iOS 16 Review – What I Have Found from Using the Public Beta

I have been using the iOS 16 Public Beta since it was launched, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on using this so I wanted to share with you whether it hits the spot for me or not.  So let’s jump into some of the main features that have come as part of this beta. 

Lock Screen: 

So this for me has been the biggest change with iOS 16 and one that I was really wanting to try out. The Lock Screen in the previous iOS version has been pretty boring with the only thing that you could really do was adding a different picture and get the time on it. But with iOS 16 we now have the option to customise which is great, so what can you do?


You can now add widgets to the Lock Screen. You can add a text based widget that sits above the clock for me I have just chosen to have the date showing but you could choose to have calendar reminders etc on there instead. 

Underneath the clock, you can add a further 4 widgets. These can vary in size so when you tap in the box you get a selection of available widgets to choose from. For me, I have gone for the ones that I tend to look at the most which are those fitness rings, the weather (well because I am British) and battery life.

Currently, as this is the beta version it is only Apple widgets that are available but hope once this is released officially third-party widgets will also be available. One other note on widgets is that they are not interactive and pressing on them will take you to the App itself, which for me is fine but may be something that will change over time with future iOS updates. 

The Clock:

The look of the clock never bothered me to be fair but it actually quite nice to be able to change the lookup. You can select different typefaces and you can also select what colour you want the clock to be, this could one that blend into the wallpaper or picture you have chosen or just to make it stand out. 


If you prefer to have a picture you have taken in Portrait Mode there is a depth effect feature which basically means the phone can detect the edges and blend it in with the clock. So the clock is not cutting out a face or a specific landmark which is a nice touch. 

Multiple Lock Screens:

If you want to set up more than one lock screen you can now. This can be linked around focus modes so you can have a specific Lock Screen if you are at work or if you a focusing on something specific. I like this idea as it is really easy to swipe between the different lock screens you just hold down and swipe through till you find the screen that you want to use. 

Ease of use:

It is really easy to set up your Lock Screen, it is as simple as pressing done on the Lock Screen and hitting the + icon. This will take you to the add wallpaper splash page and from here you have a number of options to choose from. From feature images such as Weather or Astronomy to Suggested Photo. Once you have selected the wallpaper you then get onto customising that clock and adding your widgets and that’s it.  


This is one that I am not too sure about. I was really interested to see this when it was announced and thought that’s going to be really cool. From iOS 16 notifications will come up from the bottom of the Lock Screen, which is nice as it keeps them from blocking your wallpaper most of the time (I will come back to this).

You can choose from three views in the notifications settings 1) list 2) Stack and 3) Count. They are pretty self-explanatory, list will just present your notification in a list, the stack option will stack them up and then you have the option to have a notification count at the bottom of the screen. 

I like to see my notification so I chose to go with the stack view. The reason for this is when I had the list option it blocked out quite a bit of the wallpaper which for me kind of defeated the point of having them display bottom up. 


I can’t say that I use iMessage all that much as I tend to chat with my friends on What’s App but there have been some cool additions in this space as well. If you have made a Typo or are not happy with what you have sent you will now be able to edit a sent message. To edit the message, you just long press the message that you want to edit and select edit in the drop, and away you go. 

You will only have a certain amount of time (I think 10min)that you will be able to make these edits but let’s be honest you usually notice when you have made a mistake straight away. 

Other Features:

There are some other smaller features that I have come across that I have found to be useful. 

Battery Percentage:

A lot of people are happy about this its the return of the battery percentage and not just the indicator. I must admit that I am glad this is back as I had gotten used to having the percentage showing on my Android phones. It’s a bit odd that the number is inside the battery icon but still it’s nice to have back even if it looks a bit weird.

You will need to enable this in the battery setting and it’s just a toggle so it is easy to locate. The other thing about this feature is that it is not going to be available to all iPhone I think its just iPhone 12 and above that will be getting this, not sure why. 

Keyboard Haptics: 

I am enjoying having the keyboard haptics I love being able to feel the feedback from the keyboard when typing. Again this is not enabled by default so you will need to head into sounds and haptic in the settings and enable it in the keyboard feedback tab. 


I tend to use my Alexa for setting timers but I have started to use my phone a bit more. The reason for this is that now you can see the timer in your Lock Screen so it’s nice and easy to check on how long you have got left on a timer. 

Media Controls:

There have been some changes to how music is displayed on the Lock Screen. It looks a bit neater and is displayed at the bottom, you can also get the album work more or less full screen. I am not a massive music fan so I don’t listen to too much on my phone but I do like the new layout. 

Removing Duplicates: 

This was one I stumbled across the other day and I think it’s a great little feature. I have been switching my sim between phones a lot recently so have managed to accumulate a number of duplicate contacts. 

You can also do this with photos so if you have taken the same shot a few times it will look for the photo with the best quality and you can choose to delete the rest. 


So did this update hit the spot for me? Yes, and No, they are things that I love about it and other bits where I was maybe expecting more. I am not sure if this is because I have been using an Android device a fair bit recently. For instance, I am not totally sold on how notifications are handled but I am sure that I will get used to it, also I am looking forward to seeing how they would be handled on the new Always of Display that has been rumoured to be coming to the 14 Pro’s. 

For seasoned iOS users I think you will be happy with the changes and finally being able to customise your phone that little bit more. 


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