iOS 16: The big features we didn’t see at WWDC 2022

This story is part WWDC 2022CNET’s full coverage from and about Apple’s annual developer conference.

Apple unveiled a preview of the developer beta of iOS16 at WWDC 2022. The iPhone update brings a lot of changes. But despite a lot of features coming, there are several things we’re seeing on other Apple products and Android phones that don’t seem to be coming to iOS.

I don’t want to overlook the good points, like the new customizable lock screens, the ability to edit and unsend iMessage texts and the Apple Maps makeover, among many others. But some of those features the iPhone still doesn’t include aren’t new at all and are pretty easy to find when you look just beyond Apple-made devices.

What we wanted: always-on display
What we have: it may be in the code

Many Android phones have included an always-on display over the past decade, which takes advantage of OLED screens by only lighting up the pixels needed to display visible information like the time and certain notifications. Even though Apple has been using OLED screens since 2017 iPhone Xthere has been no implementation of this type of lock screen in iOS yet.

This could change, however, because according to a report from 9to5Mac, the operating system renders several references to a permanent display in his code. While a code reference is a far cry from any sort of confirmation that the feature is in active development, it’s possible that Apple is considering the feature in a future device.

A screenshot of the iOS 16 Messages app

In Messages, you can edit previously sent messages.


What we wanted: better texting to non-iPhones
What we have: Improved group texting

Apple’s iMessage in iOS 16 gains the ability to edit and recall messages that haven’t been viewed yet, but those improvements are still largely iPhone-only features that don’t advance the general text messaging status within the telephone industry. When it comes to texting to any other phone that isn’t an iPhone, iOS always reverts to the decades-old texting standard, which lacks conveniences like typing indicators and group texting. more fluid.

While Google asks telephone operators to support the RCS standard which includes these features – admittedly over the course of several years with setbacks – the standard currently remains Android-only, with Google saying they would be happy to work with Apple for interoperability.

The odds of that happening are slimmer than ever, but there is hope for group chats between iPhone and Android phones. iOS 16 adds support for text message reactions, which currently arrive as a series of messages indicating how someone has “liked” or “liked” a message.

Instead, the Messages app will now translate them to the appropriate icon, much like it already does when each group chat participant uses an iPhone. Google recently added a similar feature in its Messages app, translating iPhone reactions in the same way. This decision isn’t going to significantly improve these group chats, but for convenience, I’ll take it.

Split View in iPadOS.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

What we wanted: Split View on larger iPhone models
What we have: nothing yet

Apple’s iPad tablets have long included the ability to run two apps side by side, taking advantage of the larger screen. The iPad also gets its own multitasking boost with iPadOS 16 thank you to the new manager. Android phones also have the ability to run multiple apps at once. But on the iPhone, even with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and its 6.7-inch screen, it is not possible to use two applications at the same time.

Apple allows some limited multitasking on iPhone, such as viewing a picture-in-picture video on top of another app, but it would be great to occasionally see a condensed version of the Mail app next to Safari or place the Calculator app next to a budgeting app.

Multiple lock screens displayed on and next to an iPhone.

iOS 16 gives you a ton of new ways to customize your lock screen.

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

What we wanted: more home screen, customization of the settings menu
What we have: new lock screen options

One of the great features of Android 12 is the ability to customize the whole theme of your phone — including custom colors for the notifications drop-down menu. While iOS 16 brings more control to the lock screen, it would be a great next step to go a step further and allow themed tweaks that extend to notifications and the various settings menus.

In addition to a personalized theme, it would also be great if the home screens allowed us to place applications where we want. While widgets can help with this (I use a full-width weather and calendar widget to push my top row of apps lower), some people may want to place their apps exclusively on the bottom row of their screen. welcome. While the existing Focus Modes and App Library feature already let you customize which apps you want to display on home screens, giving yourself free rein to placement would be the next logical step for customization.

The the lock screen was the main focus during the presentation of iOS 16. Maybe next year Apple will focus on the home screen again.

A phone with Pay Later at the top showing upcoming payments

Apple Pay later in iOS 16.


New iOS 16 features could still be coming

While Apple at WWDC 2022 gave a first look at iOS 16, it didn’t provide any teasers on the upcoming iPhone 14 line which is expected to arrive this fall. Sometimes Apple reveals specific iOS features alongside the new phone line, like how Cinematic mode debuted with the iPhone 13.

One always-on display in particular could be exactly the kind of feature that debuts with the next iPhone, especially if it’s one that takes advantage of the higher refresh rate displays that debuted with the iPhone. iPhone 13 lineup. The Apple Watch always-on display, for example, debuted with the Apple Watch Series 5 and was not otherwise available via software update to other Apple Watch models. .

It’s also worth remembering that some of the new iOS features won’t be available on all iPhones. For example, Face ID in landscape mode is only available on supported iPhone models, and it’s currently unclear which iPhone models will be excluded. iOS 16 is also the first software update not to come iPhone 6S, iPhone SE 2016 or iPhone 7 range.

We’ve reached out to Apple in case there’s any development on the iOS 16 feature ideas that we still hope will happen before the software update is released publicly later this year.

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