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10 iOS 16 Hidden Features That Just Make Your iPhone Better

10 iOS 16 Hidden Features That Just Make Your iPhone Better

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.

Your iPhone is much more powerful than you think. Underneath all the great new features on iOS 16as widgets on the home screen, Live activities and Emergency SOS via satellitethere are impressive features and settings that Apple may not give as much gloss to, but which you should definitely know about.

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If you want to take a closer look at some of the iOS 16 hidden gems that will improve your mobile experience, like password-protected photo albums and easily accessible Wi-Fi passwordshere’s what you need to know.

Read more: Will the iPhone run iOS 16? Some will not be compatible

Want to learn more about Apple’s latest mobile operating system? We have received new iOS 16 features that you will love and a few that you might just hate (luckily there’s a fix).


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Table of Contents

Pair Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with your iPhone

Apple has long allowed you to connect third-party controllers, such as the PS5 Sony DualSense and Xbox Core Controller, to your iPhone and iPad to play mobile video games more comfortably as Apple Arcade library, Minecraft and Call of Duty. Now you can add another console controller to that list.

If you own one Nintendo Switchyou can now pair the Joy-Con controllers to your iPhone or iPad running iOS 16. To start, hold down the little black pairing button on the Joy-Con until the green lights start flashing back and forth. This means the device is in pairing mode. Next, open your iPhone and go to Settings > blue tooth and choose Joy-Con from the list. Repeat this step with the other Joy-Con.

Hidden and recently deleted albums are now password protected

The hidden album in the Photos app is clearly not hidden, as anyone can easily find it. It makes it impractical to hide private photos and videos. Although Apple has an option to make the hidden album “invisible”, anyone with access to your phone can make it visible again and see everything inside.

Thanks to iOS 16, you can now lock the Hidden album. You don’t actually need to do anything to turn this feature on. To check it out, launch the Photos app and go to Album tab at the bottom of the screen. If you scroll down, you will see a small lock next to it Hidden and Recently deleted album. To view the contents of these albums, you must use Face ID or your password.

The Hidden album in Photos

The hidden and recently deleted albums now require Face ID to access.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

View and share saved Wi-Fi passwords

Apple has allowed iOS users to share Wi-Fi passwords for a while now, but only by placing two Apple devices near each other. And if that feature didn’t work automatically, you couldn’t just dig out the password from your settings. Plus if you wanted to share a saved Wi-Fi password with someone else, like an Android user or someone on a computer, you’d have to remember the password. Until now.

read more: You can finally see your saved Wi-Fi passwords on an iPhone

In Settings, go to WiFi and press the small information icon to the right of the network you want the password for. To see the network password, tap Password and use Face ID or enter your password to see it. You can then press on Copy to copy the password to the clipboard and share it.

Wi-Fi network settings on iOS 16

You can see the password for any Wi-Fi network you’ve ever connected to, as long as you’re connected to it or close enough for it to appear under My Networks.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Find and remove duplicate photos and videos

Perhaps you’ve saved the same photo multiple times or downloaded a video more than once, resulting in duplicates littering your photo album. It might not be a problem if you have storage to spare, but you’re running out of space, you can now easily remove every single duplicate with iOS 16.

IN Pictures > Albumyou should see a new one Duplicates album under Utilities. Apple scans through all your photos and shows you any photos or videos you’ve saved more than once in that album. From there you can either delete any duplicates, or just tap Mergewhich will keep the highest quality image (and relevant data) and then move the others to the trash.

Duplicates the folder in Pictures

Merging will keep the highest quality image and delete the rest.

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While you’ll probably want to go through each set of duplicates to make sure they’re actually exact copies and not similar images, you can also tap Select > choose all > Merge to remove every photo and video that Apple thinks is a duplicate, all at once.

Hang up a phone or FaceTime call with Siri

Siri does many things. You can use the virtual assistant to send a text message, get directions or play music – but one thing she’s never been able to do is hang up on a phone call. Weird isn’t it? Now there is finally a possibility with iOS 16.

In Settings, go to Siri and search and mourn first Listen for “Hey Siri” is switched on. If it is, you should see a new option under — Call Hang up. Go into that option and turn on Call Hang up. When you’re on a phone call or FaceTime video chat, just say “Hey Siri” and ask her to hang up on the current call.

Hang up with Siri

For this to work, Listen for “Hey Siri” must be turned on first.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Copy and paste photo and video edits

If you use the editing tool in the Photos app, you’ll be happy to learn that you can now copy and paste edits, including saturation, contrast, and brightness, between photos. If you edit one photo or video and are happy with how it looks, you can paste the same exact edits to any other photo or video in your Camera Roll.

To do this, launch the Photos app and open a photo that has been edited in full screen. Then tap on the three-dot menu at the top right and tap Copy edits. This option only appears if the photo has been edited in Photos, not a third-party photo editor. Finally, go to the photo you want to copy these edits to, tap the three-dot menu, and then tap Paste edits. After a second or so, you should see the image edits appear.

Copy and paste photo edits on iOS 16

This feature works between photos and videos.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Provide haptic feedback to the keyboard

The iPhone has long had haptic feedback. It’s what you feel under your fingertips every time you try to delete an app from the home screen or enter the wrong password on the lock screen. Oddly enough, haptic feedback has never been available for the standard iOS keyboard – until now.

If you want to activate a small vibration for each key you type, go to Settings > Sounds and haptics > Keyboard feedback and turn on Haptic. The sound option you see is the loud and annoying clicking sound you can hear when you’re typing something and your phone isn’t in silent mode, so you can keep it disabled.

Keyboard haptic feedback setting on iOS 16

Every time you type, you will feel a slight vibration with each key you press.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Pin your favorite tabs in Safari

Safari limits your open tabs to 500, and if you approach that limit, it can be quite difficult to find exactly the tab you’re looking for. You can scroll endlessly, but now there’s an easier way to find exactly the tab you’re looking for.

In Safari, if you press down on an open tab, you now have the option to tap Pin tab. This will move that tab to the top of Safari, where it will exist as a small tab preview, permanently pinned there, which you can then tap to view. Pressing down and releasing a tab moves it to first in the open tabs grid.

Pin a tab in Safari

All of your pinned tabs appear at the top of Safari.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Use Face ID while lying down

If you’ve ever tried to unlock your iPhone while it’s vertical, like when you’re lying on your side, you might have noticed that it doesn’t work. You must place your iPhone in a portrait or upright position for Face ID to work. With iOS 16, you can finally use Face ID to unlock your iPhone when it’s in landscape orientation. But for this to work, you need an iPhone 13 or 14 running iOS 16.

Remove multiple pre-installed Apple apps

Since iOS 10, you’ve been able to remove some pre-installed iOS apps like Stocks, Maps, and Calculator—but not all. With the release of iOS 16, you can add three more apps to this list of apps you can remove: Find My, Clock, and Health. However, deleting these apps may affect and break support with other apps and connected devices, such as the Apple Watch.

For more on iOS 16 and iPhone, check out iOS 16 Cheat Sheet.

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