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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Apple’s iOS 16 said to include a revamped lock screen with widgets, updated Messages and Health apps

New information regarding what’s in store for iOS 16 has surfaced ahead of Apple’s big developer conference on June 6, WWDC. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, iOS users can expect new features like an updated lockscreen, updated first-party apps like Messages and Health, changes to alerts, iPad multitasking functionality, and more.

The software was described as a “pretty significant” improvement in the study, which is noteworthy given that the previous two versions also included significant changes. With iOS 14, for example, iPhone users gained support for home screen widgets, sparking a homescreen customization craze that continues to see widget and theme apps like Brass, Themify, ScreenKit, and others near the top of the Graphics & Design charts. Meanwhile, the iOS 15 update introduced Focus Modes, a new approach to limiting what, who, and when can interrupt you.

According to Bloomberg, Apple will concentrate this time on its lockscreen, a piece of underutilized real estate that currently displays the date, time, and icons to activate the Flashlight and Camera apps.

According to the rumor, Apple intends to allow widget-like wallpapers in iOS 16. This could indicate that Apple is thinking about incorporating the “Today View” widget, which is now located to the left of the homescreen, right into the lockscreen. This makes sense given that the Today View is intended to provide quick access to information you may need during the day, such as upcoming calendar appointments, weather, and widgets that can be touched to launch preferred apps. The Today View, on the other hand, is not immediately accessible because you must swipe right to see it, which many people overlook.

This change may be beneficial to app developers who support widgets because it gives them a second opportunity to capture users’ attention in a prominent location. It would also allow homescreen modification app developers to expand their offerings. Users could now download complete theme sets that included lockscreen and homescreen widgets, as well as matching wallpapers and icon themes.

Furthermore, the redesigned lockscreen may be preparing for a future with an always-on display, similar to Apple Watch, though this would most likely necessitate updated hardware, according to the source. If approved, this mode may initially be limited to high-end iPhones such as the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Other rumored iOS 16 updates include a revamped Messages app with more “social networking-like functionality,” possibly including an audio message update. (Apple, please let us play audio messages as quickly as WhatsApp!)

The Health app would also be upgraded, but the source did not specify what would be changed. WatchOS will receive new watch faces as well as a low-power mode, while iPadOS will receive new windowing and multitasking features.

Although the iPhone’s Focus Mode was not mentioned, it is a feature that should be improved. While the concept is sound in theory, many people who have tried to set up Focus Mode have missed important calls and messages, as well as important notifications, because they came in through numbers or apps that weren’t authorized to bypass the mode’s “Do Not Disturb” settings. It also takes time to set up Concentration Mode; perhaps a Siri-powered Focus Mode that allows users to train the setting over time, allowing it to learn what you consider important versus distracting during specific times of “focus,” such as your workplace or personal time, would be ideal.

Although no changes to Focus Mode were mentioned in the Bloomberg report, it would be a huge mistake on Apple’s part not to include some tweaks with the software update.

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