iOS 16
Version of the iOS operating system
A picture of the iOS 16 home screen
iOS 16 home screen on an iPhone 14 Pro
DeveloperApple Inc.
General
availability
September 12, 2022; 18 months ago (2022-09-12)
Latest release16.7.7 (20H330)[1] (March 5, 2024; 20 days ago (2024-03-05)) [±]
Available in41 languages[2]
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
LicenseProprietary software with open-source components
Preceded byiOS 15
Succeeded byiOS 17
Official websiteiOS 16 at the Wayback Machine (archived August 2, 2023)
Support status
Receiving security updates for iPhones that do not support iOS 17. Widespread third-party app support. Drops support for all A9 and A10 Fusion chips, including the iPhone 6S/6S Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 7/7 Plus, and iPod Touch (7th generation).
Articles in the series
iPadOS 16 (derivative for iPad)

iOS 16 is the sixteenth major release of Apple's iOS mobile operating system for the iPhone. It is the successor of iOS 15, and was announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 6, 2022, alongside iPadOS 16,[3] and released on September 12, 2022. It was succeeded by iOS 17 on September 18, 2023.

It is the first iOS release to be exclusive to iPhones since the first version release of iPhone OS 1, as it drops support for the last iPod Touch. It is also the last iOS release to support iPhone models with a 5.5-inch display, especially the iPhone 8 Plus, as its successor, iOS 17, drops support for those models.[4]

System features

Freeform

Freeform is a whiteboard app that lets users collaborate together in real time. The whiteboard is an "Infinite" space where users can draw, import files, facetime, message, all fluently in sync.

AirDrop

In iOS 16.2, the default setting is "Contacts Only,” and the "Everyone" setting was changed to "Everyone for 10 Minutes,” which reverts to "Contacts Only" after 10 minutes[5] "to prevent unwanted requests to receive content.”[6] This was enabled in iOS 16.1.1 for iPhones in China.[7]

Lock screen

Improved focus mode

Notifications

Control Center

Status bar

The status bar can display the battery percentage on iPhones with Face ID, so the user doesn't need to pull-down the Control Center to see it.

Improved dictation

During text dictation, the keyboard is always present and allows the user to switch from speech to manual typing and vice versa without interruptions. It is also possible to insert emojis through dictation. Auto-Punctuation automatically inserts a period when there is a pause in the dictation.

Improved Live Text

Improved Visual Search

Siri improvements

Spotlight

Translate

Spoken Content

Improved accessibility

Wi-Fi network improvements

Previously saved Wi-Fi networks are shown which can be edited, deleted or selected to view the network password after authentication via Face ID or Touch ID. Prior to this change, users’ only option for removing previously connected-to networks was to tap ‘forget this network’ from within the settings app which could only be done if connected to that network. Users also had (and still have) the ability to wipe all previously known networks from their iOS devices by choosing ‘erase network settings’ from Settings–>General–>Transfer or reset iPhone(at bottom)–>Reset–>Reset Network Settings. The latter option is frequently advised to those seeking to fix a multitude of both Wi-Fi and cellular network issues arising on users iOS devices.

Cellular network improvements

During the configuration of the Cellular Network, the eSIM from another iPhone can be transferred via Bluetooth.

Backup

Backups to iCloud can also be made on 4G, alongside 5G and Wi-Fi.

Face ID

Face ID works when the phone is oriented horizontally. It is limited to the iPhone 13 and later.

Keyboard

Haptic feedback can be enabled for the keyboard; while typing text a small vibration can be felt which simulates the pressing of mechanical keys.

Controller support

iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and tvOS 16 have support for connecting Nintendo Switch Joy-Con and Pro Controllers.[8]

Augmented reality

A new framework dubbed RoomPlan will allow apps to quickly create 3D floor plans of rooms using the LiDAR Scanner introduced with the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.[9]

App features

Messages

FaceTime

Live Captions automatically transcribes what is said during a FaceTime call.

Mail

Maps

Photos

Camera

Safari

Notes

Contacts

Calendar

Files

Tips

Books

Health

Apple News

Weather

Fitness

Home

Apple TV

iOS 16 allows cross-device connectivity in tvOS 16 for new experiences between Apple TV, Apple Watch, and iPhone.[citation needed]

Security and privacy

Lockdown mode

Lockdown mode is a special mode that, when activated, raises the security to the highest possible level by restricting some features of the OS, apps and web platform, in order to protect users from the rarest and most sophisticated attacks.[12]

Unlike many other security features, lockdown mode is regarded as an “extreme, optional”[12] mode that is not intended to be activated by the majority of users. Rather, it is designed as a defense against advanced malware and mercenary spyware, such as clickless exploits or zero-click attacks, which are often hyper-targeted toward influential individuals such as journalists, diplomats, politicians, activists, lawyers, and high-profile business people.[13][14]

It is possible to disable the Lockdown mode on specific websites and apps by acting from the Safari’s Website Settings and the Lockdown mode's Web Browsing setting.

Passkeys

Passkeys allows the user to authenticate to services that implement WebAuthn across their devices without using passwords. Passkeys are generated by the phone and permission is granted via Face ID or Touch ID.[15]

Safety Check

Safety Check resets all access permissions given to people, apps, and devices for an iCloud account when activated; this is designed to help those in abusive relationships.

Rapid Security Response

Important security updates are now distributed without requiring an entire OS update. Users can optionally remove the security updates, although the standard update will still include the security fixes.[16]

Clipboard security improved

Applications and websites now require permission to copy from the clipboard.

Private Access Tokens

Private Access Tokens are a new technology that replaces CAPTCHAs and helps in identifying HTTP requests from legitimate devices and people without compromising their identity or personal information.[17]

Brand Indicators for Message Identification

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) helps users to easily verify authenticated emails sent by brands by displaying the brand's logo alongside the email's header.

Known issues

Main article: Issues relating to iOS § iOS 16

Supported devices

iOS 16 requires iPhones with an A11 Bionic SoC or later, which means it drops support for devices with an A9[a] and A10 Fusion[b] SoC, officially marking the end of support for the iPod Touch. iOS 16 is the first version of iOS to drop support for an iPhone SE. However, iPhones with an A11 Bionic SoC [c] have limited support[d] while iPhones with an A12 Bionic SoC or newer[e] have full support.[18]

The cutoff for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus has been criticized due to the iPad 5th, 6th and 7th generations supporting iPadOS 16 despite having similar or even weaker hardware.[19]

Release history

Further information: IOS version history § iOS 16

The first developer beta of iOS 16 was released on June 6, 2022. iOS 16 was officially released on September 12, 2022.

Previous release Current release Current beta release Security response
iOS 16 releases[20]
Version Build Codename Release date Release notes
16.0 20A362 Sydney September 12, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.0.1[f] 20A371 September 14, 2022 Release notes
16.0.2 20A380 September 22, 2022 Release notes
16.0.3 20A392 October 10, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.1 20B82 SydneyB October 24, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.1.1 20B101 November 9, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.1.2 20B110 November 30, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.2 20C65 SydneyC December 13, 2022 Release notes

Security content

16.3 20D47 SydneyD January 23, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.3.1 20D67 February 13, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.4 20E247 SydneyE March 27, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.4.1 20E252 April 7, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.4.1 (a) 20E772520a May 1, 2023 Release notes
16.5 20F66 SydneyF May 18, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.5.1 20F75 June 21, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.5.1 (a) 20F770750b July 10, 2023 Security content
16.5.1 (c) 20F770750d July 12, 2023 Security content
16.6 20G75 SydneyG July 24, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.6.1 20G81 September 7, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7 20H19 SydneySecurityDawn September 21, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7.1 20H30 October 10, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7.2 20H115 SydneySecurityDawnB October 25, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7.3[g] 20H232 SydneySecurityDawnC December 11, 2023 Release notes

Security content

16.7.4[g] 20H240 December 19, 2023 Release note
16.7.5[g] 20H307 SydneySecurityDawnD January 22, 2024 Security content
16.7.6[g] 20H320 SydneySecurityDawnE March 5, 2024 Security content
16.7.7[g] 20H330 March 22, 2024

See also

Notes

  1. ^ iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, and the first-generation SE
  2. ^ iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the final iPod Touch
  3. ^ iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X
  4. ^ Using cameras to track medications in the Health app and ending cellular and FaceTime calls through Siri is not available on iPhones older than the iPhone XS/XS Max and XR.
  5. ^ iPhone XR and newer
  6. ^ Only available for iPhone 14 models
  7. ^ a b c d e Only available for devices not supported by iOS 17: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X

References

  1. ^ "iOS 16.7.7 (20H330) - Releases - Apple Developer". Apple Developer. Apple Inc. March 22, 2024. Retrieved March 5, 2024.
  2. ^ "Apple – iPhone XS – Technical Specifications". Apple. Archived from the original on January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Johnson, Allison (June 6, 2022). "Apple iOS 16 brings massive improvements to lock screen and messages". The Verge. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  4. ^ Johnson, Allison (June 5, 2023). "Apple announces iOS 17 with StandBy charging mode and better autocorrect". The Verge. Retrieved June 8, 2023.
  5. ^ Clover, Juli (December 13, 2022). "iOS 16.2 Features: Everything New in iOS 16.2". MacRumors.
  6. ^ "About iOS 16 Updates". Apple Support. iOS 16.2.
  7. ^ Perez, Sarah (December 7, 2022). "Apple changes AirDrop security for all with iOS 16.2 after backlash over restrictions in China". TechCrunch.
  8. ^ Warren, Tom (June 7, 2022). "iOS 16 supports Nintendo's Switch Pro and Joy-Con controllers". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  9. ^ "iOS 16's RoomPlan captures 3D floor plans in seconds | Cult of Mac". www.cultofmac.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  10. ^ Fathi, Sami. "Apple Maps Gaining Support for Multi-Stop Routing in iOS 16 and Expanding New Maps to 11 More Countries". MacRumors. Archived from the original on June 6, 2022. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  11. ^ "WebKit Features in Safari 16.0". September 12, 2022. Archived from the original on September 25, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Apple expands commitment to protect users from mercenary spyware". Apple Inc. (Press release). Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  13. ^ "Apple's new Lockdown Mode will offer 'extreme' security measures. You probably won't use it". Popular Science. July 7, 2022. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  14. ^ Sherr, Ian. "Apple's New Lockdown Mode for iPhone Fights Hacking, Spyware". CNET. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  15. ^ Purohit, Alkesh (August 28, 2022). "Apple expresses 95% of iCloud user as of now have 2FA empowered in front of Passkeys launch". Apple Product Review And Update. Archived from the original on August 29, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  16. ^ "Update your iPhone or iPad". Apple Support. Archived from the original on August 28, 2022. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  17. ^ "Replace CAPTCHAs with Private Access Tokens – WWDC22 – Videos". Apple Developer. Archived from the original on June 9, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  18. ^ Johnson, Allison (June 6, 2022). "Apple iOS 16 brings massive improvements to lock screen and messages". The Indian Express. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  19. ^ "Apple Faces User Backlash After Dropping Support for iPhone 7 from iOS 16". Archived from the original on August 22, 2022. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  20. ^ "About iOS 16 Updates". Apple Support. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
Preceded byiOS 15 iOS 16 2022 Succeeded byiOS 17