Yesterday, I wrote about iPadOS 16, and I think it was obvious how excited I was to use all of the new features. But iOS 16 on the iPhone, which should also come out this Fall, looks to be just as interesting. From the moment that you first pick up your iPhone, it will look and work differently because of the brand new Lock Screen. And there are tons of changes throughout the operating system and the built-in apps. Here are the features that I am most excited about and the reasons that I think that lawyers will love iOS 16.
I suspect that others will not put Messages at the top of their iOS 16 list, but I’m a person who hates to make mistakes. I’m certainly not perfect in my legal writing, but I do my best, and on the rare occasions when I file a brief and then discover that there was a typo that I missed, I feel crushed. It is similarly, albeit less, annoying when I type a text message and hit send, only to realize that there was a typo or autocorrect misinterpreted what I was trying to type. I’ve long wished for a way to edit a text shortly after you send it.
In iOS 16, for up to 15 minutes after you send a message, you can go back and edit it. When you do that, a small notification under the message will advise others that you have edited the message, and I’m all in favor of full disclosure. But I love that you can clarify a text quickly and easily. You can also delete a message that you sent—again, within 15 minutes. Click here for a short video showing how this works.
I presume that those two features will only work for conversations with others using an iPhone—your “blue bubble” friends. But for me, that is probably 95% of my text communications, if not more.
Another nice change is that if you start to read a message but then know you will have to turn your attention to it later, you can mark a message as unread, just like you might do for an email. Note, however, that if you have the feature enabled to let another person know that you have read a text message, the message on their end will show “Read” even if you have decided to mark it unread. In other words, mark as unread is designed only for your convenience—not to trick another person.
I mentioned yesterday that SharePlay is coming to Messages so that you can text with someone else while you watch a movie or listen to music with them at the same time. On the iPhone, I can see this being particularly nice for music. You can listen to a song with someone else and have shared playback control while you are chatting.
These are simple improvements, but they will be immediately useful for me and millions of others.
Personalized Lock Screen
The new Lock Screen is the feature that Apple has been promoting the most, so let’s talk about it next. If you own an Apple Watch, you already have a sense of how it works. Just like you can swipe to switch watch faces on an Apple Watch, and you can modify specific watch faces to change the colors, complications, etc., in iOS 16 you can have multiple Lock Screens that you can swipe between and customize. If you use a picture of a person, pet, etc., the time can be displayed somewhat behind the subject, similar to the Portraits face on an Apple Watch.
You can also place widgets on the Lock Screen so that you can see important information as soon as you first pick up your iPhone. Widgets can provide information on upcoming calendar events, the weather, battery life, alarms, activity ring progress, etc.
One special type of widget is called Live Activities. It can update information in real time to show you things like the score of a sports game, the status of a ride-share service, flight status, order status, etc. I can see Live Activities being very useful, especially when third parties start to use them with their apps.
Notifications on the Lock Screen are different in iOS 16 to provide space for some of these other features and make it easier to see the subject on your Lock Screen. They now roll up from the bottom of the screen.
I don’t use Focus Mode on my own iPhone, but I know that others do so to manage their notifications. Focus Mode has expanded uses in iOS 16 because you can have different Lock Screens associated with different modes. Thus, you may have one Lock Screen that only shows content from Messages and another Lock Screen that only shows Calendar information.
The new Lock Screen will be one of the most notable changes in iOS 16. I’m not sure that I will use all of the new features, but I suspect that I will enjoy some of them, and it is always nice to have the ability to personalize an experience.
I almost talked about the Mail improvements in yesterday’s post, but I think that I might use Mail on my iPhone even more than I do on my iPad. Regardless of which platform you are using, there are lots of nice new features in Mail.
First, you can schedule emails ahead of time. I’m a night owl, and I have often drafted a work email before I went to sleep after midnight, but I may not want to express the sense of urgency that some recipients may read into a middle-of-the-night email. In iOS 16, you can tell Mail to send an email at a specific time.
Much like you can delete a message in Messages after it has been sent, you can now cancel delivery of an email. I believe the way that it works is that Mail can automatically wait 10 seconds before sending a message after you hit the send button. That way, if you change your mind quickly enough, you can still edit the message or change your mind about sending it.
Mail will also look at the text in an email—all on your device, so your Mail is not being read by anyone at Apple—and will prompt you if it appears that you mentioned an attachment but forgot to add the attachment.
If you receive an email but you are not yet ready to review it, you can tell Mail to resurface the message at a later date or time.
Finally, Apple says that the Search feature is dramatically better in Mail (and other apps).
Working with emails on my iPhone and iPad is an important part of my law practice. I will be thrilled to start working with these new, useful tools
According to Apple, over 98% of new cars in the United States now have CarPlay available. Moreover, 79% of buyers in the United States say that they would only consider buying a car if it has CarPlay. I’m certainly part of that 79%; I love using CarPlay, and I do so every day.
Apple noticed that cars are starting to add larger screens and more of them. Apple has been working with auto manufacturers to reinvent the CarPlay experience and provide deep integration with the car’s hardware. You will be able to use CarPlay to do things like look at your speed, check your gas tank, change your car temperature, defrost windows, and more. How it will all look depends upon your specific car model, but CarPlay can adjust to lots of different layouts, and the end result can be a dramatic new look for your (next) car:
Of course, it will be a while before cars are shipping with the new screens that support CarPlay, but it is nice to know that it is coming. Apple is currently working with Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche, Nissan, Ford, Lincoln, Audi, Jaguar, Acura, Volvo, Honda, Renault, Infiniti, and Polestar.
When I use CarPlay in my car, I am often using a map to travel to a destination. But what if I have multiple stops along the way? In iOS 16, Maps will support multistop routing so that you can plan up to 15 stops in advance. You can even plan the route on a Mac and then sync it to an iPhone.
Apple’s Home app, a central place to control HomeKit devices, see your home video cameras, and more, has a new interface. The main screen of the Home app has a single view on which you can see all of your devices. And there are new options for grouping different accessories together. There are categories for things like climate, lights, cameras, etc., and if you tap on a category, you see everything associated with that category. And the tiles that correspond to accessories can now have different shapes to make some more prominent.
From what Apple has shown off so far, it looks like a much-improved interface.
Even though it has been a very long time since I dictated a letter to a tape so that a secretary would type it, old habits die hard, and it still comes naturally for me to say out loud the punctuation marks when I am speaking. But most people don’t do that, and Siri in iOS 16 will automatically add commas, periods, and question marks as you speak. You can also use Siri to insert emoji as you are dictating.
Also, as I mentioned yesterday, you can dictate and use the keyboard at the same time, unlike the old system where nothing else could happen while Siri was listening to your voice.
An update to the Health app lets you manage, track, and learn more about the medications that you take. You can even scan a prescription bottle to add a medication into the Health app. If the Health apps detects that different medications may have adverse interactions, the app will warn you.
These are great new features, but this just scratches the surface. iOS 16 includes tons of other new features, some of which we may not even realize how useful they are until we try them. iOS 16 looks to be a great update for the iPhone.