Don’t expect a major redesign from iOS 16

Apple probably won’t change the design of the upcoming iOS 16 software significantly versus iOS 7, which dropped nearly a decade ago. What you should be expecting instead are improved notifications and new health-tracking features.

A photograph showing an aerial view oof the Apple Park headquarters
Image credit: Apple
  • Bloomberg’s well-informed reporter Mark Gurman doesn’t expect to see a major visual overhaul to the iOS software at the upcoming WWDC. iOS hasn’t changed a lot visually since the last major revamp nearly a decade ago.
  • What you should be hoping for instead, Gurman speculates, are unspecified improvements to iPhone notifications and new health-tracking features.
  • Apple will preview iOS 16 alongside other updates at WWDC this June before releasing the software updates for public consumption sometime this fall.

iOS 16 design not expected to change significantly

Writing in his Power On newsletter, the Bloomberg reporter said he didn’t expect Apple to introduce a major visual change to the software powering its iPhone. The last time Apple launched a significant redesign of the iOS software was with iOS 7, which launched in September 2013. Read: How to adjust app icon size on iPad

“I’m not expecting an end-to-end redesign of iOS’s interface, even though it hasn’t changed much since iOS 7 nearly a decade ago,” the newsletter reads. Just because Gurman said there won’t be significant updates to the iOS 16 design doesn’t mean there won’t be any visual changes at all. If you do a side-by-side comparison of the initial iOS 7 redesign and the current iOS 15, you’ll notice that small tweaks cumulatively make for a noticeable visual difference.

Does that mean there’s nothing worthy of substance to look forward to in iOS 16? Of course not. “On the iOS side, I’m looking for some fairly significant enhancements across the board, including an update to notifications and new health-tracking features,” says Gurman. He wouldn’t specify what those updates might be.

Needless to say, better notifications and new health features aren’t the only two new features in iOS 16 but rather those that Gurman was told about. iOS is Apple’s most important piece of software and you should expect a dozen major new features as well as a bunch of improvements and under-the-hood tweaks. Gurman also shared his other predictions for Apple’s upcoming developer event.

What else should we expect from WWDC?

For starters, he doesn’t think Apple will announce or even preview a heavily rumored mixed-reality headset at WWDC. Apple would likely miss that date, Gurman says, because the latest checks point to the head-worn accessory launching at the end of this year or next year. What Apple might do instead is preview the device’s rOS (Reality Operating System) software at WWDC. As we reported, Gurman was told by sources that the iOS 16 beta, which will drop at WWDC, is “chock-full of references to the headset and its interactions with the iPhone.

On the Apple Watch side, Gurman expects Apple to unveil new activity and health-tracking features for its Apple Watch with a preview of the watchOS 9 software. WWDC is a software-focused event, but Apple sometimes announces or even previews new hardware at the conference. To that extent, Gurman believes the company may unveil two new Macs at WWDC, including an overhauled MacBook Air.