iOS 16 beta 4: All the new features and changes

iOS 16 beta 4: All the new features and changes

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iOS 16 beta 4: All the new features and changes
iOS 16 beta 4 introduces several new changes and enhancements, especially in the Messages app.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is continuing with the iOS 16 beta releases as it prepares the OS for its public launch later this fall. With the fourth betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 now available, here is a look at all the improvements they incorporate, including important changes to editing and unsending messages.

Plus, all the changes in the previous iOS 16 beta builds are archived below for reference.

iOS 16 beta 4: What’s new and changed

Apple seeded iOS 16 beta 4 almost three weeks after the third beta’s release. This was among the longest time the company has taken to drop a new beta release in at least a decade. On the bright side, the wait seems to be worth it as the latest iOS 16 beta packs several changes and improvements.

And iPadOS beta 4 is significantly less buggy than its predecessors.

Tweaks to Edit and unsend messages in iMessage

iOS 16 beta 4 reduces the time limit to unsend an iMessage to two minutes after it is delivered. On previous betas, Apple allowed you to unsend a message within 15 minutes of sending it.

There are changes to editing sent messages as well. You can now edit them a maximum of five times, after which the option is no longer available.

An “Edited” label will also show up below such messages. Tapping on it will reveal the original message and any previous edits.

Longer duration for Undo Send in Mail

In the first three iOS 16 betas, you could Undo Send an email in the Mail app within 10 seconds of hitting the Send button. With the latest beta, Apple has further expanded this time limit with 20- and 30-second options.

New CarPlay and Home app wallpapers

iOS 16 beta 4 introduces several new CarPlay and Home app wallpapers. There are light and dark versions of all the new wallpapers.

Live Activities API

With Live Activities in iOS 16, Apple wants to ensure that you get real-time updates from your iPhone’s Lock Screen. iOS 16 beta 4 marks the debut of the Live Activities API that developers can take advantage of and start integrating the feature into their apps.

New layout for notification options

New layout for notification options in iOS 16
Settings in iOS 16 now more clearly shows the various notification options.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The notification options menu in iOS 16 beta 4 has a new layout highlighting the differences between the three notification layouts.

Change Focus mode from Lock Screen

iOS 16 beta 4 reinstates the option to change the Focus mode from the Lock Screen by tapping on the Focus icon.

Revamped Lock Screen customization interface

Apple has revamped the Lock Screen customization interface in iOS 16 beta 4. All the options are now located at the bottom of the page. There are other minor tweaks as well. When you enter the customization mode, you will see an “Add Widgets” option below the clock. Previously, Apple only displayed a “+” icon.

Lock Screen media player and Music app design tweaks

Lock Screen media player widget has again been tweaked in iOS 16 beta 4
It’s easier to see and interact with the Lock Screen media player widget in iOS 16 beta 4.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Lock Screen media player widget has again been tweaked in iOS 16 beta 4. It now uses bolder elements to stand out visually.

And, in the Music app, scrubbing through a song will automatically bold the timestamp. The volume slider will also gradually increase in size as you increase the volume.

Apart from the above changes, Apple has also posted an exhaustive list of bugs that it has squashed in the latest iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 beta.

Apple is continuing with the iOS 16 beta releases as it prepares the OS for its public launch later this fall. With iOS 16 beta 3 now available, here is a look at all the new changes and improvements it incorporates.

And for iPad users, the more important iPadOS 16 beta 3 changes are also included.

Plus, if you missed the changes in beta 2, they are archived below.


iOS 16 beta 3: What’s new and changed

Exactly two weeks after the release of iOS 16 beta 2 comes the debut of beta 3. It brings new features to iPhone, not just bug fixes.

iCloud Shared Photo Library

iCloud Shared Photo Library in iOS 16
iOS 16 beta 3 adds iCloud Shared Photo Library.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Rajesh

iCloud Shared Photo Library in iOS 16 will make sharing photos and videos easier with friends and family. You can create a Shared Library and then invite up to five people to them to automatically share photos.

Your iCloud photo library will be different from the shared library. And you won’t necessarily have to share every photo in your library. You can manually select the photos or specify the person whose images you want to be automatically shared.

This feature is now available in iOS 16 beta 3. The person with whom you want to share the library must also be a beta tested to view your pics.

Lockdown Mode

Lockdown Mode in iOS 16
iOS 16 beta 3 introduces a new Lockdown Mode for extreme security.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Rajesh

Apple is debuting a new Lockdown Mode in iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura to protect people who face “highly targeted cyberattacks from private companies developing state-sponsored mercenary spyware.”

Incoming FaceTime calls, Message attachments, configuration profiles and additional OS features are disabled in this mode.

Apple has developed Lockdown Mode in response to NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. It will help protect journalists, politicians and activists who face such attacks frequently.

You can enable Lockdown Mode on your iPhone running iOS 16 beta 3 by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Lockdown Mode.

Improved Lock Screen Calendar widget

OS 16 beta 3’s Lock Screen Calendar widget blurs the event details for privacy reasons as long as your iPhone is locked. The event details are only displayed when you unlock the phone.

This is clearly Apple getting ready for the always-on screen widely expected to be a highlight of the iPhone 14 Pro.

Clownfish wallpaper makes a comeback

When Apple demoed the original iPhone in 2007, it showed off a clownfish wallpaper on the Lock Screen. The company is again reintroducing the wallpaper in iOS 16 beta 3. However, it is not showing up for everyone running the latest beta.

The wallpaper was never a part of the final release of the original iPhone. So, it is possible that Apple could pull a similar move this time as well.

New Lock Screen Time font

Apple has added another new font for Lock Screen customization in iOS 16 beta 3. It is the same classic font that the company used on iOS 15’s Lock Screen.

iOS 16 beta 3 adds the classic iOS 15 Lock Screen font for customization
iOS 16 beta 3 adds the classic iOS 15 Lock Screen font for customization.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Rajesh

Updated Battery widget

The improved battery widget in iOS 16 beta 3 shows the charging status of your device, AirPods and Apple Watch.

Tweaked Wallpaper UI

The Wallpaper UI has been again tweaked in iOS 16 beta 3. It now hides the app icons so that you can view the Home Screen wallpaper better.

AFib history

If you use an Apple Watch with your iPhone, you can now check your AFib history in the Health app. Your watch must also be running watchOS 9 beta 3 for the feature to show up.

For now, the feature is only available in the United States but could expand to other countries.

New Siri activation sound

There’s a new Siri activation sound in iOS 16 beta 3 which sounds a lot gentler.

Virtual cards

9to5Mac reports internal code in iOS 16 beta 3 points to Safari gaining support for virtual cards in the future. Some banks allow you to hide your original credit card details by generating virtual card numbers.

Safari Autofill will support entering the virtual card details to keep your original card details safe.

New iCloud+ splash screen

If you open the iCloud+ section in iOS 16 beta 3, you will see a new upgrade splash screen highlighting the different plans and their benefits.

iCloud+ Upgrade splash screen in iOS 16
iOS 16 beta 3 adds a new iCloud+ upgrade splash screen.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Rajesh

iPadOS 16 beta 3: Stage Manager improvements

Stage Manager has received some improvements in iPadOS 16 beta 3. The multitasking menu now has labeled options for easy understanding.

Multitasking options are now labeled in iPadOS 16 beta 3.
Multitasking options are now labeled in iPadOS 16 beta 3.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy

If you enable Stage Manager for the time first, you need to go through a tutorial to fully understand how the feature works. A similar guide shows up when you connect your iPad to an external display the first time.

There’s also a new window picker for apps that have multiple windows open. The left tray in Stage Manager now shows such apps.

iPadOS 16 beta 3: New keyboard shortcut to close app windows

The new iPadOS 16 beta includes a new keyboard shortcut—⌘W—to close your app windows. This same shortcut is already a part of macOS.


iOS 16 beta 2: The new improvements and changes

Apple seeded the first developer beta of iOS 16 right after the opening keynote of WWDC22. Then, 17 days later, it dropped the second beta. Apple will regularly drop new beta releases with plenty of new features, changes and bug fixes. This cycle will continue until the iOS 16 public release later this fall. (Many of these features show up in the iPadOS 16 betas as well.)

Here are the new features Apple added in iOS 16 beta 2.

Save Screenshots to Quick Note

iOS 16 beta 2 lets you directly save a screenshot to Quick Note.
iOS 16 beta 2 lets you directly save a screenshot to a new Quick Note.
Photo: Rajesh

iOS 16 beta 2 includes an Add to New Quick Note option when saving a screenshot. This is apart from the existing option of saving the screenshot to Photos and Files.

The Quick Note feature already works on Mac and iPad, giving users a quick and easy way to start a new note without opening the Notes app. iOS 16 will bring it to iPhone for the first time, giving you a place to jot down something so you can remember it later.

Back up your iPhone over LTE

iOS 16 beta 2 adds the ability to back up your iPhone to iCloud over an LTE connection. (iOS 15 only allows for mobile data backups over a 5G connection. Otherwise, you must connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network and a power source to trigger iCloud backups.)

This can come in handy if you have an unlimited data plan.

Astronomy Wallpaper shows your location

Astronomy wallpaper in iOS 16 will show your location as a green dot.
Astronomy wallpaper in iOS 16 will show your location as a green dot.
Photo: Rajesh

Apple updated the Astronomy wallpaper in iOS 16 beta 2 to show your location on the map with a bright green dot. (This change might not survive to future betas because many people find the dot obtrusive.)

Additionally, the Astronomy wallpaper and the other new dynamic wallpapers in iOS 16 are now also available on older devices.

Easily delete a Lock Screen

New features in iOS 16 beta 2: Swipe up to delete a lock screen in iOS 16.
Swipe up to delete a Lock Screen in iOS 16.
Photo: Rajesh

When switching between iPhone Lock Screens, you can remove one you don’t need by swiping up on it and tapping the trash icon. This will make managing multiple Lock Screens a lot easier.

Enhanced system video player

iOS 16 beta 2 updates the built-in system video player. You can now long-press and scrub to move quickly through a video. It replaces the previous option of pressing on-screen buttons to skip around on a video in 10-second increments.

Better SMS filtering

iOS 16 beta 2 introduces 12 additional subcategories for SMS filtering. This will allow developers to better categorize the messages in your inbox and keep it free of clutter.

Additionally, dual-SIM iPhone users can filter messages based on the number they were sent to once iOS 16 drops.

New Wallpaper picker UI

Tweaked Wallpaper picker UI in iOS 16 beta 2
The wallpaper picker gets a tweaked.
Photo: Rajesh

Apple made the iPhone wallpaper picker user interface slicker in iOS 16 beta 2.

Report Junk messages

The latest beta adds an option to directly report junk messages to carriers from within the Messages app. Only selected U.S. carriers will support this feature, however.

Turn off a Live Photo

Turn off a live photo in iOS 16
iOS 16 will let you turn off a Live Photo.
Photo: Rajesh

You can turn off a Live Photo in iOS 16 beta 2. Tap the Live drop-down menu when you have a Live Photo open in the Photos app and select the Off option.

Pause Continuity Camera

iOS 16 beta 2 adds a Pause option to Continuity Camera, the new feature that lets Mac owners use an iPhone’s superior camera as a webcam for better video calls. The pause option will allow you to temporarily stop the camera feed from your iPhone when on a call.

Apple Pay now works in third-party browsers

As spotted on Reddit, iOS 16 beta 2 will allow you to use Apple Pay in third-party browsers like Chrome and Firefox. On iOS 15, you could only use Apple Pay for payments using Safari.

iOS 13 public beta in July

Apple promised to start the iOS 16 public beta program in July. With the beta 3 out, the public beta program could start anytime now. Here’s a post on how to join the Apple Beta Software Program — it’s free and fun, if you can handle the bugs you’ll likely encounter.

If you cannot wait until then, follow our guide on how to install the iOS 16 developer beta. That’s the fastest way to try out new features, but you will need to pay $99 to join Apple’s developer program to gain access if you’re not already a member.

Ed Hardy contributed to this report.