iOS 16 is Apple's upcoming iPhone operating system. Coming this fall, it'll introduce a customizable lock screen, enhanced photo library sharing, the ability to edit and unsend texts, and lots more.

When Will iOS 16 Be Released?

A long history of iOS updates makes it clear that a brand-new version arrives every single year. This trend held again this year when iOS 16 appeared in June at WWDC 2022.

Despite the update not yet being available for the public to download, we know it's almost here. For several years now, Apple has provided a new major software update for the iPhone in September, and this timeline will carry on this year.

If your phone is compatible with iOS 16 (the list of supported devices is below), you’ll have the opportunity to install it when it becomes available. The easiest way is to get the iOS update wirelessly.

Here's how to use Apple's beta program to get iOS early

Release Date Estimate

Going off the September 20 drop of iOS 15 in 2021, we’re expecting iOS 16 to again arrive in late September 2022, followed by iPadOS 16 the month after.

iOS 16 Features

Here are some of the more noteworthy changes coming to iOS 16:

  • Focus schedules & filters: A Focus can turn on automatically depending on the situation, like when you’re in a specific location or app. For example, certain Safari tabs can open when you’re in work mode.
  • Lock screen customization: Not only can you customize the iOS 16 lock screen to do things like adjust the font and position of elements, you can include widgets and Live Activities—and link the lock screen to a Focus. If you build more than one lock screen, you can switch between them at any time.
  • Battery percentage: Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to represent the battery level as a percentage number instead of a visual representation.
  • iCloud shared photo library: Sharing and viewing iCloud photos gets an upgrade with smart setup rules and suggestions, collaboration, and home screen widgets.
  • Edit & unsend texts: Lots of other messaging apps support unsend, and now it’s coming to iMessage. You can even edit a message after you send it; you can do this up to five times per message, and a history log will be available to show past edits. You’ll have two minutes to unsend a text (or 10 seconds if you’re unsending an email).
  • Shared Tab Groups: Share groups of Safari tabs with friends, and even collaborate with them in real time as people close and open tabs.
  • Live Text: Easily capture text from paused video or images, and instantly interact with it—e.g., track shipments or translate text.
  • Siri changes: In iOS 16, Siri can process more requests offline, hang up for you in FaceTime calls, and send messages without requiring a confirmation.
  • Accessibility improvements: Magnifier mode can identify people and doors to read signs or labels; you can fully control Apple Watch from iPhone; and automatic live captions are coming for audio, video, and conversations, including FaceTime video calls.
  • Health app tracking: Make a list of all the medications you take to keep track of it all right there on your phone, and log when you take them for a full picture of your consistency. You’ll also see if there are any concerns about medication interactions.
  • Safety Check: The Settings app is introducing this new feature to help you in very specific situations where you need to quickly reset the access you’ve given to other people.
  • SharePlay via Messages: Share music, games, movies, and more with contacts directly in Messages.

See Apple’s iOS 16 Preview page for a lot more on how Mail, Safari, Maps, Home, FaceTime, Apple Pay, Apple Watch, iCloud, and more are changing,

iOS 16 screenshots

iOS 16 Supported Devices

If your phone can run iOS 15, it'll work with iOS 16, too, with iPhone SE 1st gen, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 7 being the exceptions.

In addition to the soon-to-be-released iPhone 14, the following devices are compatible with iOS 16:

  • iPhone Pro Max (11 and newer)
  • iPhone Pro (11 and newer)
  • iPhone (11 and newer)
  • iPhone mini (12 and newer)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation and newer)
  • iPhone X & XR
  • iPhone XS & XS Max
  • iPhone 8 & 8 Plus

The Latest News About iOS 16

You can get more smartphone news from Lifewire. Here are some of the latest stories and rumors about iOS 16:

iOS 16 Editable Messages Won't Fix All Your Slip Ups Apple Demos Massive Lock Screen Refresh at WWDC Apple's Shared iCloud Photo Library May Finally Fix Family Albums Apple’s New Lockdown Feature Isn’t for You Apple Safari 16 Will Support AVIF Images on iOS 16 and macOS 13 Apple Unveils All-new Lock Screen Experience & New Ways to Share & Communicate in iOS 16