7 hidden iOS 16 features we were surprised to find

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

iOS 16 It’s been out for over a week now and there’s a lot to explore in Apple’s latest mobile software update.

The biggest news include a new customizable lock screenthe skill of cancel sending and edit text messages and the ability to do it easily remove people, pets or objects from your photos. (See everything announced at Apple’s “Far Out” event.)

But these features are just the beginning of what’s new in iOS 16. You’ll be thrilled to learn that there are several new hidden features that could completely change the way you use your iPhone.

If you want to take a closer look at some of the hidden gems iOS 16 has to offer, such as 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 will love and a couple of Apple Maps features that will improve the way you travel.

You can also get your hands on iOS 16.1 right now. Watch how to download and install the developer beta on your iPhone.


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Pair the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons to 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 Arcade of apples library, minecraft and call of duty. You can now add another console controller to that list.

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

Recently deleted and hidden albums are now password protected

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

Thanks to iOS 16, you can now lock the Hidden album. Actually you don’t need to do anything to activate this feature. If you want to check it out, launch the Photos app and go up Album tab at the bottom of the screen. If you scroll down, you will see a small lock next to hidden And Recently deleted album. To view the contents of those albums, you’ll need to use Face ID or your passcode.

The album hidden in the photo

Hidden and Recently Deleted albums now require access to Face ID.

Nelson Aguilar / CNET

View and share saved Wi-Fi passwords

Apple has allowed iOS users to share Wi-Fi passwords for some time now, but only by placing two Apple devices close to each other. And if that feature didn’t work automatically, you couldn’t just pull the password out of your settings. Also, if you wanted to share a saved Wi-Fi password with someone else, such as an Android user or someone on a computer, you had to remember the password. Until now.

Read more: You can finally see your Wi-Fi passwords saved on an iPhone

In Settings, go to Wifi and tap the small information icon to the right of the network you want to enter the password for. To view the network password, tap the password section and then use Face ID or enter your passcode to view it. You can then tap copy to copy the password to the clipboard and share it.

Wi-Fi network settings on iOS 16

You can view the password for any Wi-Fi network you connected to, as long as you are currently connected or close enough to appear in My Networks.

Nelson Aguilar / CNET

Find and remove duplicate photos and videos

Perhaps you have saved the same photo multiple times or downloaded a video more than once, resulting in duplicates filling up your photo album. It may not be a problem if you have free storage, but you are running out of space, now you can easily remove every single duplicate with iOS 16.

In photos > Albumyou should see a new one Duplicate album in Utilities. Apple scans all of your photos and shows you any photos or videos that you have saved more than once in that album. From there, you can delete any duplicates or just press unitewhich will keep the photo with the highest quality (and relevant data) and then move the others to the trash.

Duplicate folder in Photos

Merging will keep the photo of the highest quality and eliminate the rest.

Nelson Aguilar / CNET

While you will probably want to go through each set of duplicates, to make sure they are indeed exact copies and not similar photos, you can also press To select > Select all > unite to remove every single photo and video that Apple thinks is a duplicate, all at once.

Copy and paste photo and video edits

If you use the editor tool in the Photos app, you’ll be happy to know that you can now copy and paste changes, including saturation, contrast, and brightness, between photos. If you edit a photo or video and are happy with the look, you can paste the exact same edits onto 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 on the three-dot menu in the top right corner and then hit CopyChanges. This option will only appear if the photo has been edited in Photos, not in a third-party photo editor. Finally, go to the photo you want to copy these changes to, tap on the three-dot menu and then press Paste the changes. After about a second, you should see the photo changes appear.

Copy and paste photo edits on iOS 16

This feature works between photos and videos.

Nelson Aguilar / CNET

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 the home screen or enter the wrong password on the lock screen. Oddly, haptic feedback has never been available for the stock iOS keyboard, until now.

If you want to enable a gentle vibration for every single key you type, go to Settings > Sounds and tactile > Keyboard feedback is active Tactile. The audio option you see is the loud, annoying sound you might hear when you type something and your phone isn’t in silent mode, so you can keep it disabled.

Keyboard haptic feedback setup on iOS 16

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

Nelson Aguilar / CNET

Add your favorite tabs in Safari

Safari limits your open tabs to 500, and if you’re getting close to that limit, it might be damn 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 card you’re looking for.

In Safari, if you press an open tab, you now have the option to press Pin board. This will move that tab to the top of Safari, where it will exist as a preview of a small tab, permanently pinned there, which you can then tap to view.

Block a tab in Safari

All pinned tabs appear at the top of Safari.

Nelson Aguilar / CNET

If you press and unlock a tab, it will move to the first one in the open tab grid.

For more information on iOS 16 and iPhone, find out why some are not happy with the new battery icon and discover the three things you should do first after installing iOS 16.

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