WWDC 2022: Apple Announces New iPhone, iPad Operating System

Apple announces latest version of its operating system for its iPhone and iPad devices, at its annual developer’s conference, WWDC 2022

Apple has made a number of announcements at its annual developer’s conference, WWDC 2022, on Tuesday evening.

The Cupertino-based tech giant unveiled, as widely expected, its new operating system for the iPhone and iPad, as well as a number of new hardware arrivals.

Notable announcements included Apple Pay Later (its buy-now-pay-later product); its new M2 chip; the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2; the new MacBook Air with M2; macOS Ventura for Macs; Message updates, Shared iCloud Libraries, next generation Apple CarPlay and more, but there was no appearance of a mooted virtual reality headset.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook at WWDC 2020. Image credit: Apple

iOS 16

“iOS 16 is a big release with updates that will change the way you experience iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of Software Engineering.

“We have reimagined how the Lock Screen looks and works with exciting new features that make it more personal and helpful, introduced iCloud Shared Photo Library for families, streamlined communication through new capabilities in Messages and Mail, and harnessed enhanced intelligence with updates to Live Text and Visual Look Up,” said Federighi.

The previous iteration of iOS 15 focused on user privacy from tracking ads and cross platform FaceTime, and ‘Focus’ to help users reduce distractions by setting the iPhone for Sleep, Work, Do Not Disturb etc.

The latest software for the iPhone (iOS 16) however includes new ways to share and communicate for iPhone users, as well as a host of other changes – some major, some minor.

Lock Screen Changes

The preview of iOS 16 sees Apple delivering its biggest ever update to the Lock Screen, which the addition of a “new multilayered effect.”

Apple said the subjects of photos are set in front of the time on the Lock Screen, creating a sense of depth. It added that users can also change the look of the date and time with expressive type styles and colour choices.

Apple Lockscreen

The Lock Screen with iOS 16 also features widgets similar to Apple Watch, making it easy for users to get information at a glance, such as upcoming calendar events, the weather, battery levels, alarms, time zones, Activity ring progress etc.

Users can also create Lock Screens using their favourite emoji or colour combinations. With multiple Lock Screens, users can switch between their favourites with just a swipe.

Apple Lockscreen

Live Activities is a new feature that helps users stay on top of things happening in real time, such as a sports game, workout, ride-share, or food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen.

Apple has also tweaked Focus, making it easier to set up and it now connects to the Lock Screen.

Shared iCloud Photo Library

Another feature of iOS 16 is the iCloud Share Photo Library, which gives families a new way to share photos with a separate iCloud library that up to six users can collaborate on, contribute to, and enjoy.

Apple Shared iCloud

This comes as Apple recognises the fact that many families can have members spread across the country, or indeed the globe.

Users can choose to share existing photos from their personal libraries, or share based on a start date or people in the photos. A user can also choose to send photos to the Shared Library automatically using a new toggle in the Camera app.

Additionally, users will receive intelligent suggestions to share a photo that includes participants in the Shared Photo Library. Every user in the Shared Photo Library has access to add, delete, edit, or favourite the shared photos or videos, which will appear in each user’s Memories and Featured Photos so that everyone can relive more complete family moments.

Messages Updates

Another iOS change is to Messages, where users can now edit or recall recently sent messages, recover recently deleted messages, and mark conversations as unread so they can come back to them later.

SharePlay is also coming to Messages, making it possible to enjoy synced content like movies or songs and shared playback controls all while chatting in Messages.

Mail tools

The new iOS also gives users new tools for Mail, so users can schedule emails ahead of time, and are even given a moment to cancel delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox.

Mail will also detect if the user forgot to include an important part of their message, such as an attachment.

Users also have the option to resurface a message at any date and time with Remind Later, and Follow Up suggestions automatically remind users to follow up on an email if they have not received a response.

There is also a big overhaul to searches in Mail.

Apple Pay Later

Apple has also made a number of changes to Wallet, which has added Apple Pay Later, Order Tracking etc.

For US users, Apple Pay splits a purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks, with no interest charges or fees.

Apple Pay Later

Apple Pay Order Tracking meanwhile allows users to receive detailed receipts and order tracking information in Wall for Apple Pay purchases with participating merchants and shops.

Keys and IDs in Wallet get expanded support. Users can use their ID in Wallet for apps requiring identity and age verification.

Apple CarPlay

Apple has also released the next generation of Apple CarPlay, recognising how integrated people’s smartphones are now with the vehicles they drive.

Apple CarPlay

CarPlay will be able to provide content for multiple screens within the vehicle, creating an experience that is unified and consistent, said Apple, touting how CarPlay will offer ‘deeper integration’ with the vehicle.

This deeper integration will allow the user for example to do things like control the radio or change the climate directly through CarPlay, and using the vehicle data, CarPlay will seamlessly render the speed, fuel level, temperature, and more on the instrument cluster.

Users will be able to personalise their driving experience by choosing different gauge cluster designs, and with added support for widgets, users will have at-a-glance information from Weather and Music right on their car’s dashboard.

Other features

Apple iOS 16 also includes a number of additional features, including changes to the Safari browser, Apple Maps, Family Sharing, Dictation, Siri, Home app, Fitness app, Health app, Apple News, Game Center, Personalised Spatial Audio, new privacy tool, and Accessibility.