You could make an argument that iOS 16 is the most ambitious upgrade to the platform in years. There are so many new features and changes on the way that really aim to change the way you use and interact with your iPhone. From the redesigned Lock Screen to proper external monitor support on the iPad, 2022 has turned into an impressive year for Apple software.
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What iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 Features Won’t Arrive This Fall
Unfortunately, with an update as ambitious as what iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 aim to bring, there were bound to be some “hiccups”. Apple has confirmed that there are going to be a few features announced during WWDC ’22 that won’t actually be available when iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are released.
Collaboration has been a big theme for Apple this year, and it continues with iPadOS 16. Freeform is an upcoming productivity App that allows you and others to work together using a single blank canvas. You can jot down notes using the Apple Pencil, or go down the traditional route of just sharing files, web links, videos, and more.
You’ll be able to invite multiple collaborators, share a link, and get started. Plus, all of the changes happen in real-time, so you can see what ideas are happening, as they happen. Unfortunately, Freeform will not be released alongside the final version of iPadOS 16. Since this seems like it will be a standalone app, we wouldn’t be surprised if it still lands before the end of 2022.
While Apple really swung for the fences with its overhauled Lock Screen interface, the company didn’t stop there. iOS 16 introduces some long-overdue changes to how notifications can be viewed, partially expanding on the minor changes with iOS 15. One feature that has kind of flown under the radar is called Live Activities.
During the WWDC ’22 keynote, this feature was shown off, and will provide live updates for your various apps. These include seeing updated information about the score of a baseball game, or how far away your Uber is from picking you up. Apple also introduced a separate Live Activities API for developers to take advantage of. However, it’s unclear as to when Live Activities will actually arrive for iPhone users.
Safari Push Notifications
It’s a pop-up that we’ve all seen – when a website wants to try and push notifications to your device, even if you aren’t still on that website. For the most part, these can end up being a nuisance, but some users actually enjoy getting web-based notifications. It’s one of those features that we didn’t expect to see, but Apple has confirmed that web push notifications from Safari are on the way. These will be released as part of a future iOS 16 “point release”, but won’t be available on day one.
The Future Version of CarPlay
There have been rumors that Apple has been working on building an “Apple Car” for years. It doesn’t seem that we’ll see an official Apple-branded car any time soon, but that hasn’t stopped the company from attempting to innovate elsewhere. During the WWDC ’22 Keynote, Apple showed off a completely reimagined version of CarPlay, as it spans the entire dashboard.
This includes displaying information such as your speedometer, along with providing controls for everything else in the car. It might just end up being the most important and innovative update to CarPlay since the platform’s inception. While this won’t be available when iOS 16 is released, Apple and a few car makers have announced that the changes are in the pipeline and will be available for select car models.
With so many different smart home products on the market, it was only a matter of time before we saw a unified platform created. Matter has been in the works for some time now, and it seems that Apple might just be at the forefront of it all. With Matter, this allows different brands to implement the necessary features in order for the end-user to have multiple devices all tied together.
Matter is not an Apple-only project, as there are other brands working together, including Samsung, Google, and Amazon. There’s no timeline for when Matter will become available for all, but at least we know setting up a smart home should get easier in the semi-near future.
Focus Filter on iPad
When it was first mentioned, Focus Filters seemed like a rather odd addition to Focus Mode on iOS and iPadOS. However, once we were able to decompress from the keynote presentation and dive into the Developer Beta, it became quite a bit more clear. When enabled, Focus Filters essentially limit the content that you see based on different applications.
For instance, when a Work Focus Mode is turned on, you’ll only see emails, calendar events, and messages pertaining to that filter. This even applies to the Lock Screen, as you can set different widgets and even wallpapers to be shown when you’re in different Focus Modes. For one reason or another, it doesn’t seem as though Focus Filter will be available on iPadOS 16 at launch. We’re hoping it’s made available sooner rather than later. But could be tied to the fact that all of the major iOS 16 Lock Screen changes are not coming to the iPad this time around.
Game Center Upgrades
Following the successful launch of SharePlay with iOS 15, Apple is ready to take things up a notch for mobile gaming. Along with the plethora of other changes coming to iOS 16, Game Center is getting a bit of love. Not only will you be able to keep better track of progress for those on your friends list, but there is some SharePlay integration on the way.
With Game Center, you are now able to play multiplayer games while on a FaceTime call using SharePlay. Of course, this is limited to Game Center-compatible games but definitely feels akin to a basic version of Xbox Live. Not only will this work with the iPhone and iPad, but an update is also coming to macOS Ventura that will provide the same Game Center upgrades.
None of These are Major Omissions
Unlike we’ve seen in the past, all of the features detailed here are “earth-shattering”. It was important for Apple to announce some of them, such as Live Activities and the accompanying API. And while it’s going to be a bummer that we won’t see them at launch, Apple is just working to ensure that the experience is as flawless as we expect.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.