Skip to main content

5 huge iOS 16 features you didn’t know about

iOS 16
(Image credit: Future)

iOS 16 is here and we’re all tucking into all the big new features like the overhauled lock screen, a revamped messages app, and the holy grail that is a viewable battery percentage at all times.

While everyone fawns over the details that Apple has marketed heavily, it’s always the secret features that are most impressive, and we’ve got five that you (probably) didn’t know about. 

Want iOS 16 at its best? You'll need to look into buying an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro. However, every iPhone dating all the way back to the iPhone 8 will receive this update. How's that for long-term software support!

1. The keyboard finally has haptic support

(Image credit: Apple)

I’ve always loved the on-screen keyboard in iOS (bar the frustrating auto-correct moments), but one thing I’ve always missed is a subtle haptic tap with each button press — something that Android users have enjoyed for so many years now.

But now, tucked away in the "Sound & Haptics" menu of the settings app, you can toggle this small vibrate on, which activates Apple’s Taptic Engine to give you some physical feedback to every letter typed.

2. Better Bokeh on iPhone 13

Photography and videography on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro is about to get noticeably better. Of course, these cameras are already pretty outstanding, but with some small software tweaks, the blurring effect is getting an impressive improvement.

(Image credit: Future)

The difference is subtle but it adds a new level of DSLR-esque drama and storytelling to each shot. In portrait mode shots, blurring is no longer limited to the background but will be applied to objects in front of the subject that is closer to the lens.

In video, specifically in Cinematic mode, the accuracy of the already surprisingly good depth-of-field effect is far better around the likes of hair strands and glasses. All of this is an extension of what iOS 16 is doing by cutting out subjects on lock screen photos.

3. Siri knows punctuation, so you don’t have to

Siri dictation has been a hugely helpful feature for quickly jotting down notes, messages and emails by simply saying them out loud. One thing that did break the flow of this, however, was having to say each punctuation mark to establish proper sentence structure.

Siri

(Image credit: Apple)

In iOS 16, Siri is now smart enough to recognize when punctuation is needed without you needing to explicitly state it. 

4. See Wi-Fi passwords

Sharing a Wi-Fi password with your friend is a frustrating process of finding the box, carefully turning it over without pulling out any wires, and taking a photo of it. Of course, there is Apple Wi-Fi sharing, which is supposed to do this seamlessly, but it doesn’t work with Android devices and has been pretty hit-and-miss in my own experience.

Now, however, you just need to go into your Wi-Fi settings, tap the info button, and you’ll get a tonne of info about the network you are on, including (after authenticating with Face ID or Touch ID) the password in plain text, which you can copy and paste into a message to your mate!

5. Control your Apple Watch using an iPhone

This is one of those features that is both great for accessibility, but also super helpful for tweaking settings on the watch, as Apple has integrated a sneaky new feature into iOS 16 called Apple Watch Mirroring.

(Image credit: Apple)

Simply put, to quote a British DIY brand Ronseal, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Watch Mirroring lets you control your Apple Watch with all kinds of interactions through your phone — be it through taps and swipes, voice commands, or even head tracking.

Jason England
Staff Writer

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.