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Checking in with the iOS 16 Public Beta: What’s New?

Apple recently released the iOS 16 public beta into the wild. What's new with iOS 16 since last we checked in with the operating system?

We last checked in with iOS 16 back in June, when Apple released the operating system’s first beta during WWDC 2022. Apple previewed quite a few changes with that initial beta, most notably reimagining the iOS lock screen and expanding widget capabilities. Since then, Apple has released a series of betas and—as of last week—a public beta build. Let’s take a quick look at what’s new and notable beyond our initial coverage.

What’s new?

Since Apple’s initial big iOS 16 announcements, we’ve seen a steady trickle of interesting features, many of them small, but some of them likely to have an impact on third party apps. These include:

  • Continuity Camera: This is a very interesting one. With iOS 16, your iPhone can become a high- quality webcam. To achieve this, you’ll require a mount and a Mac running on the latest version of Ventura. You’ll attach your iPhone to the top of a desktop display and stream with your iPhone’s hardware rather than via a third party webcam, yielding remarkably high-quality video streams.
  • Native haptic keyboard: The iPhone is well-known for its excellent haptic capabilities and over the years many commentators have wondered why Apple has not made use of haptics with iOS’s native keyboard. Well, wonder no more: iOS 16 finally introduces native haptic keyboard capabilities to Apple’s mobile operating system. That said, as of the iOS 16 public beta, this feature is currently not enabled by default. To turn it on, users must go to Settings > Keyboard Feedback.
  • Live objects: In addition to the ability to pull text from video frames, iOS 16 introduces live objects. With this feature, users can press down on an object they seen in an image and then drag that object into a text message. This removes the original image’s background and automatically performs all necessary masking. This makes for a notably smooth process and, depending on its implementation, may open the door for interesting future app development possibilities.
  • Weather and Dark Sky: In March 2020, Apple acquired Dark Sky, a popular weather app. This acquisition appears to have resulted in some improvements to Apple’s in-house Weather app, and we’ll see a notable Weather expansion with iOS 16. For example, iOS 16 uses receive a lot more information about daily forecasts than pre-iOS 16 users.
  • Native package tracking: File this under bad news for some package-tracking apps. With iOS 16, Apple has introduced a package tracker into Wallet, allowing users to natively track their Apple Pay purchases.
  • Face ID updates: iOS users have long complained that Face ID does not function in landscape mode, and iOS 16 appears to have resolved that issue.
  • Safari video UI: The video player UI in Safari, Apple’s native browser, is also seeing a major change with this update. 
  • Siri updates: With iOS 16, Siri has gained some notable new capabilities. For example, Siri can finally hang up calls and insert emojis into messages. Other updates include accessibility features and more offline capabilities.

Final release schedule

From here out, we don’t expect any major new introductions to iOS 16, just small tweaks and bug fixes. Most expect iOS 16 to see a full release sometime in autumn, traditionally around September. (iOS 15 released late September 2021. But with that said, you never know!) Whenever the time comes, you can expect Sofy to be prepared for full support.