddy looks to solve this for me but with the addition of Lock Screen widgets, so I can be reminded to water them when they need it.

Its developer Jordan Hipwell tells me that it’s scheduled to release as soon as iOS 16 is available.

Developer Geoff Hackworth, creator of Adaptivity, reached out to me to clarify that for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max line, developers will need to rebuild their apps to take advantage of the slightly larger screen for both models.

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Some apps may look slightly stretched out – games come to mind, but to the casual user it’s not something to be concerned out.

Regardless, it’s something that many developers will need to look out for once the new phones are released for their apps.

Whiz on iOS 16

(Image credit: Whiz)

Another iOS 16 Lock Screen widget that’s sure to be useful is Whiz, a transit app that can inform you of the latest bus times around your area.

It will be able to tell you about any disruptions to your route and can help you track the oncoming buses on your lock screen.

Alongside this, there’s support for ‘Look Around’, which is Apple’s Maps’ take on Google’s Street View feature, alongside Shortcuts to better let you select the app’s features without launching it.

iOS 16 Public Beta

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Last year, iOS 15 arrived at 10AM PT / 1PM ET / 6PM BST / 2AM Perth (GMT+8), so we may see the same time for iOS 16 later today.

If you’re at home or connected to fast Wi-Fi, I’d recommend backing up your data now so you’re ready to update your iPhone to iOS 16 once it’s available.

Apple iPhone Face ID

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

One aspect of iOS 16 that’s not been talked about, is a big improvement to FaceID if you own an iPhone 13 and above.

The feature will be able to scan your face in landscape mode – so if you’ve got the iPhone at a different angle while it’s sat beside you, it will unlock if it’s in range of your face.

This will be a big help for those moments when you quickly need to look at a notification but it’s blocked by FaceID refusing to scan your face because it’s not in portrait orientation.

CARROT Weather iOS 16

(Image credit: CARROT Weather)

CARROT Weather, the sass-inducing robot that can praise or abuse you every time the weather is read out, has just had a new update arrive on the eve of iOS 16.

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Regardless of the Lock Screen widgets which I’m already planning on using, it’s great to see an update to the iPad app, which finally looks more than an enlarged version of the iPhone app.

Medical ID Record Lock Screen widget on iOS 16

(Image credit: Geoff Hackworth)

Health and safety were a big theme for Apple’s Far Out’ event last week, where car crash detection and ovulation improvements were announced for iPhone 14 and Apple Watch.

However developers are also aware of how health can make a difference on the devices we carry every day, which is why Medical ID Record caught my eye.

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From emergency contacts to medical notes, you can place them on your iOS 16 Lock Screen for anyone needing quick information about your health, thanks to this app.

It’s another example of how these devices can help others in understanding medical situations in bytesized information.

iPadOS 16 Stage Manager

(Image credit: Apple)

Here’s a heads up in case you’re also expecting iPadOS 16 to arrive today as well – it won’t be.

Apple has already confirmed that iPadOS 16.1 and macOS 13 Ventura will be landing in October.

In our experience with Stage Manager, the latest effort to improve multitasking on the iPad, we found it to be good, but in need of some work.

Image of the AirPods Pro 2 in action during launch

(Image credit: TechRadar)

With AirPods Pro 2 available for pre-order, which launch Friday September 23, our Senior Editor at TV & Audio, Matt Bolton, tried out the personalized Spatial Audio feature that’s available on iOS 16, back in July.

For those not aware, you can use your iPhone to scan your ear, and iOS 16 will give you a unique take on Spatial Audio, based on the size of your ears.

Matt found it to be, interesting at least.

I wrote about Dark Noise back in July, where it helped me go to sleep during the heatwave over here in the UK.

Its developer, Charlie Chapman, has announced a new update to the app, where Lock Screen widgets can be used for your favorite noises.

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I can already see these being used on a couple of Lock Screens I have in mind at night. But there’s also another new feature where you can fade in different noises that are set to a timer. So if you want one noise to fade out to another noise after 12 seconds, it can be done.

The update is rolling out now, so you’ll be able to use the Lock Screen widgets as soon as iOS 16 is available.

MusicHarbor in iOS 16

(Image credit: MusicHarbor)

This is an app that I use every week without fail. MusicHarbor allows you to track new music releases and everything else from your favorite artists, and it’s about to be updated for iOS 16.

Developed by Marcos Tanaka, these Lock Screen widgets will let you track any new upcoming releases, so you can see at a glance when the next LP is arriving.

iOS 16 widgets from Google's apps

(Image credit: Google)

Google has announced a bunch of updates to its apps on iOS 16, with lots of Lock Screen widgets ready to go.

From Chrome to Google Drive, you can place small or medium widgets that can let you access certain files, or launch the Dino game for example.

Chrome iOS 16 widgets

(Image credit: Google)

There’s also glanceable widgets for Google Maps, giving you estimates on how long it may take to go home, or how many unread emails you have in Google Mail.

Suffice to say, there’s a lot of widgets here to play around with once iOS 16 arrives.

iOS 16 Message Editing

(Image credit: Future)

There’s another small feature of iOS 16 that you may have missed – but once you switch it on, you may leave it on for the foreseeable.

Every time you press a key on the keyboard, the haptic feedback will switch on, as if you’re pressing on a real keyboard. Having tried this during the public beta period of iOS 16, it’s something that does make a difference and even feels satisfying with each press.

Here’s how to switch it on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Sound & Haptics.  
  3. Select Keyboard Feedback.  
  4. Switch on the toggle that says Haptic.

SmartGym in iOS 16

(Image credit: Matt Abras)

If you’re big into your gym, developer Matt Abras has been working on some big updates in the lead-up to iOS 16 with SmartGym.

In a blogpost, Abras describes the update as a big one, with Live Activities coming in iOS 16.1, Lock Screen widgets where you can measure your reps and sets once you’re at the Gym, and support for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max‘s Dynamic Island.

it looks to be a significant update for anyone who visits the Gym from once a week to once a day, and it’s released once iOS 16 is available to everyone.

Backup iPhone

(Image credit: TechRadar)

We could be 15 minutes away from iOS 16 being made available to anyone with an iPhone 8 and above.

If you haven’t already, make sure to backup your iPhone.

Hello There app on iOS 16

(Image credit: That Virtual Boy)

Hello There is a smart take on creating and managing greeting cards, from birthdays to anniversaries.

Recently, my wife and I were clearing out my office, and we found a bunch of cards from years gone by, wondering what to do. This app could solve this dilemma in one go.

You can take a photo of each card you’ve received, catalog them, and keep them in a folder within the app.

But with iOS 16 it goes further, with Lock Screen widgets displaying how many you’ve stored and who from, alongside Live Text features and more.

Here we go.

iOS 16 is live.

Make sure to go to Settings > General > Software Update.

If it hasn’t appeared on your device yet, give it time. 

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iOS 15 and iOS 16 lock screens

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Myself and our US Mobile Editor, Philip Berne have updated the ‘How to download iOS 16‘ guide for when it’s showing as available on your iPhone.

iOS 16 download

(Image credit: TechRadar)

iOS 16 has just shown up as available to download on my iPhone 13 Pro.

iOS 16 Mail

(Image credit: Apple)

My estimated time for iOS 16 to be downloaded is 27 minutes – so that most likely means that there’s a bunch of other users doing the same as we speak/type.

The best advice I can give for now, is to sit back, watch a favorite Simpsons episode on Disney Plus, and make sure your iPhone is charging as well until it installs and restarts.

iOS 16 Lock Screen

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has released a Newsroom post that officially announces iOS 16 as being available. An interesting tidbit is where it mentions that Live Captions will be available in beta form on an iPhone 11 and later.

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Looks like I’m not the only one with a substantial estimated time for iOS 16 to download.

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