Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (2023)

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2023, CNET's collection of news, tips and advice around Apple's most popular product.

Apple dropped iOS 16.3 last week and brought a number of small but potent updates, including new wallpaper options and security keys for iCloud.iOS 16has been out for nearly five months and is available for anyone with a compatible iPhone. Installing the new operating system softwareon your iPhone gives you loads of new features and settings, such as a morecustomizable lock screen, a way toedit sent messagesand amagic photo editing tool. Plus, iOS 16 brings back thebattery percentage icon.

iOS 16 was first announced in the spring at Apple's WWDC conference prior to its public launch alongside the iPhone 14. If you're curious about what else iOS 16 offers, read on as we break down the 11 best new features on your iPhone. Just make sure you've already completedthese three steps firstand check out thelesser-known features lurking in iOS 16, too.

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The ability to edit and 'unsend' messages

"Embarrassing typos are a thing of the past," Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said at WWDC as he introduced three of the most requested features for the Messages app.

First, in iOS 16 you'll be able to edit sent messages. So if you notice a typo after a message, you'll be able to edit the message after the fact. A tiny "edited" appears in the status under the message.

Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (2)

Next, and this might be my favorite new feature, you can immediately recall a sent message. If you accidentally send an unfinished message, you can use the Undo Send tool to prevent it from being read and hopefully look less chaotic to your friends and family.

Last, you can mark messages and threads as unread. This could be an excellent tool for when you don't have time to respond to a message in the moment, but want to make sure you come back to it later.

Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (3)

Now playing: Watch this: Testing iOS 16 (Edit/Delete Sent Messages, New Lock Screen...


A new customizable lock screen

One of the things you look at the most on your iPhone is the lock screen, especially if you have a Face ID-equipped iPhone. iOS 16 brings the mostsubstantial update to the iPhone's lock screenyet. Press and hold to edit your lock screen. You can swipe to try out several different styles. Each style changes the color filter for the background photo and the font on the lock screen so everything complements each other. This feels a bit like Apple's take on Google's Material You, which launched with Android 12.

You can also customize the fonts for the time and date, and add lock screen widgets like temperature, activity rings and a calendar. The widgets are akin to complications on the Apple Watch lock screen.

You can even set up multiple customized lock screens with different widgets and easily swipe to switch between them. There's also a photo shuffle option that automatically changes the pictures on your lock screen.

Onefeature we'd been hoping to see Apple add was an always-on display. It's something nearly all Android phones have; even the Apple Watch does. Well, with the new iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the always-on display has finally arrived.

Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (4)

Notifications and live activities

Sometimes notifications can cover up your lock screen's photo, so iOS 16 moves notifications to the bottom of your display. As you receive them, instead of being compiled into a list, they appear like a vertical carousel. This not only looks better but should be a big help for one-handed use of your iPhone.

iOS 16 also aims to solve another notification problem. Sometimes you get a bunch of notifications in a row from one app, like the score of a basketball game. A new tool for developers called Live Activities makes it easier to stay on top of things happening in real time from your lock screen, instead of getting a series of interruptions.

Live Activities should make it easier to follow sporting events, workouts or even the progress of an Uber ride.

Skip CAPTCHAs using Private Access Tokens

The CAPTCHA -- which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart -- has been a necessary evil across the internet. CAPTCHAs are designed to make sure that a person is accessing a website or service, and not a bot. I find them annoying, as they often involve reading strangely written letters or having to find all the images that have a truck. With iOS 16, Apple plans to start replacing these awkward interactions with Private Access Tokens.

According to a video on Apple's website demonstrating Private Access Tokens, websites that support the token will essentially log in and authenticate that you are indeed a human without your having to play any of the usual CAPTCHA games. Apple says in the video that the company is working with other companies to roll out support for this feature, so we can't say the CAPTCHA will be dead after iOS 16 rolls out to the public. But the concept could provide some relief if it gets adopted.

Wallet and Apple Pay Later

ID cards from more states will be available in your Wallet app along with more security and privacy features. In iOS 16 you can also protect your identity and age. So rather than showing your exact birth date, the Wallet app will display your ID and that you're over 21.

iOS 16 makes sharing keys easier with apps like Mail and Messages. When your friend receives the key, they can add it to the Wallet app on their iPhone. Apple said it's working to make sure that shared keys are an industry standard and free for others.

Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (5)

Apple Pay will support new types of payments and adds a new feature called Apple Pay Later, a Klarna-like service that lets you split the cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees. Upcoming payments are managed through the Wallet app, making it easy to keep track of dates and payments.

But Apple Pay doesn't stop there. A new feature will also help you track Apple Pay orders and lets merchants deliver detailed receipts and tracking information. This should make it easier to stay up to date on the status of all your orders.

Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (6)

Visual Look Up's tap and drag for photos

In iOS 15, Visual Look Up analyzes your photos and can identify objects like plants, landmarks and pets. iOS 16 takes this to the next level. When you touch a photo's subject like the dog in the image above, you can lift it away from the background and add it to apps like Messages. Essentially it's a tap-and-hold tool that removes a photo's background.

Apple sometimes overuses the word "magic," but this feature truly seems like it.

Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (7)

SharePlay comes to Messages

SharePlay, which debuted in iOS 15, lets you have a shared experience while connecting with someone over FaceTime. You can watch TV shows, listen to music in sync and other things. iOS 16 adds the ability to discover more apps that support SharePlay from within FaceTime.

But perhaps one of the coolest things Apple did for SharePlay was to make it work within the Messages app. Apple said that this was one of the biggest requests from app developers. Now when you want to share a movie on Disney Plus, you can start SharePlay together with a friend while chatting in Messages.

Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (8)

Safety Check aims to help people in abusive relationships

Safety Checkis a new feature intended to be helpful for people in abusive relationships. It lets you review and reset who has access to location information as well as passwords, messages and other apps on an iPhone.

Focus mode updates and Focus filters

Focus mode gets several updates. The first applies Focus behaviors to widgets and lock screen looks. So you could have one lock screen set for when your Work Focus is enabled and another for workouts.

Apple added specific Focus filters that apply your iPhone's Focus mode within apps. For example, in Safari, you can limit what tabs are shown depending on what Focus mode you have active.

Apple Maps adds transit fare cards

Maps gets several updates. You'll be able to plan trips with up to 15 different stops along the way. If you start planning a trip with the Maps app on your Mac, you'll be able to share that to your iPhone.

And in something similar to what Google announced for Google Wallet in Android 13, you'll be able to see transit fare estimates as well as add more money to a fare card from within Apple Maps.

Here Are iOS 16.3's Best iPhone Features: iMessage Edits, Passkeys and More (9)

iCloud family checklist

iCloud gets several new features. One of the more interesting ones is the option to quickly set up a new device for your child. When Quick Start appears, you have the option to pick a user for the new device and use all the existing parental controls you've previously selected and configured. However, this is not what many of us still want: the ability to set up separate users for the same device.

There's a new family checklist with tips for updating settings for your kids as they get older, like a reminder to check location-sharing settings or share your iCloud Plus subscriptions.

For more, check out everything Apple announced at its Sept. 7 "Far Out" event. Plus, here's how to download iOS 16.


What security features does iOS 16.3 have? ›

Apple has released iOS 16.3, an update to its operating system that adds the ability to use physical security keys for two-factor authentication. The update also introduces new ways to use Emergency SOS calls, features a new “Unity” wallpaper and adds support for the HomePod smart speaker.

What changes in iOS 16.3 beta? ›

The first iOS 16.3 beta enabled a new Security Keys for Apple ID feature that Apple said will be available globally in early 2023. The feature gives users the option to use hardware security keys to further protect their account.

What problems does iOS 16.3 have? ›

The current list of iOS 16.3 problems includes abnormal battery drain, installation issues, Wi-Fi problems, Bluetooth bugs, UI lag, issues with Face ID, and issues with various first and third-party apps.

Is iOS 16.3 stable? ›

Apple iOS 16.3 is a useful update in terms of features, fixes and patches and early reports indicate it is stable.

What privacy changes in iOS 16? ›

‌iOS 16‌ adds Lockdown Mode, which has an "extreme" level of security for activists, journalists, and others who are targeted by sophisticated cyberattacks. Lockdown Mode strictly limits or disables the functionality of many of the ‌iPhone‌'s features as well as locking down apps and websites.

Is there new emojis on iOS 16? ›

iOS 16.4 update is set to bring 31 new emojis to your iPhone. From shaking face, and pink heart to many more - check the full list here. Apple has officially released the iOS 16.4 beta update and it will bring many new features.

Does the iOS 16 beta mess up your phone? ›

The iOS 16 beta should now be safe for normal users to download and install. However, there is potential for issues like crashing and sub-optimal performance, so do consider the potential instabilities before updating your iPhone to it.

What does removing iOS beta profile do? ›

Tap Remove Profile. If asked, enter your device passcode, then tap Remove. Once the profile is deleted, your device will no longer receive iOS public betas.

Is iOS 16 worth upgrading? ›

iOS 16: Why you should wait

No iOS release is bug-free, and it's always possible that you're going to run into problems you didn't have before. That said, between the new features and security updates present in iOS 16.1 and beyond, we really think most users will be much better off if they grabbed the latest version.

What iPhones will not support iOS 16? ›

Is Your iPhone or iPad Compatible? With iOS 16, Apple is ending software support for the following devices: the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE 2016, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. Basically, if you have an iPhone 8 (2017) or newer (including the second- and third-gen iPhone SE), you can download and run iOS 16.

Does the iOS 16 drain battery? ›

iOS 16 brought plenty of additions to the iPhone. Not only did it address a few long overdue requests, such as lock screen customization, but it also refreshed Apple's default apps with several handy features. These improvements come at a cost: iOS 16 can take a serious toll on your iPhone's battery life.

Is iOS 16.3 good for battery? ›

While Apple has worked to fix the bugs, iOS 16.3 isn't the best when it comes to battery optimization. It's been fine for some people, but the update has been a big disappointment for me and many others.

What problems does iOS 16.2 have? ›

The current list of iOS 16.2 problems includes battery life issues, installation issues, Wi-Fi problems, Bluetooth bugs, UI lag, issues with Face ID, issues with HomeKit, and issues with various first and third-party apps.

How big is the iOS 16.3 download? ›

Apple's iOS 16.3 is the latest stable build that fixes a few bugs and introduces new features, allowing users to enable 2-factor authentication using a physical security key. The iOS 16.3 update is around 600MB in size for those who are already on iOS 16.2.

What is passkey iOS 16 features? ›

As Apple is rolling out its iOS 16 update today, one of the key security-facing features that will be available to users is Passkey. This feature will allow users to use their Apple devices to log in to websites and services without any passwords.

What are the 2 new security features for worst case scenarios in iOS 16? ›

Safety Check and Lockdown Mode are very different tools, but Apple has built them both into its latest mobile operating system release as lifelines for digital worst-case scenarios. Apple designed Safety Check as a feature for users who are at risk for, or currently experiencing, domestic abuse.

Who can access iOS 16? ›

Which iPhones support iOS 16? All iPhones from iPhone 8 and up (2017 and later).

How do I use iOS security key? ›

With your phone's built-in security key
  1. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on for both devices.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account on a Chrome OS (version 79 and above), iOS, macOS, or Windows 10 device.
  3. Check your iPhone for a Smart Lock notification. Tap the notification.
  4. To verify your sign-in, tap Yes.

How do I customize my lock screen on iOS 16? ›

Touch and hold the Lock Screen until the Customize button appears at the bottom of the screen, then tap Customize. Tap the box below the time to add widgets to your Lock Screen. Tap or drag the widgets you want to add. to remove a widget and make room for a new one.

What is iPhone recovery key? ›

A recovery key is a randomly generated 28-character code that you can use to help reset your password or regain access to your Apple ID. While it's not required, using a recovery key improves the security of your account by putting you in control of resetting your password.

Does iOS 16 work on iPhone 7? ›

It's bad news if your iPhone is older than the iPhone 8—Apple has ended support for the iPhone 7 and older, so you won't be able to upgrade your iPhone software to iOS 16.

How to get iOS 16. 4? ›

Apple's iOS 16.4 developer beta 3 was released on March 7, 2023.
  1. Navigate to General –> Software Update in the Settings app. ...
  2. Tap "Download and Install" when the update appears.
  3. Enter your passcode if asked.
  4. Tap "Agree" on the Terms & Conditions if it appears.
  5. Finish installing the iOS 16 beta like any other iOS update.
Feb 16, 2023

Does iOS 16 work on iPhone 11? ›

MORE | iOS 16 is Available

Check to see if your phone can run iOS 16. Apple says the update will work on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone SE, iPhone XS and XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, 12, and 13.

What are the dangers of iOS 16 beta? ›

We're hearing about abnormal battery drain, installation and download problems, problems with Messages, Face ID problems, Wi-Fi issues, Bluetooth problems, crashes, lag, and problems with first and third-party applications.

How to uninstall iOS 16? ›

To remove the beta and get the official release of iOS 16 when it's available:
  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Profiles & Device Management (or VPN & Device Management).
  4. Select iOS 16 & iPadOS 16 Beta Software Profile, and press Remove Profile.
Sep 9, 2022

What are the side effects of iOS 16? ›

  • iOS 16 Apple Music Crashes. ...
  • iOS 16 4G and 5G Network Might Be Weak on Some Carriers. ...
  • iOS 16 Kindle App May Crash in iPad or iPhone. ...
  • iOS 16 Battery Percentage Not Showing When Charging on Lock Screen. ...
  • iOS 16 Touch Screen Not Responding/Working. ...
  • iOS 16 Battery Drain Fast. ...
  • iOS 16 Lock Screen Depth Effect Not Working.
Dec 7, 2022

Will factory reset remove iOS beta? ›

To remove the developer beta immediately, you need to erase and restore your device. Then—if you have an archived backup—you can set up your device again from that backup. Note that backups created while using beta software might not be compatible with older versions of iOS or iPadOS.

How to downgrade iOS 16 beta to 15? ›

Way 1. Downgrade from iOS 16 with iTunes
  1. On the site, go to the iPhone section and select your iPhone model. ...
  2. Now, open iTunes on the computer and hold the “Shift” key on the keyboard. ...
  3. Open the file and you will see “iTunes will erase and restore iPhone to iOS 15.7 and will verify the restore with Apple” on the screen.
Nov 10, 2022

How stable is iOS 16? ›

Although ‌iOS 16‌ does not appear to have any crippling bugs, users who prioritize stability may prefer to stay using iOS 15 until a few more versions of ‌iOS 16‌ have been released, giving the OS time to mature.

What does the iOS 16.0 update do? ›

This update provides important bug fixes and security updates for your iPhone including: iCloud settings may be unresponsive or incorrectly display if apps are using iCloud. Siri requests for Find My may not work. Crash Detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models.

Should I upgrade to iOS 15.7 or 16? ›

From a security standpoint, iPhone owners need to update to iOS 15.7 or iOS 16,” says Sean Wright, an independent security researcher. “Some prefer waiting for the kinks to be ironed out first, and that's understandable,” he says. However, Wright says you should eventually move over to iOS 16.

Does iOS 16.2 drain battery? ›

When Apple released iOS 16.2, many iPhone users started complaining about battery drain issues. My wife, for one, is among those users. Since she updated her iPhone 12 Pro Max to iOS 16.2, she started complaining that her iPhone's battery drained faster than before updating.

Should I update iPhone 8 to iOS 16? ›

For those on iPhone 8 or above, it's time to update to iOS 16.2, the latest version of iOS 16, to keep your iPhone safe. To update your iPhone, go to your Settings > General > Software Update and download and install the latest iOS version.

Which iOS are no longer supported? ›

Video: Watch Everything Announced at Apple's WWDC 2022 Event

This means any phones introduced in 2016 or earlier, including the iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and iPhone 7, won't be getting Apple software updates anymore.

What is the newest iOS update? ›

Get the latest software updates from Apple
  • The latest version of iOS and iPadOS is 16.3.1. ...
  • The latest version of macOS is 13.2.1. ...
  • The latest version of tvOS is 16.3.3 for Apple TV 4K (3rd generation) and 16.3.2 for Apple TV 4K (1st generation), Apple TV 4K (2nd generation), and Apple TV HD.

What ruins iPhone battery the most? ›

It's especially important to avoid exposing your device to ambient temperatures higher than 95° F (35° C), which can permanently damage battery capacity. That is, your battery won't power your device as long on a given charge. Charging the device in high ambient temperatures can damage it further.

What kills iPhone battery capacity? ›

The two things that cause the most battery drain in your iPhone are its screen and cellular service. Obviously, you know when you're actively using your phone, but your iPhone is often performing tasks in the background and even lighting up your screen without you noticing.

When should you charge your iPhone? ›

Shomes recommends charging your iPhone as it needs it. If you go to sleep and it has a 40 or 50 percent charge, leave it. Then charge it some time during the next day when it gets into the red. That way, the battery won't be stressed, and its health will last way longer than it will when overnight charging.

Why is my iPhone overheating after iOS 16 update? ›

Operating System and Application Bugs

You may also feel your iPhone warm due to the presence of bugs in the installed update. In addition, there may otherwise be some apps on the device that are not compatible with iOS 16. Such apps can strain the device's processor, causing it to get heated up.

Is 82% good for iPhone battery? ›

Depending upon the length of time between when the iPhone was made and when it is activated, your battery capacity may show as slightly less than 100%. A normal battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles when operating under normal conditions.

Is 82% battery life on iPhone good? ›

Apple considers any iPhone with a battery capacity of 80% or above to be in optimal condition. In fact, Apple feels so strongly about battery health that its 1-year warranty covers any battery at 80% capacity or more. It's not unusual to see iPhones that, after one year, still have a battery capacity of 95% or above.

Should I update to iOS 16.2 or wait? ›

1. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site. The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide.

What is the meaning for iOS 16? ›

iOS 16 brings a redesigned Lock Screen with new ways to customize and widgets for information at a glance. Link your Lock Screen to a Focus and use Focus filters to filter out distracting content in apps.

How long does the iOS 16.3 update take? ›

1 from Apple's servers, the installation process will begin. On newer phones, the iOS 16.3. 1 installation process could take 10 minutes or less to complete. It took about eight minutes to install on an iPhone 12 Pro that was previously running iOS 16.3.

What security features does iOS have? ›

Apple recently announced a trio of new privacy and security features designed to help protect users and their data. The new features — Security Keys for Apple ID, iMessage Contact Key Verification, and Advanced Data Protection — have started to roll out to users already.

What features will iOS 16 have? ›

iOS 16 introduces redesigned, customizable Lock Screens with widgets, the ability to edit and delete messages, improved Focus modes, an iCloud Shared Photos Library for families, major improvements for apps like Mail, Home, and Wallet, and much more.

What security features does iPhone have? ›

Apple Platform Security
  • Face ID and Touch ID security.
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID.
  • Face ID, Touch ID, passcodes, and passwords.
  • Facial matching security.
  • Uses for Face ID and Touch ID.
  • Secure intent and connections to the Secure Enclave.

How can I tell if someone is connected to my iPhone? ›

Go to Settings > Cellular (or Mobile Data). Scroll down to the Cellular Data (or Mobile Data) section and tap Personal Hotspot. You'll see a list of devices connected to your iPhone's Personal Hotspot. Here is where you can check the hotspot usage of each of them.

How can I know if my iPhone is hacked? ›

Signs your iPhone is hacked
  • iPhone overheating and constant low battery. This is normally a sign that a process is running in the background without your knowledge. ...
  • You're informed of strange messages from contacts. ...
  • Mysterious messages and texts. ...
  • iPhone performance has dropped. ...
  • High data usage.
Nov 13, 2022

Can someone hack your iPhone? ›

Although iPhones have more secure operating systems than android phones, no smartphone is immune to cyberattacks. Ultimately, hackers can infiltrate any networked digital technology — it's just a question of how and when.

How do you edit messages on iOS 16? ›

To edit a text message:
  • Hard press on the message bubble you want to edit.
  • Tap 'edit'
  • Make the changes you want.
  • Press the check mark to save the changes.
Oct 19, 2022

Should I update my iPhone to iOS 16? ›

iOS 16: Why you should wait

No iOS release is bug-free, and it's always possible that you're going to run into problems you didn't have before. That said, between the new features and security updates present in iOS 16.1 and beyond, we really think most users will be much better off if they grabbed the latest version.

How to hide apps on iPhone? ›

Hold down on an empty area on your Home Screen. Tap the dots at the bottom of the screen. Tap the check mark icon under the page of apps you would like to hide, so the check mark disappears. Then tap “Done” on the upper right hand corner.

What does the iOS 15.6 have? ›

iOS 15.6 includes enhancements, bug fixes and security updates. This may be the last update to iOS 15 before the company's next mobile software, iOS 16, gets a wide release alongside the heavily rumored iPhone 14.

What is jailbreaking a phone? ›

Jailbreaking or rooting means removing software restrictions that are intentionally put in place by the device manufacturer. This process, basically, opens a door of a locked-down electronic device to install software other than what the manufacturer has made available for that device.

What iPhones Cannot get iOS 16? ›

Is Your iPhone or iPad Compatible? With iOS 16, Apple is ending software support for the following devices: the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE 2016, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. Basically, if you have an iPhone 8 (2017) or newer (including the second- and third-gen iPhone SE), you can download and run iOS 16.

What is the oldest iPhone that supports iOS 16? ›

iOS 16 is compatible with these devices.
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max.
  • iPhone XS.
  • iPhone XS Max.
  • iPhone XR.
  • iPhone X.
  • iPhone 8.
  • iPhone 8 Plus.
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)

What does iOS 16.2 do? ›

iOS 16.2. This update introduces Freeform, an app that offers a great place to brainstorm and bring your ideas to life. This release also adds Apple Music Sing, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, Lock Screen improvements, and other features and bug fixes for your iPhone.


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