iPhones and iPads are getting big updates today — including a long-awaited addition | Science and technology news
Today’s software update brings a number of new features to the iPhone and iPad.
Apple releases iOS 16.1 – expanding functionality that arrived with the iPhone 14 range last month – and iPadOS 16 that lies ahead the launch of new tablets this week.
Starting with the iPhone, here are the top new features to expect when you download the update.
Shared Photo Libraries
This feature comes just in time for those families heading out for a mid-term getaway, and allows you to set up a shared photo library with up to five other people.
It builds on the idea of the existing shared photo albums and offers more options for anyone to add, edit, favourite, label and delete images.
You can also add previous photos to the new library instead of having to start from scratch, and a toggle in the Camera app lets you directly send a new snap if you wish.
Charge with clean energy
Here’s one for the climate-conscious – a switch that selectively charges your phone based on the availability of lower-carbon electricity.
Apple says the idea is that charge time will be optimized based on when the grid is using cleaner energy sources, although initially it will only work if you’re in the US.
Note that this new feature will be enabled by default when you receive the update. If you don’t want to compromise, you can turn it off in settings.
Fitness without the watch
Apple offers a £9.99 a month subscription service called Fitness+ that offers workout and meditation routines.
Previously you needed an Apple Watch to use it – now you only need an iPhone.
While you don’t get the same real-time feedback without the wearable as For example, calories burned and heart rate, stretching and meditating will work fine with the videos on your phone.
Live activities expanded
You will have noticed big changes to your iPhone lock screen when iOS 16 launched last month, with live activity among the additions.
They’re widgets that aim to provide real-time updates from specific apps on the lock screen, rather than sending out a series of separate notifications.
Today’s update makes these more accessible to non-Apple apps, so expect more options from live sports scores to a widget showing how close your Uber driver is.
Like the iPad, the new features like shared photo libraries are the same, but there’s some bespoke stuff.
This brings improved multitasking to the iPad, making it more of a laptop-like experience. Apps can be resized, overlapped and moved, similar to a traditional desktop.
You can connect your iPad to an external display if you have one of the newer Air or Pro models, just like you can with a laptop.
It seems unbelievable, but all along the iPad has never had a built-in weather app like the iPhone.
That’s finally changing today, bringing almost the same design as on the phone.
If you have an Apple Pencil, the Notes app will now attempt to improve your handwriting.
If you enable the option, the app will make written words appear straighter and neater.
And a raft of the iPhone’s latest additions
The iPadOS 16 update is primarily based on iOS 16, so it offers many of the new features that iPhone users have been enjoying since last month.
These include the ability to edit and delete texts in the Messages app, improved focus modes for filtering out notifications from specific apps, and a redesigned Podcasts app.