Our iOS 16 wish list: All the iPhone features we want to see at WWDC

What’s happening

Apple is expected to announce iOS 16 on Monday. We’re hoping to see an always-on screen, better widgets, and an iPad-like split-screen feature, among other updates.

Why it matters

Software updates introduce new features that keep iPhone fresh and relevant, even for older models.

What’s next

Apple usually unveils new iPhone updates during its WWDC conference, which starts on June 6th, ahead of their fall release.

Apple’s 2022 World developer conference starts Monday, and we expect to get our first look at it iOS 16 – likely the name of Apple’s next major iPhone software update. There’s also a good chance we’ll see software update previews for other major products from Apple: iPadOS 16, Watch OS 9 and macOS. but iOS 16 will likely be the star of the show as it gives a glimpse of the new features coming to iPhones in the fall.

The last three versions of iOS have been similar. iOS 15 feels like a riff on iOS 14, which felt like a sequel to iOS 13. All visual changes can be toggled on and off instead of being forced onto your iPhone. For example, if you don’t like home screen widgets or focus mode, you don’t have to use them. Even if you dismiss the more noticeable changes, running iOS 15 brings with it a slew of background improvements to keep your iPhone running smoothly and securely. And that will likely be the case with iOS 16.

iOS 15 has been out for seven months and the operating system has been relatively stable with very few bugs. Some features, like Universal Control and SharePlay, took a while to roll out, but everything seems to be up and running now. iOS 16 will likely pick up where iOS 15 left off, adding new features to the existing design.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things Apple needs to add or improve. My colleagues and I have compiled a list of improvements, additions, and fixes we want Apple to make to iOS 16. Some are big, like adding support for the Apple Pencil, and others are small but significant, like bringing more functionality to the home screen widgets. We’ll have to wait and see what Apple actually does.

iOS 16: Photos app needs to copy and paste to edit

We use iPhones all the time to take photos and videos, and editing photos is just as satisfying as taking them. Most people edit the iPhone’s Photos app: the interface is straightforward and there’s a wealth of tools to get the exact look you want.

But the macOS version of the Photos app has a useful feature that would improve editing on iPhone: the ability to copy and paste edits between photos. This is especially helpful when taking multiple photos in the same location, such as at a hotel. B. in a restaurant or at a party. Because all photos were taken under the same lighting and conditions, you can edit just one photo and then copy and paste those adjustments to the others.

The Photos app on Mac lets you copy and paste photo edits from one photo to another.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Instead, iOS 15 requires you to make these adjustments individually for each photo on the iPhone. It is boring.

In iOS 16, it would be great to see a similar copy and paste feature on iPhone. We’d give iOS 16 bonus points if the changes you made in the Photos app on the Mac could be applied to the Photos app on the iPhone, and vice versa. But step by step.

An Apple Watch Series 6 with an always-on display

The Apple Watch has an always-on display that can show important information and extend battery life.


An always-on lock screen for iPhone

Imagine being able to look at your iPhone with the screen off to see the time, notifications, and missed calls. Such a feature has existed on Android phones for years, where only important information is illuminated and the screen is otherwise black. It’s called an always-on display. Apple offers an always-on display option for the Apple Watch Series 5 and later, but it’s not yet present on the iPhone.

But Apple could soon change that with iOS 16, which Bloomberg says will bring future support for always-on display functionality. The update would allow the iPhone to slow down the lock screen refresh rate to display information, but Bloomberg’s report indicates that this feature could be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max.

Bring iPad split screen view to iPhone Pro Max models

The iPhone Pro Max has been part of Apple’s lineup since 2019 11 Promax has a 6.5 inch screen while the 12 pro max and 13 Promax Both have a 6.7 inch display that makes watching videos, playing games and reading articles an absolute pleasure.

But those big screens feel wasted when it comes to software. Some iOS apps, like Mail and Messages, can use this extra screen real estate in landscape mode to display a column of message previews next to the currently open message. But other than that, there’s not much else in iOS that takes advantage of those larger screens.

An iPad with Safari on the left side of the screen and Maps on the right

Split View debuted on the iPad with iOS 9.


Apple could bring some features from iPadOS to iOS 16 only for Pro Max models, most notably the split-screen multitasking view. It would be wonderful to open Safari on one side of the phone screen and then launch Messages on the other.

Continue reading: iOS 15 could make the iPhone 12 Pro even more professional

Apple Pencil support for iPhone Pro Max models

The big screen of the iPhone Pro Max models begs for Apple Pencil support. Samsung has proven with its Galaxy Note and S Ultra devices that there is a sizeable audience for a phone pen. Hell, there are even $300 phones like the Moto G Stylus that support one.

A person drawing on an iPad with an Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil is compatible with the iPad Mini, Air and Pro. We want Apple to add support for iPhone Pro Max models.


That Second generation Apple Pencil is an excellent stylus that currently works with iPad Mini, Air and Pro models. But imagine if you could use it to sketch and take notes on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and its 120Hz screen. Even better, what about an Apple Pencil Mini (think the size of a golf pencil) that attaches to the side of the iPhone Pro Max? Tech journalists can dream, right?

iPhone widgets need more functionality

When home screen widgets came to iPhone with iOS 14, many of us rejoiced. Apple’s widget implementation is clean, and even Samsung has started imitating it. Widgets fit anywhere on your home screen in a grid fashion. But there’s a catch: Home screen widgets are passive. Aside from at-a-glance information or widget smart stacks, their greatest functionality is the ability to open the relevant app.

With iOS 14, Apple brought widgets to the home screen. iOS 16 could add more functionality.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

For example, the Apple Music widget shows the song that is currently playing. Tapping the widget takes me to the Apple Music app. But what if you could tap the widget to skip to the next song? What if you could swipe the weather widget to change location? Let’s hope iOS 16 will bring more functionality to home screen widgets.

We won’t know for sure until Apple announces iOS 16. But Bloomberg says the company may introduce new lock screen options that have widget-like functionality in iOS 16. It might not be exactly what we’re asking for, but Bloomberg’s report suggests Apple may have some sort of improvement planned for widgets in iOS 16.

Let’s place apps wherever we want

In recent years, Apple has improved the home screen with new elements such as widgets and the app library. You can have multiple pages of apps and even include the same app on different home screen pages (which is important if you’re a power user in focus mode).

The iPhone App Library

The App Library is one of a few ways Apple has improved the iPhone’s home screen. Hopefully in iOS 16 we can move apps anywhere on the screen we want.

Patrick Holland/CNET

But when it comes to rearranging the app icons on your app page, nothing has changed. Apps stick to the invisible software magnet at the top left of the screen. So if you only want to keep a few apps on a given home screen page, those apps will fill the screen from the top-left corner. You can’t place them at the bottom of the screen without first filling the top of the page.

Apple, please give us the freedom to move apps wherever we want. This would be a great boon for making it easier to reach apps with one hand without using reachability. If you have a home screen wallpaper that you like, you can arrange apps so you can see your photo better.

More default app choices

You can currently set the default browser app and mail app on an iPhone to something other than Safari and Mail. In iOS 16, Apple could open system defaults to more apps, especially maps and messaging apps. If you’re a regular Google Maps user, it would be handy to set it as the main map app instead of Apple Maps.

What would you like to see in iOS 16?

These were a few things we’d like to see in the next version of iOS. But what about you? Are there any features or bugs you want Apple to add and fix? If you want to investigate some of the leaks for iPhone’s next software, Read our roundup of iOS 16 rumors.

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