It’s exciting to get new features for your old phone through software updates, and for iPhone users, it’s that time of the year again since iOS 16 just came out, and while it’s great to get new features, sometimes the new iOS update can also cause problems and bugs.
So to answer your question quickly, we recommend you wait for iOS 16.1 for an absolutely bug-free experience. But while there is a bit of issues here and there, it is safe to update and install iOS 16 right away.
But for me, I ignored all of those and installed the first public release of iOS 16 as soon as it dropped, and yes, it’s a foolish move, but I didn’t regret it at all. Today, I’ll share what I know from experiencing the new features (and some issues) firsthand and help you decide whether to update or not.
iOS 16 Features
Let’s start things off by taking a look at some of the update-worthy features that iOS 16 has.
Lock Screen Improvements
If you heard, read, or watched anything about iOS 16, you already know that the lock screen took a significant improvement in terms of customization.
The most noteworthy feature here is the wallpaper selection from Apple, there are featured photos that include the usual stock wallpaper plus a collection of pride, emoji, and plain color wallpapers, but my favorite ones here are the new live Astronomy and Weather wallpapers.
If you don’t like any of the wallpapers that iOS 16 provides, it’ll also help you pick out wallpapers from your photos. How? iOS 16 will automatically go through your photo gallery and it’ll suggest photos of People, Pets, and Nature that are potentially great as wallpapers.
Once you picked your wallpaper, you can also apply a filter or enable the Depth Effect.
The wallpapers are great, I had trouble choosing since there are a lot of good wallpaper combinations, fortunately, you can set and switch between multiple wallpapers, or even have it change automatically!
Other than that, for the first time in iOS history, you can now display widgets on your lock screen. Plus, you can also change the font and color of the time, date, and widgets to make it blend well with your wallpaper.
Live Text and Lift Subject From Background
While the wallpapers are a cosmetic upgrade, Live Text and Lift Subject From Background are features that add functionality to your iOS device.
Live text was introduced with iOS 15 last year, and it was essentially Apple’s answer to Google Lens, what it does is it recognizes text from your images, and yes it also recognizes good handwriting. Once it recognizes the text, you can then select, copy, and paste to the Notes app or literally anywhere! You can also choose to look up texts like restaurants or call numbers that the live text recognizes. Of course, you can also translate texts from other languages to English, definitely useful when you’re going on a trip to a whole new country!
The new thing with iOS 16 is that you now have live text functionality on paused videos.
Another new thing is you can now lift a subject from the background just by tapping and holding on the subject, you can then copy and send the image to wherever you want or you can just save it, which would be useful for people selling items online.
New Ways to Communicate
iMessage also received several improvements with iOS 16, among those improvements is the ability to unsend and edit messages within a couple of minutes of sending a message. iMessage also comes with the feature of recovering or viewing deleted messages.
You can also now do SharePlay via Messages, which lets you play movies, music, and games simultaneously while being able to chat, call, or FaceTime people.
There’s also a new feature called Collaboration where you and other people can work on something at the same time, this is available for Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, and Safari apps, and it’s not limited to those Apple apps as well since Apple also released the Messages Collaboration API which will enable third-party apps to integrate the Collaboration feature on their app.
Adding to Collaboration is the Freeform app, which is more of a virtual whiteboard where you and other collaborators can work on building ideas,
iOS 16 Focus
Focus is a feature that came with iOS 15 last year, it enabled more customizable Do Not Disturb Modes for different scenarios, the thing that made me and a lot of people care less about this feature is that it can be tricky to set up; there’s a lot of tapping you need to do and the setup is not streamlined in general.
But now, making and maintaining your Focus modes are now easier thanks to a handier and streamlined setup screen in the Settings app. The Settings app will also help you set your Focus mode by suggesting a home screen setup with suggested apps, and with the new lock screen features, you can also link a lock screen to be displayed with a certain Focus mode.
Other Noteworthy Changes
We won’t cover every change that iOS 16 has in this article, but, there are a few more tiny changes that might make the iOS 16 worth it.
One of the changes that you’ll notice immediately is the notification now appears and scrolls from the bottom instead of from the top, that way, it’s more intuitive to access them. At first, I thought this was a lock screen feature, but it’s system-wide so every time you bring down the notification center, it’ll look like your lock screen, and you also need to swipe up to reveal the notifications.
YES! Finally! A lot of people were waiting for haptic keyboard features ever since the iPhone 6S, why? Starting with the 6S, Apple made the Taptic Engine a standard feature on every iPhone, it’s a better vibration motor that can replicate clicks.
It’s pretty obvious that keyboard haptics with the Taptic Engine would be amazing, it’s as if you’re actually clicking an on-screen keyboard which is definitely satisfying. It took Apple long enough, but we give credit where credit is due. Take it with caution though, since it’ll significantly affect your iPhone’s battery life.
This isn’t exactly a new feature, but it’s a feature taken away by Apple since the iPhone X because of ‘limited space’ up on the notched screen. But with iOS 16, people using the iPhone X and any notched iPhone will get the battery indicator back, and the days of swiping down the Control Center to view your battery percentage can now come to an end.
Dictation on iOS 16 is also another improvement that’ll only work with iPhone XS and newer since it’ll utilize the Neural Engine.
Now, dictation or speech-to-text is a pretty old feature in 2022, I mean, it’s a feature that even an OS as old as Windows XP had it.
But with the Neural Engine, Dictation is now far more accurate and it can now keep up a bit faster.
Some of the most useful new features of Dictation are Auto-Punctuation, commands, and emoji support. But the feature that’s probably a lot more useful is its ability to switch between typing and dictation seamlessly, it’s useful with typing up quick notes, but it’s even more useful if you’re writing an article or a longer document on your phone, but, iPad users will probably utilize this the best since it’s also coming on iPadOS 16.
This last feature is probably also one of the last features that you’ll ever care about, but when you do need it, it’s useful. Lockdown mode is essentially a super secure mode that disables a bunch of iOS features that make you vulnerable to cyberattacks, as such, this should only be activated by influential and famous people which are the usual targets of cyberattacks.
Initial iOS 16 Issues
While there are a lot of new features on iOS 16, there are also a handful of issues. Most of it is minor and fixable through future updates, but here are some of those issues:
App Bugs and Crashes
A lot of apps aren’t yet fully optimized for iOS 16, and most of those are social media apps like TikTok and Facebook which I’ve experienced myself after updating to iOS 16.0. This is pretty common with every major iOS update.
Some users even experienced bugs and crashes from first-party Apple Apps like the App Store which is having trouble updating or installing apps sometimes. The Mail app can also crash continuously due to an issue that people are now calling ‘Mailjack’. It doesn’t happen on its own though, but your Mail app will crash on startup if you receive an email (usually from spammers) that has an unusual arrangement of characters on the “From” field. The thing is, everyone, running iOS 16.0.1 and even 16.0.2 is vulnerable to the attack and can render their Mail app useless.
I wouldn’t recommend installing iOS 16 if you don’t want to be bothered by these bugs, you should wait until stable updates for your favorite apps or iOS 16 becomes available.
A faster battery drain is one of the things I experienced with iOS 16, and this one is also pretty common with every iOS update, it’s usually pretty normal for the first two days since the new iOS will re-index data and apps for it to work with new features. But, the battery drain can still persist due to some new power-hungry feature, if this happens you should check your battery percentage if it still supports peak performance (change your battery if it degraded a lot), or you can make your iPhone live on low power mode permanently or turn off Background App Refresh, which is what I did on my iPhone.
To Update Or Not to Update
No, I’m not going to go ahead with Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy, however, I will tell you that if you’re running on a newer iPhone, it should be safe to update and enjoy the new iOS features now. Just try to keep in mind that some apps might not work the best and don’t rely on Apple’s Mail app for now.
But, if you’re running on an older device with older batteries such as the iPhone 8 or X, you might experience significant battery draining, so if you don’t like leaving your device on low power mode, you should probably consider refreshing to a new battery.
But generally, iOS 16 is safe and should not bring huge issues to your iPhone.