iOS 16 for the iPhone Debuts at WWDC 2022

This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.

iOS 16, the next major version of iPhone software, made its debut at WWDC 2022, Apple’s annual developer conference. There are actually quite a bit of new features, big, small and in-between. iOS 16 adds new ways to communicate like being able to edit messages you already sent in the Messages app, new tools to personalize your iPhone like the ability to customize the way your lock screen looks and new automations for sharing like the ability to have shared Photo Libraries with friends. All these add up to an iOS that feels fresh and contemporary. iOS 16 will likely be released this September alongside the heavily rumored iPhone 14.

Apple’s announcement for iOS 16 took place outdoors on the lawn at Apple Park, the company’s headquarters in Cupertino. The iOS 16 preview comes on the heels of the release of iOS 15.5 which included updates to Apple Cash, Photos Memories and the Podcasts app. Apple also recently launched a developer’s beta for iOS 15.6 which at this time lacks any major features and seems mainly aimed at fixing bugs.

iOS 16 lets you edit and unsend messages

“Embarrassing typos are a thing of the past,” said Apple’s SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi as he introduced three of the most requested features for the Messages app.

First, you can now edit sent messages. So if you notice a typo after a message, you can now edit the message after the fact. A tiny “edited” appears in the status under the message.

A screenshot of the iOS 16 Messages app

In Messages you can edit previously sent messages.


Next, which might be my favorite new feature, you can immediately recall a sent message. If you accidentally sent unfinished message you can use the undo send tool prevent it from being read and look less chaotic to your friends and family.

Last, you can mark messages and threads as unread. This is an excellent tool for when you don’t have time to respond to a message in the moment but want to make sure you come back to it later.

Your iPhone gets a new customizable lock screen

One of the things you look at the most on your iPhone is the Lock Screen, especially if you have a FaceID-equipped iPhone. iOS 16 is the most substantial update to the iPhone’s lock screen. Press and hold to edit your lock screen. An editor lets you swipe to try out different styles, which there are many. Each style changes the color filter, the background and the font to complement each other.

You can also customize the fonts for the time and date to your liking. You can also add lock screen widgets like temperature, activity rings and a calendar widget. The widgets are akin to complications on the Apple Watch lock screen. 

Your iPhone will become a lot more customizable in iOS 16. You can know choose how your lock screen looks down to the font and color.


You can set up multiple customized lock screens with different widgets and easily swipe to switch between them. There’s even a photo shuffle option that automatically changes the pictures on your lock screen.

Sadly one feature we hoped to see Apple add was an Always On Display. It’s something nearly all Android phones have and even the Apple Watch. I guess there’s hope it’ll come out with the iPhone 14.

Notifications and live activities

Notifications are moved to the bottom of the screen. With live activities, you can have sporting events or following an Uber ride update in real time.

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