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Top iOS 16 Features: What the New Update Means to the Apps?

With every major software update, iOS is making its devices smarter and subsequently offering a better experience to its users. The enhancement of iOS and the cohesive hardware make the user experience like no other. This precisely is the reason why Apple continues to grow among its loyal consumer base. Recently at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2023 event, Apple announced its latest software update namely iOS 16.

Quick Overview of the iOS Versions Over the Years

Here are some quick facts about the iOS versions over the years.

  • This is the 299th software update version from iOS and the 16th major one. Every major software update had the following minor updates.
  • The longest running iOS version was iOS 9 which had 22 following versions that spanned 4 calendar years and 46 months.
  • iOS 15 update had the most number of following updates with 15.6 being the 56th and last sub-version before iOS launched 16.0.
  • For the first 3 years, the much popular OS was called iPhone OS because it solely focused on the iPhones. In 2010, the versions were renamed iOS versions due to their compatibility across devices other than just mobile phones.
  • In 2019, Apple announced a dedicated OS for its iPad range calling it the iPadOS. 

Best iOS 16 Features

Security and user experience are always at the core of any iOS version update. Apple does take its own time to react to some of the user feedback but when they do, they ensure that they lead and set a trend that others follow. Developers offering custom iOS app development may have to consider notable changes in the app permissions and overall security. Here are some main features of the recently announced iOS 16.

App Permissions

Apple made the permission reset option a bit easier with the Safety Check option in this version. You can now access this option in the privacy settings and disable all permissions or sharing access to any device other than the one in your hand. This is a safety feature to access in case of an emergency. Developers might have to roll out an additional function that cuts the app’s ties with any other device once the Safety Check feature is activated by the user.

Spotlight on Home Screen

One of the most popular features among Android devices is the search bar right on the home screen. Apple did introduce a similar feature called Spotlight but it wasn’t placed on the home screen. With this version, Spotlight can be accessed directly from the bottom of the home screen. This will help users search anything from the internet or within the phone like apps or settings in a much-improved manner.

Live Object

Apple has one of the smartest AI in the world. The iOS’s ability to detect text from any picture is second to none and now they have taken it to a whole new level by allowing users to detect an object from a picture and removing the background. You can now literally long press any object and the system will cut its background out. All you have to then do is to drag and drop it where you want i.e. as a message or a sticker or inside a blog or a post. Apps might have to allow access to this kind of Live Detected drag and drop of images.

Lock Screen

New lock screen in iOS 16 allows you to change the color, style, and fonts of elements like the clock widget, date & time. It also allows you to place it where you want and save a particular style of the home screen. You can toggle between different customized home screens that you have saved like you could in a watch with the watch faces.


One key feature in this version is the customization of notifications. Unlike the previous versions, notifications on the home screen will now appear right at the bottom and will keep piling up from the bottom. Experienced developers predict the change in notifications with almost every version update now. Users can now choose between Stack, Count & Expand to manage the clusters of notifications from the same app. It means now notifications from the same app won’t have multiple visibility. They will stack up instead in one notification which can be expanded. Apps might have to modify their notification settings to use these 3 modes. 

iOS 16 Summarized

Apple is known for lesser hardware and bigger software changes. Their AI is class-leading and they are leaving no stone unturned to attract users beyond their camera and screen features. This new safety and UI/UX features from version 16.0 look promising and intuitive. Developers have to always be on their toes to comply with Apple’s ever-evolving software experience. New ways to notify users, tighter security, and a refined user interface are some take-away from the latest iOS update.

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