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The coolest iOS features we got in 2022

The coolest iOS features we got in 2022

Apple’s hardware releases get almost all the media attention, especially if it’s an iPhone. As impressive as the iPhone 14 Pro is, Apple didn’t overlook the software part of it.


At WWDC 2022, Apple introduced iOS 16, which brought many new features to the iPhone, and before that, even iOS 15 received some major quality-of-life improvements.

Here, we’ll look back at 2022 and discuss some of the best iOS features Apple gave us to enhance the iPhone experience.


Face ID with mask

Long press to get Edit and Undo Send option in iMessage on iPhone

COVID-19 forced us to use masks to protect ourselves, which caused a problem for users who owned iPhones with Face ID hardware. Fortunately, with iOS 15.4, Apple allowed us to use Face ID with a mask, so you can unlock your iPhone without having to remove the mask.

This feature is available if you have an iPhone 12 or later running iOS 15.4. However, it allows you to unlock your iPhone with Face ID, but does not authorize transactions or App Store downloads. In addition, Apple provided the option to use an alternative look to unlock the iPhone with glasses.

Lock screen customization

iOS 16 lock screen with different clock style with weather, battery and activity widgets.

Apple’s iOS 16 update was a game changer, and the lock screen customization has been the talk of the town since its announcement. After years of waiting, Apple finally allowed us to customize our lock screen.

You can customize the background and clock style of the lock screen and add widgets. And some wallpapers also let you take advantage of a new clockwise depth effect between the subject and the background.

You can customize the lock screen by going to Settings > Wallpapers if you’re on iOS 16. Although Apple didn’t implement it in the same way as Android, it’s an excellent addition to iPhones.

Live activities

Live Activities in iOS 16
Image credit: Apple

Live Activities is an iOS 16 feature that lets you keep track of real-time data on the lock screen. You can use Live Activities to quickly check sports scores or track your deliveries without having to open the app itself.

Apple didn’t make Live Activities available until iOS 16.1, but we’re glad we got it sooner rather than later. After its release, many third-party developers have integrated it into their apps. So feel free to check out some of the best apps that support Live Activities on iPhone.

Separate background and subject in images

A dog as a subject separated from the background in the Photos app on the iPhone

With iOS 16, Apple added several new features to the Photos app, but one of them is an improvement to the Visual Lookup feature we got with iOS 15 in 2021. It lets you remove the background of any photo on iPhone.

Just tap and hold on the subject of a photo to display two options: Copy and Share. Tapping the Copy option copies the topic to the clipboard, while tapping the Share option lets you send it via AirDrop, Messages, or other social media apps.

It works flawlessly to remove an image’s background without using third-party tools. This feature is available on iPhone XS, iPhone XR and later models with iOS 16.

Edit and undo sent messages

Edit and undo sent messages on iOS 16

There are times when you accidentally send something or make a typo. Apple finally addressed this issue and decided to fix it. With iOS 16, you can easily edit and unsend messages in iMessage.

You can press and hold the message and select Edit if you want to edit the message or select Undo Send the option to delete the message. Whichever option you choose, know that others can see if you’ve edited or deleted a message.

We also want to quickly point out that Apple only gives you 15 minutes to edit or unsend messages, after which the options will be unavailable.

Live text in videos

Live text in videos iOS 16
Image credit: Apple

First introduced in 2021 with iOS 15, Live Text lets you extract text from photos. Apple decided to improve this feature in iOS 16 by adding Live Text support in videos. As a result, you can now extract text from photos and videos, provided you view them in a compatible app such as Photos, Quick Look or Safari.

All you need to do is pause a video and copy the text visible on the video. Apart from copying, you can use Lookup, translate text or search the web using the extracted text. Apple also released it for Mac, making it one of the coolest macOS features of 2022.

Haptic feedback for keyboard

Haptic keyboard feedback option in iOS 16 settings

Apple introduced the Taptic Engine with the iPhone 7, which has improved over the years. While some third-party keyboard apps have supported it, Apple didn’t enable it on the default iOS keyboard.

Fortunately, in 2022, Apple used the Taptic Engine to provide haptic feedback to the standard iOS keyboard. Now, when you press a key, it gives you a little feedback. The best part is that it also works in silent mode.

However, you need to enable this feature on your iPhone first. To do this, go to Settings > Sound & Audio > Keyboard Feedback and choose Haptic option. Remember that the iPhone battery will drain faster with haptics turned on.

Lock hidden and recently deleted albums in photos

Hidden and recently deleted albums locked in iOS 16

Apple introduced Recently Deleted and Hidden albums along with iOS 14 in 2020, which gave users access to hidden or recently deleted photos and videos.

Although these are sensitive albums, Apple forgot to include the ability to lock them. Fortunately, as long as you have an iPhone running iOS 16, Apple lets you lock these folders with Face ID or Touch ID.

So every time you want to open the hidden or recently deleted album, you have to authenticate it with Face ID or Touch ID. You can enable this option by going to Settings > Face ID and activates Use Face ID option.

Personalized spatial sound

Personalized spatial sound setup in iPhone next to AirPods Pro 2nd Gen
Image credit: Apple

Apple introduced Spatial Audio with iOS 14, allowing you to listen to three-dimensional sound on supported apps and hardware. Over time, Spatial Audio evolved and brought head tracking, which follows your head with the sound.

However, Apple took it a step further with Personalized Spatial Audio in iOS 16. It scans your face and ears with the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to create a personalized head-tracking experience.

It might not seem like a significant change, but you’ll notice the difference when listening to Dolby Atmos audio with compatible headphones.

A fascinating year for iOS

Finally, 2022 was an exciting year for iOS. From adding minor quality-of-life features like using Face ID with a mask to completely revamping the lock screen, Apple played its cards right.

We can’t cover everything the iPhone maker introduced, but these were some of the coolest iOS features we got in 2022. Apart from the software improvements, Apple also released some exciting products in 2022.

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