Apple’s iOS 16 software update brings message deletion and custom screens — without having to buy an iPhone 14

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You don’t need a new iPhone 14 to get some of Apple’s latest iPhone features.

The consumer electronics giant is unveiling its latest operating system on Monday, giving users their first look at new software features the company teased in June. The software update will be available to owners of the iPhone 8 and newer models.

See more: Apple offers new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, software updates in WWDC keynote

While Apple AAPL,
allowed users to choose their phone backgrounds, the iOS 16 software update marks the company’s first attempt at letting them customize their lock screens. Users will be able to change the font and color of the time, while also experimenting with a “multilayered effect” that places the time behind the lock screen photo for the appearance of depth.

Apple will allow users to customize their iPhone lock screens with different fonts and colors in iOS 16.


The new software will allow people to add widgets for tools like calendars and alarms to their iPhone lock screens. Users will also be able to see live event updates on their lock screens so they can track sports scores or workout progress without unlocking their devices.

Although iPhone owners are used to seeing notifications pop up on their lock screens, Apple is changing the way notifications appear so people don’t lose sight of what’s still on the screen. The new notification interface will drop through the bottom of the screen.

Apple has also upgraded the messaging features on the iPhone, meaning that iPhone users will now be able to edit and recall recently sent iMessages. The company says that people will be able to edit messages for up to 15 minutes after sending them, and they’re allowed up to five edits per message, with recipients able to see the edit history. Users will have up to two minutes to unsend messages.

Users will be able to add actual stickers, of sorts, through iMessages using a new Visual Search feature in Photos that lets people select the subject of an image and create a virtual clip of it .

In the Mail app, iPhone owners will finally be able to schedule emails, and they will gain the ability to retract the delivery of a message before it reaches the recipient. Apple says it will prompt users if they forgot to send a promised attachment and notes that it has upgraded the search function to make it easier for people to locate files and links sent via email.

Apple also created a new shared photo library so people can more easily compile photos of loved ones and “relive more complete family moments.”

Other new features include shared tabs in Safari, multi-stop trip planning in Apple Maps, and improvements to dictation that the company says will let people “move fluidly between voice and touch.”

The official launch of iOS 16 comes at a busy time for Apple, which just launched its iPhone 14 family last week. Those phones went up for pre-order last Friday, with availability for three of the four new models starting this Friday.

Read: Here’s the iPhone 14 deals from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon as pre-orders begin

In addition, the company showed off three new Apple Watch devices and a revamped version of its pro-level AirPods.

Don’t miss: Should you buy a new Apple Watch? The Ultra, Series 8 and SE can now be pre-ordered

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