Apple releases first public betas of iOS 16, iPadOS 16

A man looks at the screen of his mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in Shanghai, China. File picture: Reuters

A man looks at the screen of his mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in Shanghai, China. File picture: Reuters

Published Jul 12, 2022


San Francisco – Tech giant Apple has seeded the first public beta versions of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 8, and tvOS 16 to members of its software testing programme.

The first public beta versions of the new software updates should be essentially identical to their revised third developer beta counterparts. Interested users can sign up for Apple’s Beta Software Programme and download the new betas from the associated web portal, reports AppleInsider.

New features in iOS 16 include a redesigned Lock Screen with support for widgets and additional customisation, the ability to edit or delete iMessages, and an Apple Pay Later instalment plan, among a slew of other features.

The iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 public betas have a build number of 20A5312j. The watchOS 9 public beta build number is 20R5316f. The tvOS 16 public beta build number is 20J5328g.

In iPadOS 16, Apple has moved its tablet a bit closer to its Mac with a feature called Stage Manager, which will allow for windowed multitasking. Apple’s watchOS 9 introduces new faces, heart rate zones, a Medications app, and other additional fitness and health features.

Comparatively, tvOS 16 is a smaller update but still includes new features like additional gaming controller support, new Smart Home features, and cross-device compatibility.

With iOS 16, the Lock Screen gets more personal, beautiful, and helpful. With a new multi-layered effect, the subjects of photos are artfully set in front of the time on the Lock Screen, creating a sense of depth. Users can also change the look of the date and time with expressive type styles and colour choices.

The Lock Screen features widgets that take inspiration from Apple Watch complications, making it easy to get information at a glance, such as upcoming calendar events, the weather, battery levels, alarms, time zones, Activity ring progress, and more.

Live Activity is a new feature that helps users stay on top of things that are happening in real-time, such as a sports game, workout, ride-share, or food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen.

Users can edit or recall recently sent messages, recover recently deleted messages, and mark conversations as unread so they can come back to them later.

In addition, SharePlay is coming to Messages, making it possible to enjoy synced content like movies or songs and shared playback controls all while chatting in Messages.