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Apple’s WWDC 2023 event happened today, and one of the most crucial announcements was arguably the next-gen iOS iteration. Yes, iOS 16 is now official. The new version of iOS brings in a plethora of new features, including lock screen customizations, new iMessage features, and much more. Here’s a look at all of the new iOS 16 features.

iOS 16 Announced: New Features

Firstly, the main attraction here is the lock screen customizations, which have been rumored for a long time. It will allow people to add widgets, wallpapers, change the date and time font and colors, and more to the lock screen. Users will be able to look in for calendar events, alarms, weather, and more on the lock screen.

The revamped lock screen will also include a Lock Screen Gallery and Live Activities (showing real-time events like workouts, food-delivery orders, and more). Plus, you can add various Focus modes, which were introduced with iOS 15, to the lock screen. Focus Filters for apps to display content relevant to a Focus. Notifications have been redesigned and will now roll up from the bottom to get better reachability and access in iOS 16.

There are interesting changes for iMessage too. iOS 16 will now let you edit a sent message (something WhatsApp is planning to add soon), undo a sent message, and even mark messages as unread so that you don’t miss out on them. Apple has also added enhancements to the SharePlay feature. You will now be able to use this feature via iMessage, something which has been available only on FaceTime.

The Wallet app is another app that has got a bunch of features. This includes in-app age and identity verification for apps like UberEats and the ability to share keys over messages. Apple Pay now supports the Tap to Pay functionality and there’s Apple Pay Later to buy stuff in 4 easy installments without any fee or interest. This is currently for the US market, though. Additionally, there’s support for order tracking with Apple Pay too. For Apple Maps, there’s now support for multi-stop routing and this can be done by Siri too.

The Family Sharing feature now allows for easier Kids account setup, quick account setup, the ability to approve requests in Messages, and a Family Checklist feature too. There’s a new iCloud Shared Library feature, which allows people to have a separate library for shared media on iCloud. People will also be able to add photos to the Library via a toggle in the Camera app.

Moreover, Safari now lets you share Tab Groups and has Passkeys to browse safely and easily. Passkeys are meant to replace passwords, which is an endeavor Apple has been chasing for a long time. There’s the availability of the Fitness app for all iPhone users even if they don’t own an Apple Watch, some Home improvements, Medications tracking using the Health app, a new My Sports section for Apple News, personalized spatial audio, Mail app features, and Accessibility updates, among others.

iOS 16 also gets the Safety Check privacy feature for safety from domestic violence. This will allow people to remove access to all accounts granted to others with ease.

iOS 16: Availability

A developer preview of iOS 16 is now available to developers and will be followed by a public beta, which will be available to all users next month. iOS 16 will be available to everyone this fall for iPhone 8 and above.

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Ios 16 Features, Info, And More

Last Updated on July 28, 2023

Apple has laid out the new iOS 16 features at WWDC, with SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi leading the lowdown. We’ve looked at the new features in and around iOS 16 to get you the key information. Here’s what you need to know.

iOS 16 Lock Screen

We already had rumors about some of the potential features for the lock screen on iOS 16, but this is the “biggest update ever”. So here’s what we’re getting.


A whole host of personalization features are coming with iOS 16’s lock screen, starting with images and filters.

Pressing and holding the lock-screen will allow you to choose ‘customize’ and try out styles, filters, backgrounds, and fonts. These will impact how your chosen lock screen image appears.

Tapping an element allows you to edit it too, so you can choose different typefaces and colors specifically for, let’s say, your clock element.


Apple has also added a new wallpaper gallery with “hundreds” of wallpapers allowing for “millions of combinations” when edited. The wallpapers include a striking animated weather wallpaper, animated astronomy wallpapers that change when you unlock your phone, and more – including a pride wallpaper and an emoji one.

Users can also make use of iOS 16’s Photo Shuffle option on the lock screen. This will alternate the image appearing.

Or you’ll be able to use the Suggested Photos option: an “intelligently curated” set of personal photos (of friends, family, or nature) which could be good options for your lock screen.


As expected, you can now add widgets right onto the lock screen in iOS 16, and you can add several at once. So, for example, you can include calendar notifications, temperature, and activity all on the same lock screen.

It’s one of the most interesting iOS 16 features in terms of usability, as developers can also make use of Apple’s ‘widget kit’ to enable glanceable information from apps…right on the iOS 16 lock screen.

Multiple lock screens

With as much customization as Apple has included, you can also create several lock screens and change between them, seemingly without losing their customization. We don’t yet know of a maximum number of lock screens you can have on standby, but having this option is pretty novel nonetheless.

iOS 16 Notifications

Apple wants to do away with notification blocking personal photos on the lock screen, so iOS 16 features roll-in notifications from the bottom, rather than them appearing from the top-down, creeping across your screen. It looks like two notifications plus an ‘and more’ notification will appear, although you can choose to hide notifications too.

Live activities

To combat persistent, ongoing, notifications, Apple is introducing ‘Live Activities’ in iOS 16 as “compact and glanceable experiences”.

Live Activities means you can view live sports scores, an arriving Uber (or potentially food delivery), and monitor your ongoing activity progress all on the lock screen. Be gone repeated notifications.

The new feature will also impact playing music, which will appear as a compact or a full-screen display with larger album art; whichever you prefer.


In iOS 16, Apple also wants to build upon its Focus feature, allowing users to keep distractions to a comfortable level. With the ability to create several lock screens in iOS 16, you’ll be able to link levels of Focus to a particular lock screen depending on the situation.

Building on Focus too is Focus Filters, which will allow users to focus chat conversations, calendar reminders, Safari tabs and Mail messages to specific filters, for work, personal, sleep or do not disturb settings.

iOS 16 Messages Typos

In the new iteration of iOS, you’ll be able to edit just-sent messages to avoid those cringe-worthy typos you notice only after the fact. We’ve all been there.

Undo Send

But if there’s more wrong with the message than a simple typo, Messages is getting a new Undo Send feature. Yes, an option to recall a message you then decide against, or what Apple calls a “misfire”.


The final tweak to Messages is the ability to mark any thread as unread, should you want to revisit it later and easily find it.


It’ll now be easier to discover SharePlay experiences and supported apps in FaceTime in iOS 16. But SharePlay will now also be available in Messages – something Federighi recalled was the number one request from developers.

In the example given, you can now use SharePlay to share a film from Disney+, while chatting about it in Messages. This means watching it in sync with whoever you’re sharing with, while you have the same access to the share playback controls.


For anyone making use of the dictation feature in iOS, 16 will allow you to switch between dictation and keyboard without fuss. The keyboard will remain open while you dictate, so if you need to manually correct or tweak something, or move from speech to touch or vice versa, you can.

iOS 16 Siri

Additionally, you’ll be able to select text with touch and replace that text with your voice instead of having to type.

A further trick for dictation is automatic punctuation on long messages, which also works when using Siri to send messages (as does emoji dictation).

Siri in apps

A quick word on Siri too in iOS 16: thanks to a new developer API, Siri should work with supported apps without any need for set-up.

iOS 16 Live Text Live Text in Video

Live text is already pretty useful when it comes to photos and iOS 16 is bringing it to video. That means you’ll be able to pause a video and interact with text in it, in the same ways already allowed for photos. 

Live Text Quick Actions

Quick Actions should allow you to convert currency and translate languages on the fly, with easier access to those features on photos in just one or two taps.

Camera View

Apple’s shown that you can use Live Text while in the Translate app using a new Camera View. The idea here is that this is better for when you have a lot of text to translate, so you can quickly translate what’s in front of you…for example a signpost or a menu.

iOS 16 Visual Lookup

Visual Lookup already allows you to select the subject of a photo to find additional information about things like landmarks, pets, plants, etc, but in iOS 16, you’ll be able to touch and hold the subject of a photo.

iOS 16 Wallet

iOS 16 features a decent amount of Wallet changes, as Apple’s work on the Wallet app continues: Drivers’ licenses and ID (currently Maryland and Arizona) can be stored inside the app.

Apple has stated that selected TSA (Transportation Security Administration) checkpoints will now accept wallet IDs – although at the time of writing we don’t know which.

ID verification

The Wallet app also supports functionality for users to securely present ID to apps, without the need to provide a scan or photo upload, with only select information shared. This should mean you can protect your birth date if you wish while stating you are “over 21”.


Wallet also does a decent job of storing keys (for home, hotel, gym, etc). And the sharing of keys should now be easier in Mail, Messages, and WhatsApp, as those receiving a key can add it to their own wallet with one tap of an ‘Add’ icon.

Apple has also revealed it’s working with the IETF (Internet Engineering Taskforce), to make sharing of keys an industry standard. There’s no word on when cross-ecosystem sharing will be available, but it’s a positive move.

iOS 16 Apple Pay

Starting this month (June 2023) merchants across the United States will be able to offer tap-to-pay services directly on a merchant’s own iPhone. That’s without any additional hardware or terminals needed to receive payment.

Clearly, this is a boost for Apple Pay, and (in theory) less hassle if not less expenditure for merchants too.

Apple Pay Later

Announcing Apple Pay Later, Apple says the feature allows for the cost of a purchase to be split into four equal payments, across six weeks with zero interest and no fees of any kind. The feature is to be available anywhere Apple Pay is accepted too, in apps and online.

After the purchase, upcoming payments will be managed through Wallet for users to keep track of what’s due when – something we think is a pretty essential inclusion for budget management.

Apple Pay Order Tracking

This feature will allow merchants to deliver receipt and tracking information to users, and directly to the Wallet App in iOS 16. Apple says the feature will be available at millions of merchants and ecommerce platforms starting with Shopify.

iOS 16 Maps

Apple’s redesigned map is already available in:









United Kingdom

United States

We now know that later this year the map is also coming to:








New Zealand

Palestinian Territories

Saudi Arabia


Apple’s also adding Las Vegas and six more cities before the end of the year.

Multi-Stop Routing

Maps will also now store previous routes and recents, making it easier to revisit places and get going quicker. Plus, you can ask Siri to add additional stops while en route, which we can see being very helpful indeed.


Apple’s making it easier for those using transit options to see fares for the cost of journeys and the option to add transit cards to Wallet for safe storing.

Even more useful, if a transit card’s balance is running out, you’ll get an alert in Maps so you can reload the card without having to leave the app.

Map Kit

Developers can now make use of rich detail map data for use in their own apps. This means apps like those of e-scooter service Bird can include better information with a detailed integrated in-app map.

Apple News My Sports

Apple News is introducing a new section featuring stories from hundreds of the best sports stories, specifically for following your teams and leagues, called My Sports. The section will include scores, schedules, and standings for top professional and college sports leagues – plus highlights.

To personalize the experience, your favorites will be synced across to Apple TV and other Apple devices, with the service available for free in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

There’s now an added benefit to Apple News+ too, with subscribers getting “premium sports coverage from many local newspapers”.

iOS 16 Family Sharing Easier Parental Controls

Additional iOS 16 features for Family Sharing meaning that it should be easier and simpler to set age-appropriate controls for content and to set up other parental controls – such as location settings and approval of more screen time.

In fact, you can now respond to requests for more screen time inside the Messages app, when Messages detects a request from a child.

Quick Start

A new ‘Quick Start’ feature will allow you to turn on a new device a child will be using, bring your own iPhone nearby and select to set up with Quick Start.

Apple says that with a few taps the device can be set up with all the parental controls you want to be configured from the get-go.

That should mean less having to adjust things later, and make things somewhat more straightforward.

Family Checklist

In iOS 16 there’s a new Family Checklist too, designed to help remind you to update children’s settings as they get older, suggestions for turning on location sharing. Also there’s helpful reminders around the ability to share subscriptions with family members should you wish.

Essentially the tool is designed to help users get the most out of Family Sharing.

iOS 16 Photos iCloud Shared Photo Library

There’s a new iCloud Shared Photo Library, allowing families to pool their photos instead of missing out on the great shots taken by other members.

The separate iCloud library is designed so that family members can contribute and collaborate. One shared library accessible by up to five people and everyone having equal permissions.

Content in the library will also appear in everyone’s memories, featured photos and be available in the photos widget.

Shared Library Switch

Sharing of photos can be filtered by subject (the people in them) or by start date so you can choose what to share once you set up. But for pictures after set-up, there’s now a shared library switch right in the Camera app.

While the sharing switch can be turned off, Apple states that it can be set up to come on automatically whenever you take photos when other members of the shared library are nearby. Clever switch.

iOS 16 Privacy Safety Check

Introducing Safety Check as one of the iOS 16 features with clearly important use-cases, Apple reveals it’s been working with organizations that support victims of domestic and intimate partner violence. As a result, Safety Check exists.

The tool allows you to review and easily reset any access to your information or app data that you have granted to others. It also includes a ‘Start Emergency Reset’ feature which will allow those in danger to quickly cut off access for other parties when seeking safety.

Safety Check will stop sharing location with others via FindMy, also resetting system privacy information for all apps. It will also protect access to messages by signing you out of iCloud on all other devices, and restrict Messages and FaceTime to the device you are using.

So that’s it. We’ll be covering more information on the future of iOS just as soon as news comes through to us. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our iOS 16 release date page for the latest updates too.

How To Set Dynamic Wallpaper On Iphone Lock Screen In Ios 16

No matter how fascinating a wallpaper is, it begins to look dull after a while. That’s why it’s better to have a wide variety of wallpapers so that you can pick a nice one every time the Lock Screen calls for a revamp. Keeping in mind this very need, Apple has introduced an ever-growing collection of built-in wallpapers.

From fun-loving emoji to color to photo shuffle, it’s got a variety of beautifully designed backgrounds. What’s more, there is also a super cool dynamic Lock Screen wallpaper that automatically adapts to real-world variables. So, if you are yet to unlock this background, let me show you how to set a dynamic wallpaper on iPhone Lock Screen in iOS 16.

Set Dynamic Wallpaper on iPhone Lock Screen in iOS 16: Step-By-Step Guide 

First off, it would be better to know what makes the dynamic backgrounds so appealing.

What Makes Dynamic Wallpaper Stand Out of the Rest? 

Currently, iOS 16 offers two types of dynamic wallpapers: Astronomy and Weather. While the dynamic weather wallpaper represents the current weather conditions, the astronomy wallpaper displays the current alignment of Earth, Moon, and the Solar System. 

Notably, the dynamic astronomy wallpaper comes in several variants. You can use it to view the Moon and Earth both from afar or in detail. Moreover, it can also let you view the entire Solar System on your iPhone Lock Screen. And that’s exactly what makes these wallpapers so fascinating. I’m sure once you have used these backgrounds, you would like to keep them hooked with your Lock Screen. 

While it’s not a dealbreaker per se, the dynamic backgrounds will drain relatively more battery than other backgrounds. Times when your iPhone drains more battery in iOS 16 or is running low on power, you should avoid setting them up.

Customize iPhone Lock Screen with Dynamic Astronomy/Weather Wallpaper

1. To begin with, unlock your device using Touch ID or Face ID.

2. Long-press on the screen to bring up the native wallpaper gallery. 

3. Now, tap on the “+” button located at the bottom right corner of the screen. 


Alternately, you can swipe all the way to the left and hit the “+” button. 

4. Next, tap on Weather or Astronomy at the top row of options. For the purpose of this guide, I’m going to choose Astronomy. 

5. Swipe left or right to switch between different variations. As always, you can add widgets to the Lock Screen and customize font and color depending on your needs. 

6. After you have perfectly customized iPhone Lock Screen wallpaper using widgets, fonts & colors, as well as variations, tap on Done at the top right corner of the screen. 

7. A popup will now appear from the bottom of the screen with two options: 

Set as Wallpaper Pair: Tap on it to set this wallpaper for both your Lock Screen and Home Screen. 

Customize Home Screen: Tap on it to customize the Home Screen separately. 

Select the preferred option and then tap on your new wallpaper to activate it. There you go!

Read more: How to Hide Notifications on iPhone Lock Screen in iOS 16 

Wrap Up…

So, that’s how you can personalize your Lock Screen with dynamic wallpapers in iOS 16. Though the native wallpaper gallery doesn’t have too many dynamic wallpapers right now, it’s just a matter of time before we will start seeing a plethora of backgrounds. So, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed.

These Are The Five Best Features Of Ios 16

Edit, unsend, and unread Messages on iOS 16

iOS 16 is bringing some major improvements to iMessage. When it’s available to all users, you’ll have 15 minutes to edit and two minutes to unsend any messages. This is very useful when you misspelled a word or send the wrong message to the wrong person.

When editing a message, Apple will now show the history of the edited message plus the user will have up to five chances to edit that content.

Unread, on the other hand, is useful to help you keep track of what messages you want to answer later. It’s important to notice that at least edit and unsend message features will need all devices to be running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13 Ventura, or watchOS 9.

A brand new Lock Screen to your current iPhone

The most important feature of iOS 16 – or at least the most noticeable – is the new Lock Screen. It offers a handful of new customization, letting you edit the Lock Screen almost any way you want.

It’s easy to customize the font, color, or placement of elements on your Lock Screen by tapping them. With a multilayered photo effect, photo subjects are dynamically displayed in front of the time to make the subject of the photo pop.

In addition, you can also add, for the first time, widgets to the Lock Screen in iOS 16 — and not only widgets made by Apple, but third-party widgets as well.

iOS 16 brings groundbreaking Live Text feature to video

Live Text was already great with iOS 15. You could grab information from a photo by selecting the text available, a telephone or address, for example.

Now, with Live Text in videos, the text is completely interactive in paused video frames, so you can use functions like copy and paste, lookup, and translate.

In addition, Live Text with iOS 16 adds recognition of Japanese, Korean, and Ukrainian text. Last but not least, data detected in photos and videos is actionable with a single tap. Track flights or shipments, translate foreign languages, convert currencies, and more.

Focus Mode is getting even more useful in iOS 16

With iOS 15, I said Focus Mode was the most important feature of the update. Now, this function is getting even better.

For example, the Lock Screen can link with your Focus Mode. So if you’re working, your Lock Screen will reflect the Focus set.

With Focus filters, you can set Apple apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari to draw boundaries for each Focus you enable. In addition, you can have a Focus turn on automatically at a set time or location, or while using a certain app, which is more useful than just a particular time.

For a passwordless future, meet Passkeys in iOS 16

Passkeys plans to replace passwords with an easier and safer sign-in method by using your face or fingerprint with Face ID/Touch ID.

It’s protected against phishing and website leaks, since passkeys never leave your device and are specific to the site you created them for, making it almost impossible for them to be phished or hacked.

In addition, Passkeys syncs across devices and lets you sign in to other devices. Apple says that it is trying to reach an industry standard so you can sign in to websites or apps on other devices, including non-Apple devices, with your saved passkey by scanning the QR code with your iPhone or iPad and using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.

Wrap up

Read more:

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New Facebook Features: Prepare For More Cliques

Facebook’s new features will fundamentally change the way many people use the site. Revamped Groups and a control center for third-party applications will reassure users who want to play on Facebook without accidentally oversharing with the wrong audience.

The changes offer more control over who sees your activities and how applications access your profile, in addition to letting you zip up and download all your messages, videos, photos, and wall posts.

Facebook’s 500 million users will see the new features roll out gradually, starting today.

Applications Dashboard

A new way to manage third-party Facebook apps combines two previously separate screens in one place. You can see the permission you’ve granted to an app as well as a log of when it last accessed your information.

This looks like a strong step forward in helping Facebook users understand the default settings, which vary from app to app, and decide whether something feels safe or intrusive. For example, the control panel will indicate whether an app requires viewing your friends’ information as well–such as with a birthday calendar.

Facebook touted this feature not only as offering more choice and transparency for users, but as encouraging app developers to be more judicious in how they treat users.

“It’s our core belief that people should own and be able to control their information in Facebook,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We view this as a philosophical thing.”

The change may represent a shift away from Facebook’s privacy stumbles of the past, such as the Beacon online ad system, which targeted non-Facebook users several years ago, and the service’s former policy of not letting users delete their accounts.

Because the possibility of downloading so much sensitive data could be appealing to scam artists, Zuckerberg noted that the steps of the process will include password and e-mail verification, and will flag any request coming from an unusual location. He also cited Facebook’s “social captcha” system, which verifies suspect users’ identities by asking them to identify “friends” in photos.


The new Groups feature allows a walled garden for sharing basic text documents, managing events, and chatting with up to 250 people at the same time. Groups includes a text editor (Docs) that offers extremely basic formatting options–Google and Microsoft have nothing to fear, at least for now.

You can, for instance, create a group for family members, another for coworkers, and another for people you haven’t seen since kindergarten. This should make Facebook more fun, if you’ve found lately that the more awkward “friends” you’ve accepted, the less freely you’ve been communicating there.

There are three options for groups. The default, Closed setting hides content from anyone who doesn’t belong. Making a group Open, on the other hand, means that the world–even outside of Facebook–can see what your group is up to. Labeling a group Private is a “Skull & Bones” option; nonmembers can’t view your activities and can’t even see that your group exists.

Facebook says that only 5 percent of its users make friend lists, which offer basic but plodding controls for opening or blocking parts of a profile to designated “friends.” The revamped Groups feature is likely to change that. Once you establish your social groups, you can share or hide things from each cluster in one fell swoop.

Facebook’s Shift

On the surface, Facebook’s changes offer new freedom and control for individuals. That’s not the whole picture, however, and there are some confusing points.

For example, the old Groups will continue to exist alongside the new features of the same name, but why and for how long? Also, it’s unclear how the changes will affect businesses that rely on Facebook pages.

Unfortunately, though you can share individual images among the groups, you can’t do the same with photo albums. Wouldn’t you like to hide awkward seventh-grade class photos you’re tagged in–or snapshots of last weekend’s bachelor party–from key “friends”?

Oddly enough, the new Groups feature may subject you to the whims of other users who can add you without getting your permission to do so. Imagine suddenly finding that fans of a political candidate you loathe have included you in their club. Once you ask to leave the group forever, however, its members can’t continue to add you.

The emergence of private Group spaces will mean more channels within Facebook for users to share, with social circles being broken into smaller, self-defined categories.

That’s great if you’re wary of sharing too much information, but it also changes the character of a site that has offered a sort of freewheeling, stream-of-consciousness way of learning about “friends” on walls and via news feeds. Facebook may evolve into an ecosystem or “social platform” of communities that are more self-segregated than in the past. In any case, maybe it’s time for Facebook users to judge each other by the content and character of their groups rather than by the sheer number of their friends.

Follow Elsa Wenzel and TechAudit on Twitter.

Ios 14.4 Beta Changes And Features – Homepod Mini Gets New U1

The initial iOS 14.4 beta includes a new feature that was first demonstrated during Apple’s iPhone 12 event. The new feature specifically relates to the HomePod mini and its U1 Ultra Wideband chip that allows for spatial awareness. An iPhone equipped with the U1 chip can interact with Apple’s diminutive smart speaker in new ways on iOS 14.4. Watch our hands-on walkthrough as we explore the updated Handoff experience and other iOS 14.4 beta changes and features.

What’s new in iOS 14.4 beta? New Handoff experience for HomePod mini

The biggest new change is, of course, the new Handoff experience that comes to the HomePod mini. Unlike the full-sized HomePod that’s been available for a few years, the new HomePod mini comes equipped with new technology, such as Apple’s U1 Ultra Wideband chip. The U1 chip allows for spatial awareness, so an iPhone with this chip can benefit from richer nearby interactions with other products equipped with the U1 chip, such as the HomePod mini.

Apple decided to elevate the Handoff experience, which previously relied on precise placement of your iPhone near the HomePod. Compared to the more boolean interaction of the old method, the HomePod mini and iPhone 11/12 running the latest iOS 14.4 betas are able to create intuitive spatial interactions with one another.

Video: iOS 14.4 Changes and Features

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With the previous Handoff interaction, users would simply hold their iPhones near the top of HomePod to transfer audio or phone calls to or from the device. A small banner notification would appear at the top of the iPhone’s screen indicating that Handoff was successful. No longer is Handoff relegated to a small banner notification at the top of the iPhone, but now users can enjoy a full card interface that pops into view as the iPhone moves closer to the HomePod mini.

How the new Handoff experience works

If you move a media-playing iPhone closer to the HomePod mini, you’ll feel the device’s Taptic Engine go to work. At first, force feedback is subtle, but as you move your iPhone closer to the HomePod mini, the feedback ramps up. To go along with the force feedback, visual flair is employed as well. When it senses an iPhone close by, the HomePod mini LED illuminates. As you move closer, the light grows in intensity.

A visual notification appears on the iPhone end in the form of a banner. The banner shows the name and location of the HomePod mini, along with a HomePod glyph, miniature album artwork, artist, and track title.

Users have the option of simply tapping the banner to manually invoke the full-sized Handoff interface, or moving the iPhone closer to the HomePod mini, which will cause the Handoff interface to pop open automatically. The new Handoff experience works with the Music app and other types of media sources, such as YouTube. Phone calls are also Handoff-eligible with the new and improved experience.

The updated Handoff interface provides large album artwork, transport controls, volume controls, and an AirPlay button to reroute audio. Tapping the album artwork opens the source audio application on your iPhone.

Music can be transferred both ways — from the HomePod mini to the iPhone, or from the iPhone to the HomePod mini. A Transfer to iPhone or Transfer from iPhone button appears at the top of the Handoff interface, but functionality has been hit or miss for me thus far.

Shortcuts app Set Wallpaper action updates

The return of the Set Wallpaper action in the Shortcuts app was one of my favorite new features in iOS 14.3, and Apple has not only kept it around in iOS 14.4, but it’s actively improving on it. In the iOS 14.4 beta, users can now toggle Perspective Zoom for wallpaper using a handy on/off switch. This option gives users the ability to enable or disable the parallax effect that appears on wallpaper set by Shortcuts.

VoiceOver Direct Touch Apps

Finally, VoiceOver received a new Direct Touch Apps feature, which will allow VoiceOver users to control an app directly without requiring more interaction. A similar feature already exists for direct typing input on the keyboard within apps, but this seems like it will take that one step further, lending VoiceOver users more flexibility within selected apps.

From my brief hands-on time with Direct Touch Apps, it doesn’t appear that the feature is fully baked, as selecting an app in Settings → Accessibility → VoiceOver → Rotor Actions → Direct Touch Apps, doesn’t stick. We’ll follow up once additional betas are released with more details.

9to5Mac’s Take

The new Handoff experience is the standout feature in the initial iOS 14.4 beta. Here’s hoping that more Apple devices begin to adopt the U1 Ultra Wideband chip because it’s what makes interesting new features like this possible. What do you think?

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