Skip to content

iOS 16 is here! Everything you need to know

  • by

It’s Monday, 12 September 2022, and iOS 16 goes live today.

After three months of beta testing, and following on from Apple’s big event last week, it’s time for the whole world to experience all the new features first showcased at WWDC back in June. Business as usual for Apple’s annual software overhaul, then.

Except something’s different this year. iPad usually gets updates at the same time as iPhone, but this year the releases are staggered. iPadOS 16 will instead be here sometime in October, giving everyone plenty of time to explore iOS 16 in the meantime.

How and when is it available?

Apple’s official release time is 10 am PST (that’s 6 pm for our British readers). If you’re reading this later, you might even be running iOS 16 already if you have Automatic Updates enabled.

To check, open the Settings app and choose General > Software Update. If iOS 16 is available, follow the instructions to update your iPhone.

Note that you’ll need an iPhone that came out in the last five years to get iOS 16 – that’s everything from the iPhone 8 onwards. Unfortunately, older devices aren’t compatible with the new release.

What’s new in iOS 16?

Quite a lot! There are big changes to apps including Photos, Messages, Mail, Notes, Maps, Books, Home, and more. Focus modes have been improved, the new Lock Screen looks great (especially with widgets), and you can even lift a photo from its background with a single press. That’s just the tip of the iOS 16 iceberg.

For a list of all the new features we’ve written about already, see our New in iOS 16 post.

But to really help you make the most of all the new stuff, we’ve released some new content…

New content for Tips & Tricks

If you’re reading this from our Tips & Tricks for iPhone app, we’ve just released a free update that covers everything new in iOS 16. To get it, press the Settings button in the bottom right of the app, then Content Update. Everything in the App Tips tab will be refreshed; we recommend starting with the New in iOS 16 post in the Introduction chapter. Did we mention it’s completely free?

Note that in some cases, the update can take up to five minutes to download, and in rare cases, you might have to delete and reinstall it from the App Store to get things working. If you get stuck, drop us an email or use this cheat sheet of new tips instead.

iOS 16: The Unofficial Guide

We also put everything we learned about iOS 16 during three months of testing into an ebook you can download as a standalone 68-page PDF. That means you can read it on any device, even offline. You can print your favorite sections for easy reference. Best of all, you can gift the book to a friend or family member who might need a helping hand with their iPhone.

If you’re the sort of person who wishes the iPhone (and each major update) came with a manual, this guide is for you.

You can buy iOS 16: The Unofficial Guide here during our launch sale.

While you’re at it, why not check out some of our other ebooks? Productivity Hacks for iPhone is perfect for anyone who struggles with efficiency when working from home; Privacy, Please offers simple, practical tips to protect the personal data on your iPhone; and App Store A-Z lists a whole alphabet of essential iPhone apps. Happy reading!