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iOS 16 release date, features, device list

Apple's mobile devices run on a well-known operating system — iOS. Technically, its tablets run on iPadOS, which was branched off of iOS in 2019, but in reality — they are the same at the core. iPadOS simply has a few more features to make use of the iPad's large screen and portfolio of accessories.

That said, both iOS and iPadOS get updated around the same time and follow the same numbering scheme. This year, we expect to see iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 drop in late September with the newest iPhone release — as it usually happens.

iOS 16 latest news


New features for upcoming iOS builds are usually not as a tightly-kept secret as new Apple hardware is. Cupertino usually spills the beans on software improvements they are working on early in the year — around WWDC, which is held in late Spring or early Summer. 

On the flip side, iOS features are not really a focus for leaks, so — thus far, we know very little about iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. Stay tuned as we will pull at the threads of any bit of info that comes out!

iOS 16 release date


Apple traditionally releases a new build of iOS with its newest iPhones. So, if we are to assume that in 2022, the iPhone 14 would launch in late September, then this is when we will get the first full build of iOS 16.

However, it's worth noting that impatient fans will most probably be able to test out beta builds of iOS 16 this Summer. Traditionally, Apple launches a beta version of its latest operating system in the weeks after revealing it at WWDC.

Last year, the first iOS 15 Public Beta became available at the end of June. If Apple stays on schedule, we expect iOS 16 Beta builds to be out this June as well — first, it's the Developer Beta that comes out, then there's the Public Beta, which is a bit more stable.

Which iPhones will get iOS 16?


Apple is well-known for supporting its devices long, long after release. iOS 15 was available to iPhones all the way back to the iPhone 6s — it was 6 years old at the time of the latest update.

As per the latest rumors (and by making an educated guess, based on Apple's update history), iOS 16 will be available for the following iPhone models:

  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14 series

Which iPads will get iPadOS 16?


Much like the iPhones, the various iPad models get iPadOS updates for years on end. Last year's iPadOS 15 went all the way back to the iPad Air 2 (2014). Judging by this data, it's reasonable to assume that these are the iPad models that will get iPadOS 16:

  • iPad mini (2015), iPad mini 5 (2019), iPad mini 6 (2021)
  • iPad 9.7 (2017), iPad 9.7 (2018), iPad 10.2 (2019), iPad 10.2 (2020), iPad 10.2 (2021)
  • iPad Pro all models from 2017 onwards

iOS 16 new features


The new features of iOS 16 are pretty much a mystery at this point. iOS 15 was not a small update — it brought about major new features to FaceTime, allowing Android users to join in, the new Spatial Audio mode, new Notes tagging and sorting, system-wide translations, text recognition from photos and images, Health updates, ID scanning for the Wallet, and a redesign to Safari and Weather.

Basically, iOS 15 was a huge drop, and — usually — Apple would use the next major update to only flesh out the features a bit more and work on stability. In other words, we don't expect major surprise bombs with iOS 16, but only Apple knows if we are wrong or not.

Some of us here at PhoneArena are dreaming for an update to how Split View multitasking works in iPadOS 16, and maybe its high time for this to happen.


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