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Apple announced iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura at WWDC 2022 on Monday. Here are the five best features that users can look forward to.
These changes help customers create an individual experience, as shown by the iOS 16 tagline: "Personal is powerful."
With new options to customize the Lock Screen, optimize video calls, and organize desktops, Apple continues to improve the ways in which people connect with each other and their devices. Here's what we liked the most.
iPhone Lock Screen improvements
The iPhone's Lock Screen is getting its biggest update yet, with options to customize font styles, display widgets, and Live Activities.
Notifications now appear at the bottom of the screen so they don't hide device wallpaper. They appear in a stacked view, expanded list view, or hidden view.
Widgets can be displayed on the Lock Screen, providing data such as weather, calendar, events, alarms, and more at a glance. These can be styled in different ways to match the chosen font or wallpaper.
With Live Activities, a person can quickly see updates from apps that happen in real time. Deliveries, sports scores, and more can be seen without having to unlock the device.
Stage Manager for iPad (and Mac too!)
Coming to iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, Stage Manager can automatically organize apps and windows in a single view on the left side of the display. Switching between them can be done with a single click.
The position of app windows will be saved and stacked together, making it easy to keep track of projects or tasks. These can be resized, rearranged, and reconfigured into the perfect layout. Clicking anywhere on the desktop will bring the focus back to a particular file or folder, and files can be dragged and dropped into a stack.
We're not quite as sold on the need for it on macOS as we are on how useful it will be for iPad users. It still looks good, though.
Continuity Camera allows an iPhone to act as a webcam for a Mac. Bring the iPhone close to the Mac and it automatically switch to the iPhone's Wide Angle lens. It works wirelessly so there's nothing to plug in.
Some iPhone camera effects will be available in this mode, such as Studio Light and Portrait Mode. Studio Light will brighten the user's face while dimming the background. Using Portrait Mode will blur the background for a professional appearance in video calls.
Center Stage, a feature introduced with the M1 iPad launched in 2021. It uses the Wide Angle lens to automatically keep the user centered on screen if they move around.
Another feature with Continuity Camera that uses the Wide Angle lens is called Desk View. This will be great for video reviewers as it shows the person's face and desk simultaneously.
The Home App has been entirely rebuilt in iOS 16 to be more efficient. Smart home devices will be displayed in the Home tab, and there are new categories for climate, security, lights, and other accessories. A new multicamera view will display live feeds from every smart camera in the home.
Apple is adding support for matter later this year. Matter is a protocol for smart home devices that lets devices from multiple companies work together. Previously known as Project Connected Home over IP, it will work alongside Apple's own HomeKit connectivity standard.
Smart home devices that support Matter can be controlled inside the Home app in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura.
Apple Pay and Wallet
Apple is introducing a new payment option in the new operating systems called Apple Pay Later. It splits the cost of Apple Pay purchases in four payments across six weeks. There are no interest or fees and it will be available for qualifying applicants in the United States.
The Wallet app will be able to track Apple Pay orders, and may eliminate the need for third-party package trackers.
Digital keys can be securely shared in Wallet using messaging apps such as Messages, Mail, and WhatsApp. The user can decide when and where the keys can be used, and they can be revoked at any time. This is available with participating car brands and access properties.
Available on iPhone 8 or later and Apple Watch Series 4 or later, the Wallet will support driver's licenses and state IDs. People in participating states can add their ID and have it be presented in various apps for identity verification.
The user is in control of what data the app can access in a private manner, such as proving the person is over 21 years of age instead of the exact date of birth.
These five features and plenty of others will be coming with new software updates later this year. Developer betas are available now, but proceed with caution as always.