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Posts tagged with "iOS 16"

iOS and iPadOS 16.4 Betas Are Out with New Emoji, Loads of Safari Updates, Apple Podcasts Enhancements, Shortcuts Actions, and More

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Apple has released betas of iOS and iPadOS 16.4 with new features and its version of new emoji approved by the Unicode Consortium last summer.

Some of the biggest changes coming to iOS and iPadOS later this spring will be to Safari. Many of the biggest user-facing features relate to web apps. Apple has supported saving web apps to the iPhone and iPad’s Home Screen since the earliest days of those devices, but today’s announcements put web apps on a more even footing with native apps than before.

According to a post by Brady Eidson and Jen Simmons on

  • Safari will support Web Push with iOS and iPadOS 16.4, which will work like other notifications on the system. Once a user authorizes a web app to send notifications, they will be sent and managed just like notifications from native apps.
  • Users will be able to associate notifications from web apps with Focus modes, too, allowing or filtering them out based on the options picked when setting up a Focus mode.
  • Web app icons on your Home Screen will gain the ability to display badges.
  • Third-party browsers will be able to add web apps to the Home Screen for the first time from the share sheet.
  • Multiple web apps can be added to the Home Screen and renamed by users allowing them to be part of different Focus filters.

There are many other interesting additions and changes to the WebKit framework for developers that they can check out on the WebKit site.

Last summer, the Unicode Consortium announced its draft candidates for new emoji. The betas of iOS and iPadOS 16.4 include Apple’s renderings of those emoji, a handful of which are in the image at the beginning of this story. Included among the new emoji are a shaking face, three new colors of hearts, left and right pushing hands in multiple skin tones, a moose, a donkey, a blackbird, a goose, ginger, a hair pick, a flute, peas, and more.

Apple Podcasts includes changes in the betas too. Channels are Apple Podcasts’ collections of shows from a single publisher. In iOS and iPadOS 16.4, Channels will be included in the library, allowing users to access the ones they follow and subscribe to more easily. Up Next is adding the ability to resume episodes, start saved episodes, and remove any you want to skip. Plus, episodes you’re listening to in the app that you don’t follow or subscribe to will live in Up Next until you finish or remove them. Users will also be able to access their Up Next and Recently Played queues from CarPlay, which should add a lot more flexibility than before. For more detail on these changes, which are also coming to the Mac, check out Apple’s post on the Apple Podcasts for Creators website.

Wallet's new package tracking widget.

Wallet’s new package tracking widget.

There are a bunch of other smaller changes coming too:

iOS 16.1 and Apps with Live Activities: The MacStories Roundup, Part 2

When Live Activities debuted with iOS 16.1, a long list of apps supported the feature. There were some great examples, like the ten apps I covered in October and Timery, which was updated shortly thereafter. Because developers didn’t have a lot of time to prepare their apps for Live Activities, I expected a steady stream of updates that take advantage of the feature, but that hasn’t happened. Live Activity support is still being added to apps, but I thought I’d have more interesting, innovative examples to share by now, but I don’t.

Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t follow up October’s story with a few additions to my favorite examples of Live Activities. I’m sure there are some I’ve missed and others that will be released in the future, which we’ll cover in the future, but today, I’m going to focus on Dark Noise, Shelf, and Lock Launcher.

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Apple’s Taken the Joy out of its Books App with iOS 16

I enjoyed this article by Mitchell Clark, writing for The Verge, about the removal of the classic page-turn animation from the redesigned Books app in iOS 16:

Apple Books has been my main reading app for years for one very specific reason: its page-turning animation is far and away the best in the business. Unfortunately, that went away with iOS 16 and has been replaced by a new animation that makes it feel like you’re moving cards through a deck instead of leafing through a digitized version of paper. And despite the fact that I’ve been trying to get used to the change since I got onto the beta in July, I still feel like Apple’s destroyed one of the last ways that my phone brought joy into my life.

I forgot to mention this in the Books section of my iOS 16 review. The Books app received a major redesign this year, and I’ve heard from quite a few people over the past few months about why, for serious readers like them, the new UI layout of the Books app is a regression from iOS 15. All that aside, however, I don’t understand why the page-turn animation – a fun, whimsical aspect of the Books UI that felt uniquely Apple – had to be taken away.

I agree with Mitchell on this: the page-turn animation should come back – if anything, as an optional setting.


iOS 16.1 and Apps with Live Activities: The MacStories Roundup, Part 1

The headlining feature of iOS 16.1 is Live Activities, which allows apps to display status information in the Dynamic Island and on the Lock Screen after a user closes an app. I’ve looked at over 40 new and updated apps and instead of just listing them, I thought I’d share a collection of the most innovative and useful ones that I’ve tried so far. This is just part 1 of this story. I’ll be back soon with even more as I continue to test the apps I’ve discovered.

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iOS and iPadOS 16.1 Betas Add Per-App Clipboard Access Permissions to the Settings App

In iOS 16 and the upcoming iPadOS 16.1, Apple added an alert when an app tries to read your device’s clipboard, giving users a chance to grant or deny access. It’s a privacy measure, but for apps that have legitimate reasons to use the clipboard’s contents, it quickly becomes an annoyance to confirm every time you want to paste something. Apple has said that excessive prompts to use the clipboard are a bug that it was working to fix, but whatever the origin, the latest beta of iOS and iPadOS 16.1 include new settings that dramatically improve the experience.

After asking for permission to paste from another app at least once, a new setting appears in an app's Settings entry.

After asking for permission to paste from another app at least once, a new setting appears in an app’s Settings entry.

According to Joe Rossignol at MacRumors:

 In the Settings app on the fourth beta of iOS 16.1 and later, a new “Paste from Other Apps” menu appears for apps that have previously asked for permission to paste content from another app. The menu can be found in the Settings app → [App Name] → Paste from Other Apps.

The menu presents users with three options:

  • Ask: The app must continue to request permission to paste content from other apps.
  • Deny: The app cannot paste content from other apps.
  • Allow: The app can paste content from other apps without asking for permission again.
To never see the paste prompt again choose 'Allow.'

To never see the paste prompt again choose ‘Allow.’

This change is a huge win for any app you use and trust that needs clipboard access. For me, that’s Obsidian. We use a custom plugin for creating Markdown links to webpages and images that we shared last fall with Club MacStories members. The plugin works the way I think all text editors should handle Markdown linking when you have a URL on your clipboard: highlight some text, paste, and instead of replacing the highlighted text, the URL is linked to highlighted text. However, since running iOS and iPadOS 16 betas, I’ve had to select ‘Allow Paste’ anytime I wanted to create a Markdown link using the plugin. Now, with ‘Allow’ chosen in the Obsidian entry of the Settings app, that’s no longer a constant source of friction as I write, which is great.

It’s worth noting that the setting doesn’t sync across devices. For example, if you Allow pasting on an iPhone, you’ll have to do the same on an iPad. Also, the setting only appears in the Settings app after an app has requested permission to access the clipboard at least once.


Creating Lock Screen Widgets for Specific Notes via the Apple Notes URL Scheme

All I wanted was a widget.

All I wanted was a widget.

A few days ago, as I was playing around with my Lock Screen on iOS 16, I wondered: would it be possible to use the hidden Apple Notes URL scheme to create widget launchers to reopen specific notes in the Notes app?

That led me down a fascinating rabbit hole filled with hidden Shortcuts tricks and discoveries I thought would be useful to document on MacStories for everyone to see.

You know, for posterity.

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LockPod Adds Apple Music and Spotify to the iOS 16 Lock Screen

So far, the big players in music streaming are leaving it to indie developers to create iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets that tie into their services. One of my favorite examples is LockPod, by Rishi Malhotra, which was released this week.

The app works with both Apple Music and Spotify, allowing users to create circular and rectangular Lock Screen widgets that serve as shortcuts to their favorite music. The details are a little different depending on whether you’re using Apple Music or Spotify, so let’s take a closer look.

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iOS 16.0.2 Fixes iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max Camera Shake, Pasting Alerts, and More

As reported by MacRumors’ Juli Clover, Apple released iOS 16.0.2 today to fix unspecified security issues along with several bugs. Among the bugs fixed are two that have been making headlines recently. One caused the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max’s cameras to shake when using some third-party camera apps, while the other displayed frequent alerts asking for permission to allow pasting from one app to another.

The full release notes are as follows:

  • This update provides bug fixes and important security updates for your iPhone including the following:
  • Camera may vibrate and cause blurry photos when shooting with some third-party apps on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Display may appear completely black during device setup
  • Copy and paste between apps may cause a permission prompt to appear more than expected
  • VoiceOver may be unavailable after rebooting
  • Addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone X, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 displays after being serviced

Although Apple characterized the frequent alerts about pasting between apps as a bug, I have to wonder whether it was actually the intended behavior. It’s not as though nobody was talking about the issue throughout the beta period. In any event, it’s good to see all of these bugs being addressed so soon after the release of the phones.


GoodLinks 1.7: New iOS 16 Shortcuts Actions, Focus Filter Support, Lock Screen Widgets, and More

I’m really excited about the latest update to GoodLinks for iPhone. The app has always had some of the best automation support of any link management or read-later app I’ve used. However, with version 1.7, which was released last week, GoodLinks has taken its automation tools to a new level, opening up more ways to customize how you save, manage, and use links than ever before.

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