Ready to upgrade?  How to get iOS 16

Ready to upgrade? How to get iOS 16

Have you ever looked at your phone and felt a bit bored by its features? You download a new app or two for a feeling of excitement, but the feeling quickly passes. Well, get ready to get a brand new phone without having to buy one.

Apple’s iOS 16 was showcased at WWDC this week alongside iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9. It immediately looks different, mainly because the familiar lock screen isn’t as familiar anymore. It is now customizable: you can change the appearance of the date and time and even add depth to the photo you keep there. Not to mention that there are new ways to widget.

Dig a little deeper into iOS 16 and you’ll find that iMessages has a lot of new features, including the ability to edit and even recall text messages. Siri’s dictation skills have improved to the point that it automatically handles punctuation and will add emojis if you ask for them. Maps is much better for getting around, and you can finally add your transit passes to it.

There’s a lot more to explore in iOS 16, but you’ll have to wait until fall to try it all out. Where are you? There are several ways to get it early. Read on for tips on how to be ahead of the curve as well as how to download it when it’s officially released.


Can my iPhone run iOS 16?

iPhone SE 2022

iPhone SE 2022

Even if your old iPhone is still operational, it can’t necessarily handle iOS 16. If you have one of these iPhones, however, you’re safe:

  • iPhone 13 mini

  • iPhone 13 Pro

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max

  • iPhone SE (2022)

  • iPhone 12 mini

  • iPhone 12

  • iPhone 12 Pro

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max

  • iPhone SE (2020)

  • iPhone 11 Pro Max

  • iPhone 11 Pro

  • iPhone 11

  • iPhone XS Max

  • iPhone XS

  • iPhone XR

  • iPhone X

  • iPhone 8Plus

  • iPhone 8


Become an Apple Developer

MacBook, iPhone and Apple Watch with code on screens

If you wanna be the very first to try out software updates from Apple, join the Apple Developer Program(Opens in a new window). It is aimed at both individuals and businesses. But anyone can sign up for $99 a year.

One caveat, though: since you’ll have an early build of iOS 16, you’ll run into more bugs than the minor annoyances you’re used to on stable versions of iOS. The interest of the developers having the software is to test it with their applications, so you might find that some of your applications become unusable or you lose information. Make sure you are comfortable with this before signing up. Or install the development version on a second non-primary iOS device.


Public Beta

Apple macOS, iPadOS, iOS, watchOS

If you want to get in on the iOS action early and don’t want to spend the money, consider joining the public beta, which launches next month. Some of your existing apps may not work with the operating system and you may lose data, but if you’re willing to try it, membership is free. The purpose of a public beta is to find bugs that the developers haven’t discovered yet. If you’re an iOS fan, this can be an interesting side project, especially if you have an older iOS device that you can afford to upgrade with possibly buggy software. Once available:

  • About Apple’s beta software program(Opens in a new window) page, click iOS 16.

  • Follow the instructions to add your device.

  • Download the beta software to add it to your iPhone.

  • Open Settings, tap the profile and tap Install.

  • Your phone will restart.

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install.


General publication

When iOS 16 is officially released, you can either wait for your phone to remind you with a pop-up alert that it’s available, or force a manual update. (Before updating, it’s always a good idea to back up your data.)

Move towards Settings > General > Software Update. You may need to type Upgrade to iOS 16 at the bottom of the screen then Download and installor you will be redirected to Download and install automatically. Either way, if your iPhone has a passcode, you’ll be prompted to enter it. Accept Apple’s terms, then wait.

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You will see Update requested on the screen, which means that Apple has added you to its download queue. Once the iOS 16 download has started, you will see a time estimate bar at the top; how long you’ll wait depends on how many people are trying to upgrade. Your phone will then need to restart, which may also take a few minutes.

If there is not enough space on your device for the new iOS, you will receive a message asking you to temporarily remove apps. Hit Continue, and the apps will be restored after the installation is complete. If you have trust issues, tap Cancel and remove apps manually before updating.

When you need your phone during the day, you also have the option of installing tonight(Opens in a new window)which will do just that: install iOS 16 while you sleep, provided your device is charging.

You can also enable automatic updates. Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates. Your iOS device will be updated to the latest version of iOS overnight, when plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi.

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