Yes, iOS 16 is available for download. You’ll need an iPhone 8 or newer iPhone to do this. We’ll walk through the download process and then move on to the most useful features of the new operating system.
Before you start the download, make sure your phone’s backup feature is enabled so that in the unlikely event something goes wrong, you don’t lose anything on your phone. Check by going to “Settings”, tap on your name, “iCloud”, “iCloud Backup” and “Back Up Now”. Keep this feature on by default.
Are you ready to download? Almost. Make sure your iPhone is connected to power and your battery is at 50% or more. Connect to Wi-Fi. You will need at least 5 gigabytes of free storage space. Otherwise, move the photos and videos to the cloud or to an external device. You can also delete large files and unused apps by going to “Settings”, “General” and then “iPhone Storage”, where you will see a list of large files to select from.
To download iOS 16, go to “Settings”, scroll down and tap “General” then “Software Update”. If you don’t see iOS 16 at the top of your screen, that means you’re behind on updates. Scroll down to see “Update to iOS 16” and tap on it. Installation should only take a few minutes. Now is the time for the good stuff. The customizable lock screen seems to be my favorite new feature, but here are a few others that I find more useful.
iOS 16 gives you the ability to edit messages after you’ve sent them. Whether it’s an autocorrect gone wrong or a regular typo, you can now correct text maybe even before it’s read. Once edited, there will be a small “edited” notation below the post, standard practice on social media. The recipient will be able to see previous versions by long pressing the notation. You can also retrieve a message. But time is ticking: you have 15 minutes to edit what your message says and two minutes to unsend. You can also mark messages as unread after you’ve read them, which is useful when you don’t have time to reply right away.
Improvements continue to the Messages app with the ability to restore previously deleted messages. There is now a Recently Deleted folder in Messages. Go to your message list and tap “Edit” in the top left corner, which opens a dropdown menu. Select “Show Recently Deleted”. You’ll then see a list of the messages you’ve deleted and the number of days until they’re permanently deleted. Check the ones you would like to recover or easily select all to recover or delete.
Apple Mail now allows you to schedule your emails to be sent in the future. After composing an email, press the down send arrow to see your options, including the time tonight, tomorrow, or set your own time using the calendar and clock feature.
This is one of my favorite features that represents new functionality within the Photos app. There’s no official name for this, but it’s essentially a quick way to remove the background from a photo and use the crop in another app. There are entire apps dedicated to doing this, and of course Photoshop, but iOS 16’s built-in feature makes it simple and faster than relying on another app.
Simply open an image in the Photos app and long press on it. You will see a faint outline drawn around the main object(s). Copy and paste it into an Instagram post, text message, or any other app that uses a photo. You can also send the clip to your email for even more apps. My daughter, a doctorate in special education. student, I was especially excited about this as a quick way to simplify images for the visually impaired.
Photos now gives you the ability to delete or merge duplicate photos, a great resource for those running low on storage space. Give it a try by opening the Photos app, tap “Albums” at the bottom of the screen, and then scroll down to “Utilities.” Select “Duplicates” and you will see duplicate matches with the option to merge. Tap “Merge” to remove the duplicates. Behind the scenes, the software combines relevant data such as captions, keywords and favorites into one photo with the highest quality. Discarded duplicates will appear in the Recently Deleted album so you can check what was discarded and retrieve the shots.
Leslie Meredith has been writing about technology for over a decade. As a mother of four, value, utility, and online safety come first. I have a question? Email Leslie at [email protected]