iOS 16: these new features we still have to wait for

While iOS 16 is packed with exciting new features, not everything Apple announced at WWDC will fit your iPhone, as some are not compatible with older iPhones.

As for others, they simply aren’t meant to be part of the first release of iOS 16.0, which arrives on Monday, September 12. They will be available later this year with iOS 16.1, 16.2 or maybe even in a later update.

Here are which features are affected by this delay.

iCloud Shared Photo Library

One of the most anticipated new features in iOS 16 is the ability to have a single photo library in iCloud.

Having a single library shared between family members where photos and videos are automatically transferred has long been desired by Apple users.

We thought it was a clear inclusion in the initial release of iOS 16, but it was apparently removed at the last minute. Apple hasn’t mentioned when it will return, but we think iOS’s October 16.1 release is a safe bet.

Live activities

When iOS 16 was unveiled at WWDC in June, live activities were a real highlight. These are notifications that persist and are dynamically updated by the apps associated with them.

Are you watching a sports match? Why get a bunch of notifications every time the score changes when you could just have one that shows the score live and constantly updated. The same goes for food or package deliveries, ridesharing apps, fitness activities and much more.

The Live Activities API was supposed to be part of iOS 16 when it was released, but a post on the developer website confirmed that Live Activities and ActivityKit won’t be included in the initial public release. Instead, the feature will be available later this year, giving developers more time to submit their apps to the App Store.

Case support

Matter is a long-awaited new cross-compatibility standard for connected homes.

Simply put, a Matter-certified device will work with Apple Home, Alexa, and Google Home (among others). iOS 16’s Home app is getting a major update, including a new interface, improved performance and reliability, and support for Matter.

The new app is still available, but Matter support won’t arrive until later this year. Nevertheless, the first devices benefited from it, and the first software updates to make older devices compatible with Matter will be available later this fall.

Game Center features

Game Center supports SharePlay, so you can start playing a game right away during a FaceTime call.

It will be integrated with Contacts so you can see the Game Center profiles of all your contacts (if they allow it) quickly and easily. It’s unclear what exactly these features are, but they will be available this fall.

Freeform app

Apple announced a new collaboration and whiteboard app called Freeform as part of the iPadOS 16 demo at WWDC, but it’s actually cross-platform.

You can download it to iPad, Mac or iPhone and collaborate freely with your colleagues via the cloud, wherever you are. It’s basically a large, flexible canvas that you can drop almost anything you want onto it: PDFs, notes, images, audio files, web links, etc., and display it. Then you can add notes or draw anywhere with Apple Pencil support.

From the start, Freeform was announced at the end of the year, but when Apple decided to skip the release of iPadOS 16 and make it the first version of iPadOS 16.1, the project was put on hold. At this time, we are not sure of its launch date, but it will definitely be sometime after iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura, and possibly even 2023.

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