Continuing our preview of 2022, we take a look at the upcoming update for iOS. Assuming Apple does not break with its tradition, we can expect iOS 16 to be introduced together with iPadOS 16, watchOS 9 and the new macOS at WWDC in June 2022 and then released to the public following extensive beta testing in September 2022.
For 18 years now, Apple has been holding its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June - sometimes at the beginning of the sixth month, sometimes towards the end. Even the pandemic did not disrupt this schedule too much, so we can be quite sure that iOS 16 will be introduced in June 2022.
Currently, very little is known about iOS 16. However, this should not prevent us from collecting the best rumours and concepts from the internet, making our own wish list of features we hope to see, and speculating about what could await us in 2022.
Before we enter the realm of speculation, we can provide at least some reasonably accurate information. At this year's WWDC, Apple surprised viewers with the fact that iOS 15 would run on very old models, such as the iPhone 6S (2015) or first-generation SE (2016). With that in mind, which devices will the upcoming iOS 16 support?
That the iPhone 6S and 2016 are on the update list for 2022, is rather unlikely. But, we suspect that all devices from the iPhone 7 will be able to run iOS 16. This is because iOS doesn’t support a specific device, but rather the chip generation included in it. The iPhone 6S has an A9 chip, which was last used by Apple in 2017 and featured in the fifth-generation iPad and first-generation iPad Pro.
The iPhone 7 should be safe though as that runs on an A10 chip, which Apple was including in new products as recently as 2019, so we can’t see the company discontinuing support that soon.
New design for iOS 16
Apple delivered a big redesign with iOS 14 in 2020 with the addition of widgets on the Home screen, some of which are so large they can replace up to twelve apps. However, not much has happened to the app icons themselves, yet. Maybe Apple will make up for this next year. How about a macOS Big Sur and Monterey inspired design like the one below:
Since not much has happened visually in iOS 15, perhaps iOS 16 could see a sweet 16 redesign.
New functions in iOS 16
While visual changes are usually the first to be noticed, the much more exciting changes are of course new features. Again, there are no credible leaks or reports so far, but there are missing features that users are calling out for.
How about interactive widgets? As useful as it is to have Widgets on the iPhone Home screen, it would be even more useful if you could perform certain functions directly in the widgets. For example, you could play, pause or skip songs via the music widget - without having to enter the Music app via the widget itself. Widgets have so much more potential.
What if the iPhone finally gets the always on display that users have been crying out for? Could users be given the ability to design their always-on display to include the information they want access to at a glance? Could we see an always on screen show more than the time?
What's not coming in iOS 16
iOS 14 gave iPhone users the opportunity to give their iPhone a new look with widgets available without jailbreaking for the first time.
Users also gained the ability to add shortcuts, made with the shortcuts app, to the home screen, giving them names and their own app icons.
With these changes users were at last able to really personalise their iPhone in a way they couldn’t before.
However, this is still only a workaround, iPhone owners do not get the freedom Android users have. If you were hoping this would change you will be disappointed. Unless Apple changes the basic idea of its entire philosophy.
At the moment, there is only one thing we know about iOS 16: Apple has a big surprise up its sleeve for us and we will learn very little about the upcoming operating system until the official presentation in June.
This is part of a series of articles about what to expect from Apple in 2022:
This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by Karen Haslam.