Now That You've Installed iOS 16, Do These 3 Things First

9/16/2022 12:00:00 PM

16 Sep

Now That You've Installed iOS 16, Do These 3 Things First

Apple released iOS 16 yesterday, and if you haven't already installed the latest mobile software update on your compatible iPhone, there are many great new features to explore, like unsending and editing text messages and viewing all of your saved Wi-Fi passwords.

Read moreHow to Download iOS 16 on Your iPhone Today

However, there are three things you should absolutely do before anything else on iOS 16, all of which will improve your experience on the iPhone. Here's what you need to know.

For more on iOS 16, here are a few hidden features in iOS 16 you can check out, a cool iOS tool Apple is bringing back and how to get rid of the search button on your iPhone home screen.

Now playing: Testing iOS 16 (Edit/Delete Sent Messages, New Lock Screen...

September is once again a busy month for Apple. Along with iOS 16, Apple is releasing the new iPhone 14, the latest Apple Watches -- including the Ultra -- and the AirPod Pro 2.

No. 1. Create a new wallpaper option for your lock screen

Apple has completely redesigned the lock screen on iOS 16, allowing you to fully customize various elements, like the date and time, add tiny widgets to let you keep up with the weather and popular news, and create multiple wallpaper profiles that you can easily switch to and from.

And if that sounds appealing, customizing your lock screen should be the first thing that you do after installing iOS 16.

To customize your lock screen, press your finger down anywhere on the screen while it's locked and then unlock your device when prompted. Once you do that, a brand-new lock screen interface will appear, where you can shuffle through and customize your various lock screen wallpapers.

If you tap the + button at the bottom right to create a new wallpaper, you can browse through various Apple wallpapers, featuring weather and astronomy, emojis and more. A few of these wallpapers contain built-in widgets, but you can also just add them later.

Lock screen on iOS 16

Press down on your existing lock screen wallpaper to add a new profile.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

If you choose to upload your own photo, look for one that features a person or object clearly in the foreground. If you adjust the image just right, you'll be able to use the new depth effect feature, which pushes the time behind whatever object is in focus, creating a layered sort of look.

You can then tap any of the lock screen elements, like the date and time, to customize the look. If you hit Add Widgets, you can add tiny transparent widgets to that section of your wallpaper.

When you're finished, tap Add and choose whether you want to use the wallpaper only on your lock screen or on your home screen as well. Here's how Apple is changing the lock screen on iPhone 14.

Widgets on the lock screen on iOS 16

Widgets for weather, your calendar, the news and more.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

No. 2. Set up a Focus profile so that you're not distracted by notifications

Last year Apple introduced Focus, the evolution of Do Not Disturb, which you can configure to receive only important notifications and alerts and block everything else out. But the productivity feature has been heavily reworked on iOS 16, and it's worth checking out and setting up if you want to reduce distractions on your iPhone.

In Settings, go to Focus and then choose a profile or profiles that you want to configure. Inside a Focus profile, you can then choose to receive notifications from certain people and apps, show silenced notifications on your lock screen, hide notification badges and make it so that your lock screen and home screen wallpapers automatically change when your Focus profile is turned on.

Additionally, you can schedule when you want your Focus profile to be turned on (when you go to sleep) and back off (when you wake up). If you use the Health app, you can retrieve your sleep information to choose an adequate schedule for Focus.

Focus on iOS 16

Customize who and what apps you can receive alerts from.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

And finally, you can use Focus filters to customize how apps and system settings interact with you. For example, you can add an app filter to Safari so that only certain tabs show up, or add a filter to the Mail app so only some email messages get through to you. For system settings, you can throw on a filter to automatically turn on Dark mode and Low Power mode whenever your Focus profile is turned on.

Once your Focus profile is finished, you can swipe down from the top-right side of the screen to access the Control Center and then tap on the Focus control to turn on whatever profile you've created.

No. 3. Set up iPhoto to remove duplicate photos and videos to free up storage

And if you need a quick way to clear some space on your iPhone, there's now a built-in feature in Photos that scours your camera roll for any duplicate photos and videos. This is a great way to not only do some spring cleaning but also remove files that are taking up storage on your iPhone.

In Photos, go into the Albums tab, swipe all the way down and tap on Duplicates. Now you can go through all your photos and videos and either hit Merge for each set of duplicates or tap Select > Select All > Merge to delete all of the duplicates at once. At the bottom of each photo or video you'll see the size of the files, so you'll want to prioritize bigger files first.

Duplicate photos on iOS 16

Remove duplicate photos and videos to get more storage on your iPhone.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Apple iOS 16 Released: The New iPhone Features You Get From the Update

Change up your lock screen or lift objects out of your photos.

Apple SVP Craig Federighi presents at WWDC 2022 in front of an iOS 16 logo
The new OS is finally here. Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federighi announced it at WWDC 2022 in June.

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET's collection of news, tips and advice around Apple's most popular product.

Apple's iOS 16 is now available for anyone with a compatible iPhone, and you can download it to get access to lots of new features and customizations.

iOS 16, which was first announced in the spring at Apple's WWDC conference, has gone through several beta versions prior to its public launch alongside the iPhone 14. It comes with a slew of new features and upgrades that aim to improve how your iPhone works. This includes a more customizable lock screen, a way to edit sent messages and a magic photo editing tool. Plus, the battery percentage is back

If you're curious about what else iOS 16 offers, read on as we break down the 11 best new features on your iPhone. Just make sure you've already completed these three steps first and check out the lesser-known features lurking in iOS 16, too. 

The ability to edit and 'unsend' messages

"Embarrassing typos are a thing of the past," Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said at WWDC as he introduced three of the most requested features for the Messages app.

First, in iOS 16 you'll be able to edit sent messages. So if you notice a typo after a message, you'll be able to edit the message after the fact. A tiny "edited" appears in the status under the message.

A screenshot of the iOS 16 Messages app showing one that's been edited

In Messages, you can edit previously sent messages.


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

Last, you can mark messages and threads as unread. This could be 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.

Watch this: Testing iOS 16 (Edit/Delete Sent Messages, New Lock Screen...

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 Face ID-equipped iPhone. iOS 16 brings the most substantial update to the iPhone's lock screen yet. Press and hold to edit your lock screen. You can swipe to try out several different styles. Each style changes the color filter for the background photo and the font on the lock screen so everything complements each other. This feels a bit like Apple's take on Google's Material You, which launched with Android 12.

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

Your iPhone will become more customizable in iOS 16. You'll be able to choose how your lock screen looks, down to the font and color.


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

One feature we'd been hoping to see Apple add was an always-on display. It's something nearly all Android phones have; even the Apple Watch does. Well, with the new iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the always-on display has finally arrived.

A screenshot of the Live Activities tool on the bottom of the lock screen

iOS 16 adds a feature that developers can use called Live Activities. This is essentially a mini view of the real-time progress of a workout, sporting event or Uber ride from your iPhone's lock screen.


Notifications and live activities

Sometimes notifications can cover up your lock screen's photo, so iOS 16 moves notifications to the bottom of your display. As you receive them, instead of being compiled into a list, they appear like a vertical carousel. This not only looks better but should be a big help for one-handed use of your iPhone.

iOS 16 also aims to solve another notification problem. Sometimes you get a bunch of notifications in a row from one app, like the score of a basketball game. A new tool for developers called Live Activities makes it easier to stay on top of things happening in real time from your lock screen, instead of getting a series of interruptions.

Live Activities should make it easier to follow sporting events, workouts or even the progress of an Uber ride.

Skip CAPTCHAs using Private Access Tokens

The CAPTCHA -- which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart -- has been a necessary evil across the internet. CAPTCHAs are designed to make sure that a person is accessing a website or service, and not a bot. I find them annoying, as they often involve reading strangely written letters or having to find all the images that have a truck. With iOS 16, Apple plans to start replacing these awkward interactions with Private Access Tokens.

According to a video on Apple's website demonstrating Private Access Tokens, websites that support the token will essentially log in and authenticate that you are indeed a human without your having to play any of the usual CAPTCHA games. Apple says in the video that the company is working with other companies to roll out support for this feature, so we can't say the CAPTCHA will be dead after iOS 16 rolls out to the public. But the concept could provide some relief if it gets adopted.

Wallet and Apple Pay Later

ID cards from more states will be available in your Wallet app along with more security and privacy features. In iOS 16 you can also protect your identity and age. So rather than showing your exact birth date, the Wallet app will display your ID and that you're over 21.

iOS 16 makes sharing keys easier with apps like Mail and Messages. When your friend receives the key, they can add it to the Wallet app on their iPhone. Apple said it's working to make sure that shared keys are an industry standard and free for others.

A screenshot of cards in the Wallet app for iOS 16

The Wallet app in iOS 16 gets a bunch of small but notable updates, including the Apple Pay Later payment plan.


Apple Pay will support new types of payments and adds a new feature called Apple Pay Later, a Klarna-like service that lets you split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees. Upcoming payments are managed through the Wallet app, making it easy to keep track of dates and payments.

But Apple Pay doesn't stop there. A new feature will also help you track Apple Pay orders and lets merchants deliver detailed receipts and tracking information. This should make it easier to stay up to date on the status of all your orders.

A screenshot of a thread in Messages where a cutout of a dog is added

You can tap and hold on the subject of a photo and separate it from the background. Then you can drag it into another app like Messages to share it.


Visual Look Up's tap and drag for photos

In iOS 15, Visual Look Up analyzes your photos and can identify objects like plants, landmarks and pets. iOS 16 takes this to the next level. When you touch a photo's subject like the dog in the image above, you can lift it away from the background and add it to apps like Messages. Essentially it's a tap-and-hold tool that removes a photo's background.

Apple sometimes overuses the word "magic," but this feature truly seems like it.

Craig Federighi introduces SharePlay in Messages in front of a giant screen

During the keynote for WWDC, Apple executive Craig Federighi introduces SharePlay for the Messages app.


SharePlay comes to Messages

SharePlay, which debuted in iOS 15, lets you have a shared experience while connecting with someone over FaceTime. You can watch TV shows, listen to music in sync and other things. iOS 16 adds the ability to discover more apps that support SharePlay from within FaceTime.

But perhaps one of the coolest things Apple did for SharePlay was to make it work within the Messages app. Apple said that this was one of the biggest requests from app developers. Now when you want to share a movie on Disney Plus, you can start SharePlay together with a friend while chatting in Messages.

An Apple executive presents the Safety Check feature during the WWDC keynote

Safety Check lets you quickly reset location sharing and access to passwords. It's intended to be helpful for people in abusive relationships.


Safety Check aims to help people in abusive relationships

Safety Check is a new feature intended to be helpful for people in abusive relationships. It lets you review and reset who has access to location information as well as passwords, messages and other apps on an iPhone.

Focus mode updates and Focus filters

Focus mode gets several updates. The first applies Focus behaviors to widgets and lock screen looks. So you could have one lock screen set for when your Work Focus is enabled and another for workouts.

Apple added specific Focus filters that apply your iPhone's Focus mode within apps. For example, in Safari, you can limit what tabs are shown depending on what Focus mode you have active.

Apple Maps adds transit fare cards

Maps gets several updates. You'll be able to plan trips with up to 15 different stops along the way. If you start planning a trip with the Maps app on your Mac, you'll be able to share that to your iPhone.

And in something similar to what Google announced for Google Wallet in Android 13, you'll be able to see transit fare estimates as well as add more money to a fare card from within Apple Maps.

Craig Federighi shows off the new Quick Start feature during the WWDC keynote

In iOS 16 you'll be able to customize Quick Start with a specific child's iCloud parental controls and settings.


iCloud family checklist

iCloud gets several new features. One of the more interesting ones is the option to quickly set up a new device for your child. When Quick Start appears, you have the option to pick a user for the new device and use all the existing parental controls you've previously selected and configured. However, this is not what many of us still want: the ability to set up separate users for the same device.

There's a new family checklist with tips for updating settings for your kids as they get older, like a reminder to check location-sharing settings or share your iCloud Plus subscriptions.

For more, check out everything Apple announced at its Sept. 7 "Far Out" event. Plus, here's how to download iOS 16.