These are the iOS 16 features we're still waiting for | Cult of Mac

These are the iOS 16 features we’re still waiting for


These are the iOS 16 features we’re still waiting for
iOS 16.1 will soon bring features Apple announced months ago.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple announced a plethora of iOS 16 features at WWDC22. But not all of them made their way into the first public release of the OS in September. Some of them will arrive later this year or even in early 2023.

Check out this list of iOS 16 features that we are still waiting for.

iOS 16 features that are still not available

Apple typically announces all new significant features coming to iOS and its other platforms during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. During this year’s keynote, the iOS portion focused on customization options for the iPhone Lock Screen and new ways to manage notifications. Both of those launched with iOS 16 in September.

However, Apple also showed off some other great features that, for a variety of reasons, are not a part of iOS 16’s public release. Instead, they will debut with a major point release of the OS in late 2022 or in 2023.

1. Freeform

iOS 16 features delayed: Freeform is like a virtual whiteboard that will enable collaboration on iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Freeform is like a virtual whiteboard that will enable collaboration on iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Photo: Apple

Freeform is Apple’s upcoming cross-platform collaboration app that will let users work together in a shared digital space. It will let people work on iPhone, iPad and Mac without having to worry about layouts and page sizes.

You can use the app to jot down notes, share files and insert photos or videos. It also supports Apple Pencil, so you can truly let your creativity flow. When it launches, you’ll be able to start a Freeform session over a FaceTime call and see live updates from other users in a Messages thread.

As great as it sounds, it still won’t arrive with the next version of Apple’s updated operating systems. The app will come to iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura “later this year,” Apple says. The feature is not a part of iOS 16.1, so it should presumably arrive with iOS 16.2 by the end of 2022.

2. Matter

Matter is the smart home standard that’s going to matter. The standard is maintained by the Connectivity Standards Alliance and has the backing of Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon and more than 200 other companies. It will allow for interoperability between smart home devices across different ecosystems.

Theoretically, Matter would let your HomePod mini act as a hub for the Google Nest doorbell.

It sounds quite ambitious — and potentially could make owning smart home products much more rewarding. After quite a few delays, Matter finally launched in early October. Apple will add support for the standard on iPhones and iPads with the release of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1.

3. SharePlay integration in Game Center

Apple is bringing SharePlay integration to Game Center with iOS 16. The feature will let you play games with a friend or family member while on a FaceTime call. It is not going to be a part of iOS 16.1 and will likely arrive with iOS 16.2 later this year.

4. Live Activities

Live Activities is a major new iOS 16 Lock Screen feature. It will provide you with real-time information on things that need constant attention: food delivery status, game scores and more. The goal is to let you avoid repeatedly opening an app to check the latest data.

On the iPhone 14 Pro series, Apple uses the Live Activities API to show relevant information in the Dynamic Island. Live Activities API is already available for developers, with the feature launching as a part of iOS 16.1.

5. CarPlay improvements

CarPlay kicks into high gear
CarPlay looks like it’s groundwork for an Apple car.
Photo: Apple

Apple demonstrated the next-gen CarPlay while unveiling iOS 16 at WWDC22. The next version can take over your car’s instrument cluster and display customizable metrics like speed, distance, engine RPM and temperature. You can even use CarPlay to control the car’s interior climate, turn the AC on or off and more.

“Deep integration with the car’s hardware lets you tune your car’s radio or change your temperature without ever leaving the CarPlay experience,” said Emily Schubert, Apple’s senior manager of car experience engineering, during the WWDC22 keynote.

In addition, the new CarPlay experience seemingly will integrate with screens all over the dashboard.

However, don’t get too excited about it yet. The new CarPlay experience will arrive in vehicles from Land Rover, Ford, Audi, Honda, Volvo and more in 2023.

6. Web push notifications

Apple has been laying the groundwork for web push notifications since the first iOS 15.4 beta. The long-awaited feature will let web apps send alerts in mobile Safari the way regular apps do. (Safari on Mac already allows push notifications for web apps.)

Apple says opt-in web notification support from websites through Safari in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will arrive in 2023.

This article was originally published July 5, 2022.


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