Apple’s iOS 16 should include a revamped Lock screen with widgets, updated Messages and Health apps – TechCrunch

Ahead of Apple’s big developer conference on June 6, WWDC, new information about what’s in store for iOS 16 has been revealed. According to leaks reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, iOS users can expect to see new features like an improved lock screen as well as updated proprietary apps including Messages and Health, updates to notifications, iPad multitasking and more.

The report describes the software as a “fairly significant” upgrade – which is remarkable given that the last two updates also included significant changes. With iOS 14, for example, iPhone users got support for home screen widgets, leading to a home screen customization craze that always sees apps of widgets and themes like Brass, Themify, ScreenKit and others topping the Graphics & Design charts. Last year’s iOS 15 update, meanwhile, brought Focus Modes – a new way to control what and who is allowed to interrupt you and when.

This time around, Bloomberg says Apple will pay special attention to its Lock Screen, a bit of currently underutilized real estate that only offers date, time, and buttons to launch Flashlight or Camera apps. .

In iOS 16, Apple aims to support wallpapers with widget-like functionality, according to the report. This could indicate that Apple is planning to merge what’s on the left of the home screen today – the “today view” with its range of widgets – directly into the lock screen itself. same. This would make sense because the Today view is meant to provide easy access to information you might need throughout the day, such as upcoming calendar appointments, weather, or widgets that can be used to open favorite applications. But Today View isn’t handy because you always have to swipe right to see it, and many users don’t bother to do that.

This change could be beneficial for app developers that support widgets, as it gives them another chance to grab users’ attention in a high-profile area. Moreover, it would give home screen customization app developers a way to extend their offerings. In other words, users can now download complete theme sets with sets of widgets designed for both the lock screen and the home screen, as well as corresponding wallpapers and icon themes. .

Additionally, the updated lock screen could prepare for a future where the lock screen has an always-on display, similar to Apple Watch, although this is likely tied to updated hardware, according to the report. This mode may be exclusive to high-end iPhones at launch, including the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max – if given the green light.

Other features expected with iOS 16 include an updated Messages app with more “social media-like features”, which may include some sort of update around audio messages. (Please, Apple, allow us to play audio messages at faster speeds like on WhatsApp!)

The Health app will also be updated, but the report doesn’t provide further details on what would be changed. Additionally, watchOS will get changes to watch faces and a low-power mode, while iPadOS will get changes to windowing and multitasking.

One feature that hasn’t been touched on, but needs improvement, is the iPhone’s Focus mode. While a sound concept in theory, in practice many who have tried setting up Focus Mode have ended up missing important calls and texts, as well as critical notifications, that had arrived. via numbers or applications that had not been authorized to pass. “Do not disturb” settings for the given mode. Setting up the focus mode is also a lot of work – what could be better, perhaps, would be a Siri-powered focus mode that asks users to train the setting over a period of time, allowing it to learn what you consider important versus a distraction for particular “focus” times, such as your work day or personal time. Siri can also suggest focus modes based on how you already use apps on your phone or how often and when you “mute” notifications from specific apps.

The Bloomberg report noted no changes planned for Focus mode, but it would be a big oversight for Apple not to make a few changes to this system with the software update.

Apple’s WWDC 2022 keynote will be streamed live on June 6.

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