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Hands on with all the changes in iOS 16 & iPadOS 16 beta 3

The third beta of iOS 16

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We've been testing out the third beta of iOS 16 and here are all the changes and new features we've found so far. Let's go hands-on.

Apple has just issued the third developer beta of iOS 16 — along with its other operating systems in testing — and as usual, there are several changes in tow. There are certainly plenty of bug fixes but Apple has included many other improvements too.

Changes in iOS 16 beta three

We've compiled a large list of changes in this beta but it certainly isn't exhaustive. We typically see improvements to the new features but this update also included an all-new feature we had not seen before.

Lockdown Mode

One of the biggest changes to this update is Lockdown Mode. This ultra-high security mode isn't designed for the everyday user, but for anyone who is worried about being targeted by cyberattacks.

Activists, journalists, government officials, and more may feel the need to bolster the security of their devices. Right now, Lockdown Mode is on iOS but will be coming to iPadOS and macOS too.

Lockdown Mode
Lockdown Mode

With Lockdown Mode enabled, many commonly-exploited aspects of your phone will be disabled. As a few examples, all attachments besides photos are blocked in Messages, wired connections are disabled, and FaceTime calls from unknown calls are blocked.

Apple says they'll be adding to Lockdown Mode as time goes on. Read more about Lockdown Mode in our dedicated coverage of its announcement.

Photos

In Photos, Apple has released its first implementation of the shared photo library. With the shared library enabled, you can share your own images with up to five friends or family members.

Enabling shared photo library
Enabling shared photo library

The original creator hosts the required iCloud storage and members do not need to be part of your dedicated iCloud Family Sharing account. You can alternate between your own photos and shared photos by tapping the ellipsis in the top-right corner.

Moving between photo libraries
Moving between photo libraries

Apple makes it easy to decide what photos to share which can be done based on the date or who is in the photos. When shooting photos in the Camera app, you can snap pics directly into the shared library or keep them private.

Lock Screen

The Lock Screen is getting a major overhaul with iOS 16 and Apple is tweaking it further with this third beta.

New font options
New font options

There are now a total of eight font options for the time. A thin font, borrowed from iOS 15, and a thicker font option. These are usable for the time stamp on the Lock Screen.

With the third beta, the Calendar widget is now more private. You must first unlock your phone to see what is on your calendar, otherwise, it will be obfuscated.

Earth and the moon have been repositioned
Earth and the moon have been repositioned

Speaking of widgets, on betas one and two, the Earth or moon would block any that you had added. Apple has changed this to now lower the moon or Earth whenever widgets are added. If the widgets are removed, the celestial body will move back up to be centered.

The new clown fish wallpaper
The new clown fish wallpaper

Finally, Apple is adding a retro wallpaper for users. The clown fish wallpaper that many fans may be familiar with has been added and updated. It has parts of the sea anemone that overlap the time and the fish animates in from black when you wake your phone.

Other beta 3 changes

In the Health application, Apple has added a section for AFib history. AFib data can now be viewed over time and some high-level information is available to explain what the data means.

Soon, Safari will support virtual card numbers. Reminders now gives you a Settings toggle to include or omit any reminders that are scheduled for the day. In Settings, the iOS version panel with the build number has been redesigned and has removed the apple.com link.

If you're an Apple Fitness+ user, you'll now get new awards for completing different tasks. Currently, these aren't showing for everyone but they will retroactively be awarded and may trigger upon completing a new workout.

Changes for iPadOS 16

On iPad, Apple made some improvements to Stage Manager that were sorely needed.

When you enable Stage Manager for the first time, a new modal alert will appear. It walks you through the basics of Stage Manager and has a simplistic animation about how it works. Similarly, a new alert will appear when you connect an external monitor for the first time.

Updated Stage Manager with Instagram open
Updated Stage Manager with Instagram open

In Stage Manager, windows now have new options when you tap on the menu in the toolbar. This menu lets you minimize a window, close a window, open a new window, or zoom full-screen.

If you ever used iOS apps on iPad, you'll be familiar with the subpar experience. This updated version of Stage Manager can now display them in the appropriate iPhone size and drastically improves the user experience.

Coming soon

At the moment, iOS 16 is currently in developer beta. A public beta is scheduled to be released in July before a full release this fall. Stay tuned to AppleInsider as we walk through more features for Apple's upcoming software updates.