Apple’s iOS 16 reimagines home screen; launches pay later

iOS 16 delivers major updates to the Lock Screen with new features that make it more personal, and helpful.             

iOS 16 delivers major updates to the Lock Screen with new features that make it more personal, and helpful.              | Photo Credit: Apple Inc.

Apple has kicked off its annual developer conference. And in this episode of WWDC, the iPhone maker has announced several changes to the phone’s home screen. The updates will not just declutter the phone screen, it will also mark a shift in the way people relate to their phone’s screen.

For starters, the stream of notifications that take up the entire screen will be gone. That bulk will be filed together and brought lower down. Unlike the current set up, the new OS will rearrange glanceable updates one behind the other like files placed in a drawer file cabinet.

Bringing all those notifications down to the lower half of the screen gives a lot more space to experiment with widgets and home screen image settings at the top. And no wonder Apple has made some interesting updates to its widget feature.

The Cupertino-based company has introduced a live feeds-based widget feature for developers called Live Activities. The feature can help users keep track of real time information from their lock screens, instead of getting a series of notifications from an app.

Live Activities would make it easier for users to follow sporting events or progress of an Uber ride without getting out of the home screen.

Customisable home screen

The iOS 16 will allow iPhone users to change colour tones, and time and date fonts on the home screen with range of options. Users can apply different photo filters to change the look of their home screen. They will also have several options to customise focus mode.

That means, iPhone users can have different home screen pictures and themes for different focus modes. This feature will let them filter out distracting content in specific focus modes - - say work or personal mode.

So, for example, a user browsing on Safari in a focus mode set for work will be able to view only tabs related to work. All other sessions will be filtered out. This feature is not limited to the web browser, but also messages, emails and events on calendar. App developers can also build focus mode into their apps using Apple’s API for this feature.

Apple said these new widgets can help developers leverage key information from their app and display it where people can view it at a glance. Notably, all these Lock Screen widgets will work on both iOS and watchOS.

Messaging app and Pay Later

The next big announcement from WWDC was related to Apple’s messaging app. With iOS 16, iPhone users can edit a sent message, unsend a text, and mark unread any chain messages to respond later.

Apple is also reimagining the wallet. The company has set its goal to replace people’s physical wallet. So, the company is making the app the user’s go to place for ID authentication. The latest iOS also makes sharing keys easier with Mail and Messages apps.

The iPhone maker is also expanding its payment feature with the pay later option. The feature will let users split cost of an Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments spread over six weeks. And the user will not be charged any additional fees or interest for the credit.

The option is available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted, including online and in apps. Merchants and developers do not have to make any changes to their apps. But the company did not explain how the pay later feature will work in the back-end, whether Apple pays full cost of the product upfront and user pays back Apple later.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2022 9:06:38 pm |