Both the iPhone and iPad are getting a slew of new features via software updates today.
Apple is releasing iOS 16.1 – adding features Arrived with the iPhone 14 series last month – and iPadOS 16, which is ahead of New Tablets Launching This Week.
Starting with the iPhone, here are the main new features to look forward to when you download the update.
Shared photo library
This feature is just right for any family going on a mid-term vacation, allowing you to create a shared photo library with up to five other people.
It builds on the existing concept of shared albums, with more options for everyone to add, edit, favorite, add captions and delete pictures.
You can also add past photos to the new library instead of starting from scratch, and a toggle in the camera app lets you send new snaps directly to it if you want.
clean energy charging
It’s a climate-conscious person – a switch that will selectively charge your phone based on the availability of low-carbon-emission electricity.
Apple says the idea is that charging times will be optimized based on how long the grid is using clean energy, although initially it will only work if you’re in the US.
One thing to note is that this new feature is turned on by default when you get an update – you may want to turn it off in settings if you don’t want to compromise.
fitness without a watch
Apple offers a £9.99-a-month subscription service called Fitness+, which offers exercise and meditation programmes.
Until now, you needed an Apple Watch to actually use it—but now you just need an iPhone.
While you won’t get the same real-time feedback, like calories burned and heart rate, without the wearable, stretching and meditating with video on your phone will work just as well.
Live Events Expand
When iOS 16 rolled out last month, you’ll notice a huge change to the iPhone lock screen, including live activity.
They are widgets designed to provide real-time updates of certain apps on the lock screen, rather than sending a series of individual notifications.
Today’s update makes it easier for non-Apple apps to access those apps, so expect to see more options, from live sports scores to widgets that show distances from Uber drivers.
As for the iPad, new features like shared photo libraries are the same, but with some customization.
This brings enhanced multitasking capabilities to the iPad, making it a more laptop-like experience. Apps can be resized, overlapped, and moved just like on a traditional desktop.
If you have one of the newer Air or Pro models, you can connect your iPad to an external monitor, the same way you can with a laptop.
It may seem unbelievable, but the iPad has never had a built-in weather app like the iPhone.
That finally changed today, bringing the same design as the phone.
If you have an Apple Pencil, the Notes app will now try to improve your handwriting.
If you turn this option on, the app will make written text appear straighter and cleaner.
and a ton of the latest iPhone features
The iPadOS 16 update is largely based on iOS 16, so it comes with many new features that iPhone users have enjoyed since last month.
This includes the ability to edit and delete text in the Messages app, an improved focus mode for filtering notifications from certain apps, and a redesigned Podcasts app.