iOS 16 features: New interaction modes and Apple apps but same old design

Among the expected iOS 16 features should be new iPhone interaction modes and some “fresh new apps,” but don’t expect a major face-lift this year.

This iOS 16 concept depicts multiple iPhone device screenshots in portrait and landscape orientation showcasing imagined features
Image credit: apple lab / Behance
  • Aside from other changes, iOS 16 will reportedly feature new ways of interacting with your iPhone and some “fresh Apple apps,” as per Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
  • Gurman wouldn’t elaborate on the improvements but did say that major visual changes are not part of the upcoming iOS 16 release.
  • The iOS design hasn’t changed significantly for nearly a decade.

Don’t expect a face-lift from iOS 16

Gurman didn’t say anything about fresh new apps from Apple. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for an official Weather for iPad app. Currently, you get a Weather widget on iPadOS that looks gorgeous. But as soon as you touch the widget, it launches an awful webpage filled with spammy ads. Writing in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, the Bloomberg reporter added that watchOS 9 will be a significant update.

While I don’t expect Apple to present a full redesign of the software, there should be major changes across the system, new ways of interacting and some fresh Apple apps. The news about watchOS 9 will be significant as well.

That’s all he wrote about iOS 16 and watchOS 9.

What about iOS 16 widgets?

Gurman wouldn’t predict whether there are any improvements in store for iOS’ widgets system. with iOS 14, Apple has launched overhauled home screen widgets that Android has had from the start. Though visually impressive, the widgets in iOS have limited usability because they are not interactive. Currently, widgets are shortcuts that launch specific sections in their underlying app. This is why you cannot, say, mark all messages as read or delete a message using Apple’s Mail widget. Gurman wouldn’t know whether interactive widgets might be part of iOS 16.

What other new features will iOS 16 bring?

Well, Gurman earlier said that Apple also has new Focus modes in store, as well as improvements in notifications and new health-tracking features. But despite a plethora of new features and enhancements that are no doubt coming via iOS 16, some people could be disappointed that they’ll have to stick with the same old tiring design for another year or so. Visually, iOS hasn’t changed significantly since the last major revamp nearly a decade ago. We’ll know how iOS 16 looks and feels when Apple previews the operating system at WWDC in June. iOS 16 and other software updates will release publicly sometime in the fall.