9 hidden iOS 16 features we were surprised to find on the iPhone

9 hidden iOS 16 features we were surprised to find on the iPhone

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

Apple launched on Monday iOS 16.1his first big update for iOS 16. The latest version comes with several bug fixes and security updates, some new features like live activities and iCloud Shared Photo Library and even a battery meter icon redesign in the status bar.

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But those features are just the beginning of everything new in iOS 16. You’ll be excited to learn that there are several new features hidden away that could completely change the way you use your iPhone.

If you want to take a closer look at some of the hidden gems that iOS 16 has to offer, like password-protected photo albums and easily accessible Wi-Fi passwordsthis is 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 iOS 16 new features you’ll love Y some you might hate (luckily, there’s a solution).


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iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed


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Pair the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with your iPhone

Apple has long allowed you to pair third-party controllers, such as PS5 Sony DualSense and Xbox Core Controller, with your iPhone and iPad, to more comfortably play mobile video games like the apple arcade library, Minecraft and Call of Duty. Now you can add another console controller to that list.

If you have a nintendo switchYou can now pair your Joy-Con controllers with your iPhone or iPad running iOS 16. To get started, press and hold the small black pairing button on the Joy-Con, until the green lights begin to flicker back and forth. This means the device is in pairing mode. Next, open your iPhone and go to Settings > Bluetooth and select the Joy Con of the list. Repeat this step with the other Joy-Con.

Hidden and recently deleted albums are now password protected

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

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

The Hidden Album in Photos

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

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View and share saved Wi-Fi passwords

Apple has allowed iOS users to share Wi-Fi passwords for a while now, but only by placing two Apple devices near each other. And if that feature didn’t work automatically, you couldn’t just dig up the password from your settings. Also, if you wanted to share a saved Wi-Fi password with someone else, like an Android user or someone on a computer, you had to remember the password. Until now.

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

In Settings, go to Wifi and tap the little info icon to the right of the network you want the password for. To view the network password, touch the Key code and then use Face ID or enter your passcode to view it. You can then touch Copy to copy the password to your clipboard and share it.

Wi-Fi network settings in iOS 16

You can see the password for any Wi-Fi network you’ve ever connected to, as long as you’re connected to it or close enough for it to show up in My Networks.

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Find and remove duplicate photos and videos

Maybe you saved the same photo multiple times or downloaded a video more than once, resulting in duplicates in your photo album. It may not be a problem if you have storage to spare, but you are running out of space, now you can delete all the duplicates easily with iOS 16.

In Photos > albumsyou should see a new one duplicates album in Utilities. Apple scans all your photos and shows you any photos or videos you’ve saved more than once to that album. From there you can remove any duplicates or just hit Linkwhich will keep the photo at full quality (and relevant data) and then move the others to the trash.

Duplicate folder in Photos

Merging will keep the highest quality photo and remove the rest.

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Although you’ll probably want to review each set of duplicates, to make sure they’re actually exact copies and not similar photos, you can also press Select > Select all > Link to delete all the photos and videos that Apple thinks are a duplicate, all at once.

Hang up a phone or FaceTime call with Siri

Siri does a lot of things. She can use the virtual assistant to send a text message, get directions or play music, but one thing she’s never been able to do is hang up a phone call. Strange right? Now that’s finally a possibility with iOS 16.

In Settings, go to Siri and search and first make sure that Hear “Hey Siri” It is activated. If so, you should see a new option below: call to hang up. Enter that option and activate call to hang up. When you’re on a phone call or FaceTime video chat, just say “Hey Siri” and ask her to hang up the current call.

hang up with siri

For this to work, Hear “Hey Siri” must be activated first.

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Copy and paste photo and video edits

If you use the editing tool in the Photos app, you’ll be happy to know that you can now copy and paste edits, including saturation, contrast, and brightness, between photos. If you edit a photo or video and you’re happy with how it looks, you can paste those exact same edits to 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 tap Copy edits. This option will only appear if the photo has been edited in Photos, not in any third-party photo editor. Finally, go to the photo you want to copy these edits to, tap the three-dot menu, and then tap paste edits. After about a second, you should see the photo edits appear.

Copy and paste photo edits in iOS 16

This feature works between photos and videos.

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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 remove an app from your home screen or enter the wrong password on your lock screen. Oddly enough, haptic feedback has never been available for the standard iOS keyboard, until now.

If you want to enable a slight vibration for each key you type, go to Settings > Sounds and haptics > keyboard feedback and activate haptic. The sound option you see is the loud annoying noise you can hear when you type something and your phone is not in silent mode, so you can keep it off.

Haptic feedback settings for keyboard in iOS 16

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

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Pin your favorite tabs in Safari

Safari limits your open tabs to 500, and if you’re getting close to that limit, it can be quite difficult to find the exact tab you’re looking for. You can scroll endlessly, but now there’s an easier way to find the exact tab you’re looking for.

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

Pin a tab in Safari

All pinned tabs appear at the top of Safari.

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If you press down and unpin a tab, it will move to the first place in your grid of open tabs.

Use Face ID while lying down

If you have ever tried to unlock your iPhone while it is in an upright position, such as when lying on its side, you may have noticed that it doesn’t work. You must place your iPhone in portrait orientation, or upright, for Face ID to work. With iOS 16, you can finally use Face ID to unlock your iPhone when it’s in landscape orientation. However, for this to work, you must have an iPhone 13 or 14 running iOS 16.

To learn more about iOS 16 and iPhone, see 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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