The next iPhone software is almost certain to land in the fall, but there’s a lot of talk about iOS 16 now. why not? As you know, you’ll be front and center at WWDC this year, with details revealed in a keynote on Monday, June 6 at 10 a.m. Pacific.
It will be released to developers a little later (possibly the same day) and then, a few weeks later, as a public beta. So, anyone can get iOS 16 by the end of June, if last year’s schedule is followed. Which means you can use it in just 10 weeks. Here’s what we know so far.
Mark Gorman, in his latest Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, says that iOS 16 will provide “fairly significant improvements across the board, including an update for notifications.” Gurman, who says the iOS 16 codename is Sydney,
There is a second part of Gurman’s sentence about the important improvements, saying they will include these notifications, and “new health tracking features.” Note that Gurman is talking about iOS and not watchOS, so he should be referring to the iPhone, not the Apple Watch. Although it is certainly to be expected that there will be health and fitness additions to the watch as well.
This is really a high-end health monitor, which acts as a pedometer, for example, and checks your stability while walking, which can automatically record “when you carry an iPhone in your pocket or a carrier near your waist.”
However, the health tracking improvements that don’t require an Apple Watch are interesting. There are already apps available that allow you to measure your heart rate using the iPhone’s camera, but none like this directly from Apple. Can Apple offer its own products?
Another report claims that the medication management feature, which is to check pills to make sure you remember to take your medications with the help of reminders, will be coming to iOS 16. There may also be new items focused on women’s health.
Or maybe the iPhone’s sleep tracking will be expanded. It’s already on your Apple Watch, but if you don’t have one or don’t get into your charging routine while eating breakfast, adding sleep tracking to your iPhone could be great. It probably works on audio cues like movement, breathing, or snoring (it doesn’t mean you snore, of course you don’t) and can work independently of or in combination with your Apple Watch.
According to 9to5Mac, there are already indications in macOS that changes in focus mode are coming. This is the system that allows you to control the amount of your interruption according to the specified parameters.
If you ever sent someone a message only to be warned that the person “notifications have been silenced”, then you have seen Focus mode turned on. You can then notify them softly or out loud.
I will say that I often text friends asking if they know their notifications have been muted and often get a response saying, “Well, really?” or even “Not again!”
Currently, Focus Mode options include driving, fitness, gaming, mindfulness, and reading, so expect to expand these categories and more possible customizations.
This is a feature that is expected to arrive on the iPhone and also the Apple Watch with watchOS 9. The watch already has a great fall detection feature, where if you fall hard and don’t move for 60 seconds, the watch sets off an alarm and even contacts emergency services. This is something similar, it measures the sudden and extreme change in motion when you are in the car. You will call emergency services and provide them with location data.
When Apple purchased the great classical music app, Primephonic, the goal was to add an understanding of this great classical music app to Apple Music. Primephonic had exceptional search criteria, to satisfy the most demanding of classical music lovers. “We’re going to build an experience that I’m convinced classical music fans will say is great, because we’re building on what Primephonic has done,” Oliver Chaucer, who runs Apple Music, told me last year.
It looks like iOS 16 will bring an optional Apple Music app dedicated to the classics, with a very successful UI on Primephonic and support for Lossless and Spatial Audio.
There were hints of Apple Classical in beta versions of iOS 15, so it could come in iOS 15.5.
AR / VR
As you’ve heard, Apple is likely to develop a headset for augmented reality, and it could be announced as early as this year. WWDC was the time to do this because the developers will want it and can start working on it. After all, Apple is keeping track of a clear brochure of releases for key new product categories with the reveal months before the public launch.
While the headset is now unlikely to be shown at WWDC, early versions of iOS 16 are, according to Gorman, “full of references to the headset and its interactions with the iPhone.” This indicates that the speaker is designed to be ready sometime in the iOS 16 timeframe, that is, before the fall of 2023.
In the short term, then, we can expect major updates to ARKit, which the framework developers use for AR features.
Plus one for iPadOS
There will be more than that for sure, but Gurman mentioned a new multitasking interface for iPadOS. Although iPad use has changed in recent years with Split View, a new dock and other ways to enable multi-window use, more improvements appear to be on the way.
It’s true that multitasking is the one area of iPadOS that still doesn’t properly rival the elegance of macOS or Windows on a PC. Apple has been bringing iPadOS and macOS together in recent years while still emphasizing their differences, and improving multitasking on a tablet would be a huge step forward.
The announcement of iOS 16 is not far away, but there is still time for more leaks and rumors. More as we have.