Six features iOS 16 desperately needs

Apple is set to unveil iOS 16 at WWDC early June. Here's my wishlist of features and changes I'd like to see Apple add to its flagship mobile platform.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

iOS 15 is halfway through its lifecycle, and on June 6th at WWDC, Apple will officially unveil the next incarnation of iOS -- iOS 16.

I'm a heavy iOS user, and I'm constantly coming across areas where I wish iOS could be better. So, what follows are new features I'd find useful in iOS 16.

While many of the features are probably already baked into the release, Apple does release new features throughout the lifecycle of an iOS release. So even if we don't see these at the unveiling or the release, there's a chance we could get them before iOS 17.

A small chance. But still a chance.

Interactive app icons

iOS icons are boring. Some of Apple's own apps have active icons -- such as Clock and Calendar -- but other apps are just flat pictures.

This seems like a real missed opportunity. I'd like to see icons have the ability to communicate information, a bit like mini versions of widgets.

And just in case an app decides to use this power to annoy, it would be good to have a way to switch to a static icon for every app.

Better 2FA app integration

If you use text message 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), then iOS will take that information from the text message and populate the required field with just a tap.

Also: Is it OK to use text messages for 2-factor authentication? [Ask ZDNet]

But text message 2FA is open to abuse, and app-based 2FA is more secure.

I'd like to see iOS get the ability to do this with app-based 2FA, either by adding support in iOS for third-party 2FA apps such as Google Authenticator or Authy to handle this or by having Apple add a built-in 2FA app.

Always-on lockscreen

I don't know about you, but having the ability to have an always-on OLED display showing the time and selected notifications would be useful.

This would have a negligible effect on battery life and offer better at-a-glance access to information.

Smarter Siri

I'd use Siri a lot more if I didn't continually hit the boundaries of what it can do.

This makes Siri frustrating to use, and it becomes a lot quicker and more convenient to ignore this feature, instead choosing to do things manually.

Split screen

The iPad Pro has a split screen feature that allows you to run two apps side-by-side, and I'm sure that the same could be done for the larger iPhones (especially the Pro Max with its 6.69-inch display.

I'm not saying it would be perfect, but having the ability to run two apps side-by-side would certainly boost my productivity when using certain apps.

Also: How to use an iPad Pro to power your home office

Smarter battery health screen

The iOS battery health screen is dumb, displaying what is essentially garbage. It's like to see this updated to show actual information (things like battery capacity, recharge cycles, and temperature).

This would be useful information that users could use to make educated decisions about battery health.

I'd also like a better battery meter that shows information like estimated runtime.

What's on your iOS 16 wishlist? Let me know in the comments down below.

Editorial standards