5 exciting new iOS 16 features coming to iPhone and iPad

These Apple features are set to enhance the iPhone and iPad experience

Apple iOS 16
(Image credit: SOPA Images / Getty Images)

Big things are planned from Apple over the coming months, as the tech giant looks to grow its extensive line-up of iOS 16 features to iPhone and iPad – with good reasons for owners to be excited.

Whether it be the ability to completely customise the new lock screen, an overhaul of Apple Maps or family sharing across all Apple devices, there are some interesting new additions that have already made up the newest iOS update. While some can seem small on the surface, they actually go a long way and make the temptation of upgrading to a new device even greater. 

That said, a lot more exciting new features are on the horizon. Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of whether a new iPhone 13 Pro or new Apple iPad Air is worth investing in. If not, older devices (from iPhone 8 and up) will still benefit from these handy new add-ons.  

Stage Manager for older iPads 

Apple Stage Manager

(Image credit: Apple)

Let's first discuss one of the major new additions in recent years with Stage Manager, a multitasking system designed for organising your desktop on iPad. It's extremely useful, providing great flexibility and offering external display options. It rolled out earlier this year to iPads that possess an M1 Chip but thankfully, it was confirmed (via Engadget (opens in new tab)) that the feature will arrive on older iPads in the near future. The only difference is that it won't work on external display monitors for those models. Still, it's a step forward in the right direction.

Live Activities expansion

iOS 16 Live Activities

(Image credit: Apple)

I've been a big fan of live activities since the new feature was announced and began testing through Apple's traditional iOS rollout. The dynamic notifications that appear on the lower half of the lock screen can do a lot to energise even the most mundane of messages. Now as part of iOS 16.1, the feature is being expanded to third-party apps, like keeping up with the latest football scores or tracking an Uber driver when ordering a taxi or food delivery for Just Eat. The possibilities are endless.  

Freeform

Freeform Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

Freeform is one of my most anticipated new features as I'm someone that scribbles down notes constantly. The idea is that it will make collaborating with others a lot easier via the use of a virtual whiteboard of sorts. Apple specifically states that it will users the ability to see, share, and collaborate all in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes" while also taking advantage of the Apple Pencil Trying to brainstorm new ideas? Working with colleagues on a new project? Share files with one another. Freeform has it all.  

Apple Fitness+  

Apple Fitness Plus - Time to Run

(Image credit: Apple Fitness Plus)

By now there's a good chance that you will be aware of Apple Fitness+, the fitness subscription-based service that offers over 3,000 workouts and meditations. It's been a major pulling point for the Apple Watch, however, it's now been confirmed that iPhone users won't need the wrist device to access the feature from iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 onwards. A free trial is available or alternatively it can be subscribed to at $9.99 / £9.99 / A$14.99 a month. 

Apple iCloud‌ Shared Photo Library 

iOS 16 Apple sharing library

(Image credit: Apple)

A casualty of an unexpected delay that was expected to debut in September, the functionality to share photos with friends and loved ones via an iCloud Shared Photo Library is set to make things much simpler. It's a big shakeup for the Photos app that will allow up to six users to "collaborate" on albums, be that editing, favouriting, posting or otherwise. While no official date has been given since the feature was pushed back, Apple did confirm that it will arrive in a "future software update" with it expected before the end of the year. 

There you have it: five exciting new updates coming to IOS 16 before the end of 2022. If iPhone isn't your thing, don't worry – the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is set to be something special with the latest leaked render giving us a stunning look at the device. 

Matthew Forde
Staff Writer

Matthew is the Staff Writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matthew is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattForde64