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iOS 16 Review

iOS 16 Review
10 March 2023

    On September 7, Apple held a big presentation, introduced the iPhone 14, and on September 12 released the final version of iOS 16. We tested the fresh OS on the still up-to-date iPhone 13 Pro. Spoiler: some innovations make you want to cry, others delight.

    Updated lock screen

    The first and most dramatic changes are noticeable immediately after the phone is updated to the latest firmware. The user is greeted by an unusual dial with thick translucent numbers. And the date is now on top, not the other way around.iOS 16 News:

    • Fonts. But at this stage, you don't have to be afraid because now you can customize the fonts yourself. Choose a color and a style. To complete this, you need to press the clock and hold your finger for a second – the lock screen settings open.
    • Emoji. There is now literally a pile of different types of wallpapers, which is easy to get confused at first. You can select a photo from your media library (by yourself or trust artificial intelligence), put a gradient image or fill your lock screen with any emoji of your choice.
    • Animated wallpapers. Animated wallpapers were also brought to iOS 16. And there is also a photo shuffle function – every hour / day or by touch, the wallpaper will change. If at least once they held a Huawei or Xiaomi smartphone in their hands, Surely you understand what we are talking about. Apple reinvented the wheel.
    • Always On Display. Widgets can now be added to the lock screen. For example, small icons with weather, reminders, alarm clock, headphone charge. Obviously, this will primarily be useful to owners of the iPhone 14 Pro, where the Always-On Display feature will appear.
    • Widgets. Whether widgets will be popular with others is a big question. Because only four microscopic icons (or two medium ones) are placed in the window. In addition, they are not very interactive: when you click on them, a full-fledged application opens, rather than revealing additional information.
    • Customization. Note that the user can set up several lock screens at once and quickly change them according to his mood. At least some customization will already be easier for those who love change.

    Moved notifications

    Perhaps the most controversial feature of the new iOS 16. Now, all notifications (both from applications and SMS) are displayed at the very bottom of the screen. It looks, to put it mildly, unusual and unnatural. It turns out that the entire middle and upper part of the display are free, and notifications, even if there are a lot of them, huddle in the “basement”. The text is visible only inside the first notification: to view the rest, you have to swipe up. Extra movement. iOS 16 What changed?

    In theory, you can understand why the designers made this nightmare. Phones have turned into “shovels”, and people's hands have not grown – it's easier to reach the bottom edge. And widgets will not merge with spam from the mail. Another explanation: you can put portraits of friends and relatives on the new wallpaper. Apparently, Apple analyzed people's behavior and found that looking at the face of a loved one is more important than a stack of notifications. But the final result does not cease to amaze, even after two days of using iOS 16. 

    And you can't move notifications to their rightful place. This is the saddest thing. But you can choose the type of notification: Stack, List or Quantity. In the first case, they are grouped by applications, in the second they go in a continuous stream. And in the third one you see only a number (how many notifications you have).

    Working with photos and videos

    However, there are some positives too. New tools for working with photos – this is almost the best thing that was added last year. We are talking about algorithms with which you can literally copy text or numbers from a photo or screenshot with just one touch. In iOS 16, these features have become even better. iOS 16How does it work?

    • Copy text. You can now copy text even from videos. To complete this, open the video in the gallery and select the desired frame. Then a small icon will appear in the lower-right corner of the screen. After clicking on it, the text can be copied or immediately translated into any of several available languages.
    • Object in the photo. The second cool trick works with any object in the photo. For example, it allows you to copy people in photos without a background. The algorithm here is the same as with text: choose a picture and hold your finger on the shape for a second. Thereafter, a context menu will open with a suggestion to copy the object or share it on social networks.
    • Portraits. The background is cut off very well – this is clearly visible in the portraits. But if there are numerous people in the photo at once, then the algorithm will “take” everyone at once, who are on the same level. The same can be said about items: sometimes the system takes many things at once for one. Therefore, keep in mind that for perfect automatic work, you need a picture in which the desired object / person somehow stands out against the background. Otherwise, you will have to cut them the old-fashioned way – manually.
    • Other. Duplicates were another cool iOS 16 feature for those with thousands of photos on their phone. As the name implies, the system automatically searches for identical images in the smartphone's memory and allows them to be combined into one with the best quality. All the rest will go to the trash and free up space on the phone.

    Working with Wi-Fi

    In iOS 16, two seemingly inconspicuous features have been added. But you must have encountered problems at least once due to their absence. Thanks to the first one, you can now see the password for the wireless network you are currently connected to. This is convenient when you need to say the cherished code to friends with an Android smartphone. Well, or when you connect to the network from a new laptop. Second feature — now you can see the list of“familiar” networks. This includes all the Wi-Fi that you have ever connected to from all your apple gadgets (smartphones, iPads, and MacBook). Here you can set up auto-connection, find out the network address and password.

    Rebound Keyboard

    In less than 15 years, tactile feedback appeared in the Apple branded keyboard. What does this mean? When you hit the letters with your finger while typing messages, you will feel a slight vibration. For some, typing is easier – it resembles a physical keyboard. In general, an amateur chip. But if you're just switching from an Android smartphone, then“moving” to a new platform will feel a little easier. Moreover, the vibration is really pleasant – thanks to the branded Haptic Engine under the screen. If you want to avoid using it, just disable it in the settings Sounds, tactile signal section.

    Working with Notes

    Here, too, there are a couple of small chips. Firstly, you can now add a button to the control center to create Short Notes. They will be saved to a separate folder in the default Notes application. A word about it: now all the notes inside are sorted by dates a little more conveniently (they used to be a single list). Today, yesterday, a week ago – they are all separated by a small space. A trifle, but still nice.

    A Bit of Everything

    Slightly improved iMessage. If you still use it, you will surely be glad to know that sent messages can now be edited and canceled. Is it true, this must be done within 15 minutes after sending – it will not work after the deadline? And, of course, this only works if the recipient also has iMessage turned on. Regular SMS cannot be edited. iOS 16 features The Health app now has a Medications tab. It's like a reminder for those who forget to take their medications on time. At the presentation, they said that the service should prompt whether your tablets can be mixed with each other or with alcohol. Apparently, this does not work in Russia. You just enter all the information about the intake (dosage, time), and the application reminds you in advance to drink them. Face ID just got a little smarter. Now he can unlock the iPhone, even if it is in a horizontal position. Convenient when you wake up and reach for your phone first.

    Best Feature of All Time

    Apple knows how to surprise with its innovations, sometimes even several times. Here in iOS 16, for example, she pleased us with the fact that she returned a long-forgotten feature. Now the charge level can be viewed without opening the “Control Center”. It's some kind of Cupertino magic, nothing else! Okay, seriously, this feature was already in almost all iPhones without a bang. But before, the charge level was shown next to the battery icon. And now the numbers are located right inside this icon! It remains to be seen how many years and bright minds it took to come up with (or peep) such an ingenious solution. But it's easier to know how long the iPhone will live without being connected to a power outlet. You can't argue here.


    In short, again without a revolution. And custom lock screens, and haptic feedback, and chips with wireless networks – we have already seen most of the updates in other smartphones. And some innovations, like notifications that moved down, were generally frustrating. But besides that, nothing to complain about. Functions for working with photos will definitely be useful to many. The system works quickly, no lags were noticed. The battery does not drain faster, at least – on iPhone 13 Pro. With older iPhones yet to be tested. As for the old“new” chips like the percentage of charge – let them appear later, but still appear. They simplify our interaction with the smartphone. But not moved notifications. This is an abomination.
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