With iOS 16, Apple Could Add a New Polish to the iPhone

This story is a part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s full protection from and about Apple’s annual builders convention.

What’s occurring

Apple is anticipated to announce new software program for its iPhones, iPads and Mac computer systems at its annual WWDC builders occasion beginning Monday.

Why it issues

The brand new software program presents an opportunity for Apple to improve its gadgets with out counting on manufacturing, which has been hit onerous by the pandemic.

What it means for you

Software program updates can prolong the lifetime of a tool, giving folks flexibility throughout financial uncertainty.

An important a part of Apple’s upcoming bulletins on Monday could contain an iPhone already in your pocket.

On the firm’s annual Worldwide Builders Convention, or WWDC because it’s referred to as, Apple is anticipated to announce an array of software program upgrades for its iPhones, iPads and Mac computer systems, along with, doubtlessly, a new performance-focused Mac Professional laptop and recent TV-related options. 

For iPhones, the brand new software program is anticipated to incorporate small “widget” apps on the lock display, based on studies from Bloomberg and others. Apple can also be anticipated so as to add options to enhance multitasking and working apps aspect by aspect, significantly on the iPad. These adjustments for Apple’s pill can be welcomed by CNET reviewer Scott Stein, who’s criticized the machine for its lack of PC-like options.

“The {hardware} appears nearly excellent,” Stein wrote in his evaluate of final 12 months’s iPad Professional, which is now powered by the identical M1 chips as the corporate’s MacBook laptops. “If Apple begins updating its iPadOS so as to add new options, extra multitasking and monitor assist, extra Professional apps, and possibly even some kind of Mac compatibility mode utilizing the M1 chip it now shares with all these new Macs, this could possibly be an incredible machine.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined to remark.

Although Apple could showcase some {hardware} at this 12 months’s WWDC, the occasion is primarily centered on the corporate’s plans for the long run. It is a chance for Apple to tease concepts that can energy key new options in its gadgets. Previously, the corporate has used WWDC to announce revamped seems for its iPhone software program, new coding languages for its gadgets and new initiatives like its transition to home-made chips to energy its Mac computer systems.

Apple has additionally expanded its subscription choices over the previous couple of years. These now embody the $5 per 30 days Apple TV Plus for motion pictures and TV exhibits, the $5 per 30 days Apple Arcade gaming service and the $10 per 30 days Apple Health Plus. Individuals have to date responded properly to them, Apple has stated, pointing to the 825 million accounts with paid subscriptions on its platform on the finish of March. That is a rise of 17% from the prior 12 months.

“The pandemic has underlined much more how a lot we depend on these items,” stated Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Artistic Methods.

Apple’s subsequent large iPhone software program replace is anticipated to be referred to as iOS 16.


Extra, extra, extra

There’s an opportunity Apple will announce new computer systems at WWDC this 12 months, significantly its already teased subsequent Mac Professional efficiency desktop. However even when the corporate would not produce a wow-worthy second, Milanesi stated, she’ll be looking ahead to the seemingly small software program adjustments Apple will undoubtedly announce that, over time, add as much as large shifts in how its gadgets work.

For instance, the corporate started experimenting with widgets, or small apps, in 2014 with iOS 8. On the time, these widgets had been restricted, and solely seen within the Notification Middle. After six years of refinement, Apple added widgets to the house display with iOS 14.

These software program upgrades, which Apple makes freely out there for iPhones and iPads produced inside the final 5 years or so, are uncommon. Most different firms do not preserve including options years after their gadgets are offered. 

The brand new software program additionally presents a chance for Apple to current one thing recent that does not depend on manufacturing, which has struggled to maintain up with demand, and that is not hit onerous by the prices of inflation.

“With software program, Apple has a novel capability to refresh merchandise in a manner that others do not,” Milanesi stated.


Apple has been steadily growing the gadgets its merchandise can work together with.

James Martin/CNET

Massive Apple

One other set of adjustments Apple has more and more supplied for its smartphones, tablets and computer systems is how properly they work with different gadgets that the corporate would not make. Through the years, Apple has, for instance, added software program expertise that enables its Apple Watch to speak with exercise tools. The corporate has additionally expanded its near-field communication expertise, primarily constructed for Apple Pay wi-fi bank card funds, to serve as keys to get right into a automotive, and shortly driver’s licenses to make use of at an airport too.

“All of this interprets not simply to Apple taking part in higher with their gadgets, but in addition with different gadgets,” stated Bob O’Donnell, an analyst at Technalysis analysis.

This 12 months particularly, O’Donnell will likely be looking ahead to any point out of industrywide initiatives that Apple will again. Previously couple of years, Apple notably partnered with Quick Id On-line, or FIDO, to enhance login safety throughout the online. It additionally joined Matter, a consortium of machine makers together with Amazon, Samsung and Google, who’re hoping to make it simpler for sensible house gadgets to speak to at least one one other.

“That is the place you progress past the essential, ‘Here is a brand new model of iOS with X, Y and Z options,'” O’Donnell added.

There’s nonetheless at all times an opportunity Apple might pull a shock announcement of its long-rumored AR glasses, anticipated to possibly go on sale subsequent 12 months. However analysts say that at a time when manufacturing is struggling and the broader financial system is shaky, it is a good alternative for Apple to give attention to the software program that helps its gadgets stand out.

“With an unparalleled put in base of 1 billion iPhones worldwide and 1.8 billion iOS gadgets for Cupertino this continues to stay Apple’s distinctive benefit over different expertise stalwarts,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a current message to buyers, referring to Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, California.

Ives added that although 1 / 4 of these telephones have not been upgraded in additional than three years, demand for Apple’s gadgets continues to be sturdy, partly due to these common software program upgrades. “The stickiness of the iPhone improve cycle is being underestimated,” he stated.

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