The new iOS 16, which Apple unveiled today at the start of WWDC, its annual developer event, will allow you to unsend iMessage messages or edit them after they’ve been sent. The news was announced by Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, who said these are some of Apple’s most requested features.
With editing, errors can be corrected, for example, even after the message has been sent. However, if the sender finally decides that they want to “retract” the message, they can cancel the send by pressing “Undo Send”. All examples shown by Federighi refer to iMessage, messages sent between Apple devices via a proprietary system.
There is also a third new feature, which is to mark any set of messages as unread.
Another change in the next iteration of the OS is the ability to more completely customize the lock screen and add widgets to it.
“This is the biggest lock screen redesign ever, and it reimagines how it should look,” Federighi said. Users will be able to choose different fonts, colors and formats for time and date, depth of photos, filters and styles. Each personalized lock screen can have different widgets, such as temperature, activity ring, calendar, and more – similar to what you can do with the Apple Watch screen.
“There’s a lot of room for customization, with millions of combinations,” Federighi said. The photo gallery can recommend the best photos, and there’s a new gallery of background images, including one from astronomy.
What’s new is also how users receive notifications: they type at the bottom of the screen, making it easier to choose what appears and when.
The Live Activity feature lets you track what’s going on in a live event, display information on your lock screen about your current game result, see where your Uber driver is, or how your workout is progressing.
The news will all be tied to Focus, a feature introduced last year. Users will be able to customize various modes, such as by choosing different pictures for Do Not Disturb Mode, Personal Time Mode, Work Mode, and Sleep Mode.
Work mode will only show work-related widgets on the lock screen, which will also extend to apps with filters: for example, hiding non-work Safari tabs. The idea, Federighi said, would be to “draw boundaries and find balance in every moment of life.”
With widespread deployment by North American retailers, Apple Pay, the iPhone payment system, will introduce a related novelty: the possibility to split payments into four interest-free payments. This Apple Pay Later is a branded version of “buy now, pay later,” an exponentially growing trend where companies like Affirm and PayPal allow you to split payments without charging any interest.
These payments are usually made within a short period of time (e.g. every two weeks) and are very popular. According to Corey Fugman, director of Apple Pay and Wallet, the brand’s digital wallet will also integrate package delivery information and allow merchants to accept payments without the need for additional hardware. That is, the iPhone becomes a mobile payment terminal, accepting contactless payments with other iPhones.
The wallet is also partnering with several states so that digital forms of ID can be accepted. Instead of showing a driver’s license or other documents, users will be able to show the version stored in the wallet. This version can also be used to confirm identity within the app without them having access to all the information – for example, just to confirm that the person is of legal age without revealing the exact date of birth.
During this WWDC kickoff session, Apple also talked about the Maps app, the Home app for controlling smart home features, iCloud shared photo library, CarPlay and watchOS 9 improvements.
On the Macintosh side, Apple released its own next-generation microprocessor, the M2, and introduced the first computer to feature it, the new MacBook Air, starting at $1,199.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro will also feature the M2, starting at $1,299. Both will be available in July.
As for the next Macintosh operating system, it will be called MacOS Ventura.