10 hidden iOS 16 features that make your iPhone better

10 hidden iOS 16 features that make your iPhone better

This story is part Focal Point iPhone 2022CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

Your iPhone is much more powerful than you think. Under all major new features on iOS16like home screen widgets, Live Activities and Satellite Emergency SOSthere are some awesome features and settings that Apple may not give as much shine to, but that you definitely need to know about.

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If you want to take a closer look at some of iOS 16’s hidden gems that will improve your mobile experience, like password-protected photo albums and easily accessible Wi-Fi passwordshere’s what you need to know.

Read more: Will your iPhone run iOS 16? Some will not be compatible

Want to know more about Apple’s latest mobile operating system? We have new iOS 16 features you’ll love and a few you might hate (luckily there is a solution).

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iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed


Pair Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with your iPhone

Apple has long allowed you to pair third-party controllers, such as the Sony DualSense PS5 and Xbox Core Controller, to your iPhone and iPad to more comfortably play mobile video games like the apple arcade library, Minecraft and Call of Duty. You can now add another console controller to this list.

If you own a nintendo switchyou can now pair your Joy-Con controllers to your iPhone or iPad running iOS 16. To get started, press and hold the small black pairing button on the Joy-Con, until the green lights begin to cycle back and forth. This means the device is in pairing mode. Next, open your iPhone and go to Settings > Bluetooth and select the Joy-Con from the list. Repeat this step with the other Joy-Con.

Hidden and recently deleted albums are now password protected

The Hidden album in the Photos app is clearly not hidden because anyone can easily find it. This makes it impractical to adequately hide private photos and videos. Although Apple has the ability to make the hidden album “invisible”, anyone with access to your phone can make it visible again and see everything in it.

Thanks to iOS 16, you can now lock the hidden album. You don’t have to do anything to enable this feature. If you want to check it, launch the Photos app and go to the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen. If you scroll down you will see a small padlock next to the Hidden and Recently Deleted scrapbooks. To view the contents of these albums, you will need to use Face ID or your password.

The Hidden in Photos album

Hidden and Recently Deleted albums now require Face ID access.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

View and share saved Wi-Fi passwords

Apple has allowed iOS users to share Wi-Fi passwords for quite some time now, but only by placing two Apple devices next to each other. And if this feature didn’t work automatically, you couldn’t just extract the password from your settings. Also, if you wanted to share a saved Wi-Fi password with someone else, like an Android user or someone on a computer, you had to remember the password. So far.

Read more: You Can Finally See Your Saved Wi-Fi Passwords on an iPhone

In Settings, go to Wireless and tap the little information icon to the right of the network you want the password for. To view the network password, press the Password then use Face ID or enter your password to view it. You can then touch Copy to copy the password to your clipboard and share it.

Wi-Fi network settings on iOS 16

You can view the password for any Wi-Fi network you’ve ever connected to, as long as you’re currently connected to it or close enough that it appears under My Networks.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

Find and remove duplicate photos and videos

Maybe you saved the same photo multiple times or uploaded a video multiple times, resulting in duplicates in your photo album. It may not be a problem if you have storage space, but you are running out of space, now you can delete every duplicate easily with iOS 16.

In Pictures > Albumsyou should see a new one Doubloons album under Utilities. Apple analyzes all of your photos and shows you any photos or videos you’ve saved more than once to this album. From there, you can either remove duplicates or just tap Mergewhich will keep the photo with the best quality (and relevant data) and then move the others to the trash.

Duplicates folder in Photos

Merging will keep the highest quality photo and remove the rest.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

Although you probably want to cycle through each set of duplicates, to make sure they are exact copies and not similar photos, you can also tap Select > Select all > Merge to remove all the photos and videos that Apple considers duplicate, all at once.

Hang Up a Phone or FaceTime Call with Siri

Siri does a lot of things. You can use the virtual assistant to send a text message, get directions, or play music, but one thing she’s never been able to do is hang up a phone call. Weird isn’t it? Now it’s finally a possibility with iOS 16.

In Settings, go to Siri and search and make sure first Listen to “Hey Siri” is activated. If so, you should see a new option below — Call Hang up. Go to this option and enable Call Hang up. When you’re on a phone call or FaceTime video chat, just say “Hey, Siri” and ask her to hang up your current call.

hang up with siri

For this to work, Listen to “Hey Siri” must be activated first.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

Copy and paste photo and video edits

If you use the editing tool in the Photos app, you’ll be happy to know that you can now copy and paste edits, including saturation, contrast, and brightness, between photos. If you edit a photo or video and are happy with the look, you can paste those exact same edits to any other photo or video in your camera roll.

To do this, launch the Photos app and open a photo that has been edited in full screen. Next, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, then tap Copy changes. This option will only appear if the photo was edited in Photos, not a third-party photo editor. Finally, navigate to the photo you want to copy these changes to, tap the three-dot menu, then tap Paste changes. After about a second, you should see the photo edits appear.

Copy and paste photo edits on iOS 16

This feature works between photos and videos.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

Bring haptic feedback to your keyboard

The iPhone has long had haptic feedback. It’s what you feel under your fingertips every time you try to delete an app from your home screen or enter the wrong password on your lock screen. Oddly enough, haptic feedback was never available for the stock iOS keyboard – until now.

If you want to enable a gentle vibration for each key you type, go to Settings > Sounds and Haptics > Keyboard feedback and activate Haptics. The sound option you see is the loud, annoying clicking sound you might hear when you type something and your phone isn’t on silent, so you can turn it off.

Haptic feedback setting for keyboard on iOS 16

Each time you type, you’ll feel a slight vibration for each key you press.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

Pin your favorite tabs in Safari

Safari limits your open tabs to 500, and if you get close to that limit, it can be really hard to find the exact tab you’re looking for. You can scroll endlessly, but now there’s an easier way to find the exact tab you’re looking for.

In Safari, if you tap on an open tab, you now have the option to tap pin tab. This will move that tab to the top of Safari, where it will exist as a small tab preview, permanently pinned, which you can then tap to view. If you tap and undock a tab, it will go first in your grid of open tabs.

Pin a tab in Safari

All of your pinned tabs appear at the top of Safari.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

Use Face ID while lying down

If you’ve ever tried to unlock your iPhone while it’s upright, like when you’re lying on your side, you might have noticed that it doesn’t work. You must hold your iPhone in portrait or vertical orientation for Face ID to work. With iOS 16, you can finally use Face ID to unlock your iPhone when it’s in landscape orientation. However, for this to work, you must have an iPhone 13 or 14 running iOS 16.

Delete more preinstalled Apple apps

Since iOS 10, you can remove some pre-installed iOS apps such as Stocks, Maps, and Calculator, but not all. With the release of iOS 16, you can add three more apps to this list of those you can remove: Find My, Clock, and Health. However, deleting these apps may negatively affect and break support for other apps and connected devices, like your Apple Watch.

To learn more about iOS 16 and the iPhone, see the iOS 16 cheat sheet.

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