iOS 16, Apple’s latest iPhone operating system, is a valuable update, adding a host of useful and enjoyable features, filling security gaps, and tweaking the overall look and feel. But it’s not quite a perfect experience out of the box, as it were.
In a few cases, Apple has added new elements that will annoy rather than please, and in this article we’ll show you how to disable them. Meanwhile, some very welcome new options are disabled by default, and we’ll show you how to enable them as well. With these 10 simple adjustments to the settings, you will find that iOS 16 becomes a very richer experience.
And when you’re done, check out this list of five incredible iOS 16 features that will change the way you use your iPhone.
1. Get back the battery percentage indicator
With the launch of iOS 16, Apple has brought back the battery percentage indicator that was removed from the iPhone’s status bar in 2017. But you have to specifically choose to turn it on.
Go to Settings > Battery and tap the switch labeled Battery percentage. A number will be placed over the battery icon at the top of the screen if your iPhone supports the feature. At the time of writing, the iPhones XR, 11, 12 mini, and 13 mini don’t, though there’s reason to hope they’ll get support in iOS 16.1.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
2. Disable the search button
If you’re looking at an iOS 15 home screen, you’ll see a small icon between the dock and the other app icons. It shows a row of dots indicating how many home screens you have and which ones you are on. After you update to iOS 16, this icon will be replaced by a search icon, which duplicates the Spotlight feature that you can access by swiping down on the home screen.
If you find this unnecessary and/or disturbing, you can go back to the dots by going to Settings > . to go Home screen and tap the switch labeled Show on home screen to research.
3. Enable the haptic keyboard setting
Most of us turn off the iPhone’s keyboard sounds, which can be annoying when we have to type long messages in public. But if you do, you’ll miss out on the useful haptic feedback that aids in typing accuracy.
In iOS 16, Apple finally gives an option to enable haptic keyboard feedback without keyboard clicks, which is both discreet and convenient, thus combining the best of both worlds. Go to Settings > Sounds and haptics > keyboard feedback and turn the haptic switch green.
4. Give yourself more time to unsend emails
As of iOS 16, Mail allows you to unsend emails within a certain time limit. But the strange thing is that the time limit is up to you to some extent.
The feature defaults to 10 seconds, but if you go to Settings > . go Mail > Undo send delay you can change this to 20 or 30 seconds. Still not much time to panic and change your mind, but every extra second helps in an email emergency.
5. Stop Call Ending Accidentally
Many iPhone owners have experienced the inconvenience of accidentally pressing the side button during a phone call. By default, this action ends the conversation, but in iOS 16, Apple is adding a new option that lets you change that.
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch and tap the switch labeled Avoid blocking to end call. Try to remember that you changed this or you could be caught saying rude things about the person you thought you just hung up on.
6. Hands-free hang up
While we’re on the subject of hanging up calls, there’s a new feature in iOS 16 that lets you do this with Siri, which makes life a lot easier when you’re talking hands-free over the speaker. You just have to say “Hey Siri, hang up”. To activate this option, go to Settings > Siri and Search > Hang up calland tap the switch so it turns green.
7. Send messages without confirmation
Here’s another Siri time saver: When you message using Siri, you can now skip the confirmation step. Go to Settings > Siri and Search > Send messages automaticallytap the switch so it turns green and Siri knows not to ask you for confirmation.
8. Share (part of) your focus states
iPhone users had access to multiple Focus modes in iOS 15, but iOS 16 greatly extends this feature. One change is more control over the sharing of status information: it is now much easier to monitor and control the specific modes that are and are not shared.
Go to Settings > Focusand make sure Share across devices is enabled. You can now click . to tap Focus statusand pick and choose which modes, if any, are synced.
We found that all modes were set to share by default, but you might not want everyone to know you’re sleeping or working out, for example. (Driving is a good way to share, in our opinion, as it not only explains why you’re not answering, but also hints at those who expect you to be on the road.)
Finally, keep in mind that this sharing permission is still only on a per-app basis. Go to Settings > Messagesfor example, and you can switch Give messages access to Focus on and off.
9. Refine your notifications
Apple has changed the way notifications are displayed on the lock screen, with those from the same app organized together under what Apple calls the stack view. This view is enabled by default, but those who prefer the old method can go back if they wish.
Go to Settings > notifications and select List at the top to return to iOS 15 notification style. Or choose Count if you’d rather not see the notifications at all, and just get an unobtrusive number at the bottom of the screen.
10. Prevent your personal photos from popping up unexpectedly
iOS 16 adds an adorable AI-based feature that finds what it thinks are important photos and videos and displays them in various places (widgets, search, the For You tab in Photos, and so on) as a reminder of happy memories. This is a charming feature, but it’s not for everyone, especially if you have embarrassing photos on your phone or if you just don’t want people on the train looking at your vacation photos.
You can disable this feature by going to Settings > . to go photos and then tap the Show featured content switch so that it becomes light gray.