iOS 16 wishlist: New iPhone features we hope Apple will debut at WWDC


Apple is expected to announce iOS 16 at WWDC, which runs from June 6-10.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The next major iPhone software release will likely be called iOS 16 and will debut at Apple’s annual show. Worldwide Developers Conference At the beginning of June. Apple is expected to share previews of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, WatchOS 9, MacOS and other software. We are very excited about the next version of iOS as it usually includes some awesome changes for the iPhone.

Rumors for iOS 16 are relatively rare, which is typical of unreleased Apple software. So it will be really a surprise to see what new iOS features will be revealed.

The last three versions of iOS have been similar. iOS 15 feels like a riff of iOS 14 that felt like a continuation of iOS 13. All visual changes can be toggled on and off instead of being forced onto your iPhone. For example, if you don’t like the home screen widgets or Focus mode, you don’t have to use them. Even if you opt out of the more visible changes, running iOS 15 brings a bunch of improvements behind the scenes to keep your iPhone running smoothly and securely. And that will probably be the case with iOS 16.

iOS 15 has been out for seven months and the operating system is relatively stable with very few bugs. Some features, such as Universal Control and SharePlay, took a while to roll out, but everything seems to be up and running now. iOS 16 will likely continue where iOS 15 leaves off, adding new features to its existing design.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things Apple needs to add or improve. My colleagues and I have come up with a list of improvements, additions, and fixes that we’d like Apple to make to iOS 16. Some are important, like adding Apple Pencil support, and some are important. others are small but important, like the home screen. more functionality widgets. We’ll have to wait until June to see what Apple actually does.

iOS 16: Photos app needs to be copied and pasted for edits

We use iPhones to take photos and videos all the time, and editing photos is just as satisfying as taking them. The Photos app on the iPhone is where most people can edit: the interface is simple and there are plenty of tools to get the exact look you want.

But the macOS version of the Photos app has a useful feature that would improve editing on the iPhone: the ability to copy and paste edits between photos. This is especially useful when taking multiple photos at the same location, such as at a restaurant or party. Since all the photos were taken under the same lighting and conditions, you can simply edit one photo and then copy and paste those adjustments to the others.

The mac dropdown menu with

You can copy and paste photo edits from one photo to another using the Photos app on Mac.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Instead, in iOS 15 you are left to make these adjustments one by one for each photo on the iPhone. It’s tedious.

In iOS 16, it would be great to see similar copy-and-paste functionality on the iPhone. We’d give iOS 16 bonus points if the changes you made in the Photos app on Mac could be applied to the Photos app on iPhone, and vice versa. But, one step at a time.

An Apple Watch Series 6 with an always-on display

The Apple Watch has an always-on display that can show important information and save battery power.

Apple

A permanent lock screen for the iPhone

Imagine being able to glance at your iPhone when the screen is off to see the time, notifications, and missed calls. Such a feature has been available on Android phones for years, where only important information is illuminated and the screen is otherwise black. This is called an always-on display. Apple offers an always-on display option for the Apple Watch Series 5 and later, but it’s still missing on the iPhone. Apple might change that with iOS 16 and bring a similar version to the iPhone.

Bring iPad split-screen view to iPhone Pro Max models

The iPhone Pro Max has been part of Apple’s lineup since 2019. 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch screen, while the 12 Pro Max and 13 Pro Max both have a 6.7-inch screen that makes watching videos, playing games, and reading articles an absolute pleasure.

But those big screens seem wasted when it comes to software. Some iOS apps like Mail and Messages can take advantage of this extra screen space in landscape mode to display a column of message previews next to the currently open message. But otherwise, there’s not much else in iOS that takes advantage of those larger screens.

An iPad with Safari on the left side of the screen and Maps on the right

Split View debuted on the iPad with iOS 9.

Apple

Apple might bring some iPadOS features to iOS 16 only for Pro Max models, especially its split-screen multitasking view. It would be wonderful to open Safari on one side of the phone screen and then launch Messages on the other.

Read more: iOS 15 could make the iPhone 12 Pro more pro

Apple Pencil support for iPhone Pro Max models

The large screen of the iPhone Pro Max models calls for Apple Pencil support. Samsung has proven that there is a significant audience for a phone stylus with its Galaxy Note and S Ultra devices. Heck, there are even $300 phones like the Moto G Stylus that support one.

Someone using an Apple Pencil to draw on an iPad

Apple Pencil is compatible with iPad Mini, Air and Pro. We would like Apple to add support for iPhone Pro Max models.

Apple

the Second-generation Apple Pencil is an exceptional stylus that currently works with iPad Mini, Air, and Pro models. But imagine being able to use it on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and its 120 Hz screen to draw and take notes. Even better, what about an Apple Pencil Mini (think the size of a golf pencil) that can clip onto the side of the iPhone Pro Max? Tech journalists can dream, right?

iPhone Widgets Need More Features

When Home screen widgets came to the iPhone with iOS 14, many of us rejoiced. Apple’s implementation of widgets is clean, and even Samsung has started to emulate them. Widgets fit like a grid anywhere on your home screen. But there’s a catch: Home screen widgets are passive. Other than searchable information or smart stacks of widgets, most of the features they offer are the ability to open their corresponding app.

With iOS 14, Apple brought widgets to the home screen. iOS 16 could add more features.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

For example, the Apple Music widget shows the currently playing song. Tapping on the widget takes me to the Apple Music app. What if you could tap the widget to skip to the next song? What if you could swipe in the Weather widget to change location? Hopefully iOS 16 gives more functionality to home screen widgets.

Let’s put the apps where we want

In recent years, Apple has improved the home screen with new elements like widgets and the app library. You can have multiple app pages and even include the same app on different home screen pages (important if you’re an experienced Focus Mode user).

The iPhone App Library

The App Library is one of the few ways Apple has improved the iPhone home screen. Hopefully in iOS 16 we can move apps wherever we want on the screen.

Patrick Holland/CNET

But when it comes to rearranging app icons on your app page, nothing has changed. Apps are stuck to the invisible software magnet at the top left of the screen. So if you only want to keep a few apps on a specific homepage, those apps start filling the screen from the top left corner. You can’t put them at the bottom of the screen without filling the top of the page first.

Apple, please give us the freedom to move apps wherever we want. It would be a great boon to make apps easier to reach with one hand without using accessibility. Also, if you like the home screen wallpaper, you can arrange the apps so you can see your photo better.

More default app choices

You can currently set the default browser app and default mail app on an iPhone to be something other than Safari and Mail. In iOS 16, Apple could open system defaults for more apps, especially maps and messaging apps. If you are a regular user of Google Maps, it would be convenient to set it as your primary maps app instead of Apple Maps.

What do you want to see in iOS 16?

It was a handful of things we would like to see in the next version of iOS. But what about you? Are there any features or bugs you would like Apple to add and fix? If you want to explore some of the upcoming iPhone software leaks, read our roundup of iOS 16 rumors.

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