iPhones and iPads are getting big updates today – including a long-awaited addition | Scientific and technical news


The iPhone and iPad are both getting a bunch of new features thanks to a software update today.

Apple releases iOS 16.1 – adding to the functionality who arrived with the iPhone 14 line last month – and iPadOS 16, which precedes the launch of new tablets this week.

Starting with the iPhone, here are the main new things you can expect when you download the update.

Shared photo libraries

This feature comes just in time for all families going on a mid-term getaway, allowing you to create a shared photo library with up to five other people.

It builds on the idea of ​​existing shared photo albums, with more options for everyone to add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete images.

You can also add past photos to the new library, rather than having to start from scratch, and a toggle in the camera app will let you send a new snap directly if you want.

Clean energy charging

Here’s one for the climate-conscious – a toggle that will selectively charge your phone based on the availability of low-carbon electricity.

Apple says the idea is that charging time will be optimized based on when the grid is using cleaner power sources, although initially this will only work if you’re in the US.

One thing to note is that this new feature will be enabled by default when you receive the update – if you don’t want to compromise, you might want to disable it in the settings.

Fitness without the watch

Apple offers a £9.99-a-month subscription service called Fitness+, which offers workout and meditation routines.

Until now, you needed an Apple Watch to use it – but now all you need is an iPhone.

While you won’t get the same real-time feedback without the wearable, like calories burned and heart rate, stretching and meditation videos on your phone will work just fine.

Expanded live activities

You’ll have noticed some big changes to your iPhone lock screen when iOS 16 launched last month, with Live Activities among the additions.

These are widgets that aim to provide real-time updates from certain apps on the lock screen, rather than sending a series of separate notifications.

Today’s update makes them more accessible to non-Apple apps, so expect to see more options, from live sports scores to a widget that shows your Uber driver’s proximity.

When it comes to the iPad, the new features like shared photo libraries are the same, but there are some bespoke things.

The new iPad Pro will be Apple's most expensive tablet.  Picture: Apple
The updates arrive the same week as the new standard and Pro iPad models. Pictures: Apple


This brings improved multitasking to the iPad, making it a more laptop-like experience. Applications can be resized, layered and moved around, much like on a traditional desktop.

You can connect your iPad to an external display if you have one of the newer Air or Pro models, again, the same way you can with a laptop.

Weather app

It sounds incredible, but all this time the iPad never had a built-in weather app like the iPhone.

That finally changes today, bringing much the same design as on the phone.

Improved writing

If you have an Apple Pencil, the Notes app will now try to improve your handwriting.

If you enable the option, the app will make the written words straighter and sharper.

And a series of the latest iPhone additions

The iPadOS 16 update is mostly based on iOS 16, so it comes with lots of new features that iPhone users have been enjoying since last month.

This includes the ability to edit and delete texts in the messaging app, improved focus modes to filter notifications from certain apps, and a redesigned podcast app.


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