Apple’s iOS 16 has been revealed, and it comes with a bunch of stunning new features that help boost iPhone security and privacy—as well as being extremely useful of course.
Revealed at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), iOS 16 hasn’t hit the online ad world—namely Facebook—with any major moves yet. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be anything coming. It had been suggested that Private Relay may become available to all iPhone users by default, and that could still happen.
The soon-to-launch iOS 16 operating system comes with some features people have been wanting for some time and at its heart, carries on the Apple ethos of giving you more control over the data on your iPhone. On the security side, Apple wants iPhone users to be secure by default, and some of the new iOS 16 features are aimed at doing just that.
Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to when iOS 16 arrives this Fall.
This one is big—and a feature many Apple fans have been requesting for some time. Apple has now given you the ability to edit and unsend messages on iMessage on your iPhone. That means any late night texts you regret, or any embarrassing work DMs can be deleted in the blink of an eye.
It’s easy to do, you simply recall the message via the Undo Send tool. If you’ve edited the message, the only give-away to the person receiving the iMessage will be a tiny “edited” under the text. Apple’s playing catch up with this iPhone feature, but the wait won’t be long to finally be able to use it.
Passwords suck. They can often be guessed, they get exposed in breaches, and many people repeat them across services. I’m often promoting the benefits of password managers, but there’s something even better on the horizon—Apple’s Passkeys in iOS 16 aim to get rid of passwords altogether.
Passkeys aren’t just an Apple thing—they are promoted by the FIDO Alliance which Apple is a member of alongside Google and Microsoft. Based on the WebAuthn standard, Passkeys use public key cryptography to secure your accounts, removing the need for passwords altogether. In a nutshell, using Passkeys in iOS 16, Apple will authenticate you in the background, and the only thing you need to do is use Face ID or Touch ID, rather than a password. Cool huh?
A new privacy feature called Safety Check will arrive in iOS 16, which is aimed at helping protect people from abusive partners. The feature allows you to stop location sharing and revoke all access to accounts you might have previously granted, including an emergency reset feature to quickly sign you out of iCloud and reset your privacy permissions. This ensures that only the device you are using at the time receives messages. The iOS 16 feature is useful more broadly too—you can use Safety Check to see which people and apps have access to information.
And one more thing…
There may not have been any major ad-impacting iPhone features revealed so far, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be in later iOS 16 betas. Other brilliant new features include the ability to lock Hidden Photos and Deleted Photos by default to hide your private pictures, and on the security side, Wi-Fi passwords can now be accessed, and you’ll get important security patches on your iPhone by default.
It’s early days yet, but it’s clear iOS 16 will carry on Apple’s ethos of giving you more security, privacy and control on your iPhone. The exact date for launch isn’t yet known—but it’ll probably be September time alongside the launch of the latest iPhones.