Top iOS 16 Features to Test
By Soumya Ananth, Community Contributor - November 29, 2022
It’s finally here—the long-awaited iOS version upgrade. With every major version release, Apple never ceases to astonish its users with new, fascinating features. However, it raises the issue of iOS fragmentation for iOS app developers.
Why is testing for iOS 16 features necessary?
Android fragmentation makes it challenging for app developers to offer a consistent user experience across the spectrum. While device fragmentation is primarily seen in Android due to multiple players making devices, it is not the case with iOS. Moreover, Apple tries to keep iOS fragmentation minimal and ensures that users upgrade to the latest version as soon as possible by delivering timely and easy updates.
Apple users keep themselves very updated regarding the iOS version. Nonetheless, remember that every iOS user can’t or won’t upgrade to the latest iOS version simultaneously, which is why fragmentation still exists; however, the share of older versions remains considerably lower, as clearly inferred from the graph below.
Apple device market share from 2016 till 2022
Moreover, the latest statistics by Mixpanel show how the adoption of iOS 16 users increased to over 60% in the last two months since it was released, while the number of iOS 15 users dropped significantly. This quick transition from iOS 15 to 16 makes it crucial for iOS developers to test their apps for the new features to ensure cross platform compatibility and deliver a consistent user experience.
Top iOS 16 features to consider for testing
iOS 15 makes significant advancements in several key areas on which Apple has been working for several releases. These include increased security and privacy, blocking ad tracking, enhancing Siri and the camera app, and many other things.
In addition, the upgrade makes possible updates to the other applications, including new communication capabilities and the ability to share plays in other apps.
|iOS 16 features||Description|
|Editing Messages||With its new feature iOS 16 enables users to edit the text message as soon as it is sent.|
It solves a core problem when users send a text only to realize seconds later that there is an error in it that needs to be amended.
|iCloud Shared Photo Library||The new iCloud Shared Photo Library, offers a more straightforward, more exciting way to share images with friends and family. |
The users may create a shared library by choosing images from a specific date or by marking the faces in the images they wish to share. iCloud Shared Photo Library allows users to share photos with up to five others. The feature lets them share pictures straight from the Camera after your shared library is set up.
|Customizable lock screen||The most talked-about change in iOS 16 is undoubtedly Apple’s decision to allow customization of the lock screen. This is likely because it opens the way for an always-on display feature in the iPhone 14 Pro this autumn.|
|Live activities on the lock screen||In addition to the new lock screen, iOS 16 will introduce a new type of notification.|
Live Activities alert users to a live item happening right now, as stated at the WWDC keynote. Additionally, because it’s live, the notice stays on the lock screen and updates as events unfold.
|Focus fixes||In iOS 16, Focus is also migrating to the lock screen so that users can link their focus mode—work, personal, or whatever—so that the lock screen matches the work mode.|
|Multiple stops in Maps||The option to add numerous stops along the journey is the first of two iOS 16 enhancements that look very promising.|
If you want to add in a gas station diversion during a route, you may add a stop with iOS 15, but several errands are considerably difficult in the current version of Maps. This will change with the addition of support for multiple pauses in iOS 16. Even better, because you can sync instructions between your Mac and your iPhone, you can study all those stops on your Mac’s larger screen and then transmit them to your iPhone when it’s time to hit the road.
|Fitness app||The iPhone will receive its fitness app, which will use the phone’s sensor to monitor steps and distance walked. You’ll also be able to connect third-party applications to estimate calories expended throughout your workout.|
|Safety Check||With Safety Check, Apple has addressed one of the most significant problems with sharing location data, which is one of the unintended effects of technological advancements. In addition, the function enables someone to reset system privacy rights and restricts access to FaceTime and Messages.|
|Improvements in notes||With Apple adopting the Quick Notes functionality made accessible for iPads, starting a Note will be more straightforward in iOS 16. You may now make a note by touching the Share menu in any app; it’s the square with the arrow poking out of the top. Other Notes updates for iOS 16 include note locking with your iPhone’s passcode rather than a separate password and customizable filters for Smart Folders to make locating the note you’re searching for more straightforward..|
|Mail Search||It’s safe to argue that the Mail app on iOS 15’s presents mediocre search features. Fortunately, Apple is updating search on other platforms, most notably with macOS Ventura, which suggests that the iPhone may soon get improvements.|
We need to see Mail’s search function before fully believing Apple’s claim that it would provide “more accurate and comprehensive results.” However, the updated search now offers suggested results before you start typing, supposedly using on-device intelligence, which is even more fascinating.
|Safari passkeys||In May, Apple announced increased support for the FIDO password-free sign-in standard, which replaces passwords with specific passkeys that only need a PIN, security key, or biometric identity to log in, joining Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants. The results of such efforts will be visible in iOS 16 Safari, which guarantees passkey support for more secure sign-in. We must see it in action if we want to assess this feature’s simplicity and usefulness. However, the aim is to be able to check into websites using an encrypted mechanism that is impervious to phishing attacks or data leaks. You can still utilize passkeys, even non-Apple devices, to access websites.|
|Live Text improvements||Live Text was a feature that Apple brought to iOS 15, and it was both a welcome addition and a reflection of the advancements the firm was making with on-device machine intelligence. For example, you could use Live Text to extract the text from a picture and put it to use by dialing phones, searching websites, or even adding the extracted text into documents. With the addition of video text recording, iOS 16 boosts Live Text. As a result, it will be simpler to access quick operations like launching web pages and dialing phone numbers.|
|Dictation||Apple is now enabling simultaneous use of voice dictation and the touchscreen keyboard so you can go back and amend any errors made by the Siri assistant.|
Read the official Apple iOS 16 features list to know every feature in detail.
Performing iOS 16 features test on a Real Device Cloud
While a lot has already been discussed on why and what to test, it is equally important to address the question of How to Test on iOS 16. There are different ways to test iOS apps, like testing on emulators or simulators, but they cannot offer the features of real devices. Testing on real devices is a great way to test the compatibility of mobile apps with devices across different OS versions.
One can build an in-house device lab, but that would be costly and require a lot of maintenance. However, when deciding between build vs buy, it is recommended to Buy a third-party cloud solution for testing for a better testing experience.
BrowserStack offers you access to iOS 16 and older versions for instantly testing, debugging, and sharing test reports with the team. The best part of using the BrowserStack platform is that you don’t need to buy any device. Instead, you get all the latest and legacy devices like iPhone 14 from Day 0 to test.
To get started, one needs to:
1. Sign-up for a free trial on BrowserStack App-Live
2. Upload the iOS app (.ipa file) from the App-live dashboard. One can also directly install the test app from the App Store. Refer to the image below for better clarity on the options available on the dashboard.
3. Choose the desired Apple handset to test the app on (For example, iPhone 13 Pro).
4. Start Testing your iOS app for the latest features of iOS 16.
Debug using the developer tools in real user conditions to ensure a seamless end-user experience without any bugs
The app settings may be updated to include the newest features, like testing biometric authentication, QR code, Bar code, camera, geolocation, and device passcode, depending on your testing needs. For the best iOS app testing, you may record your session, report errors, switch to Dark Mode, and even go offline.
It is crucial to test each feature and comprehend the workflow with each new OS version released for iPhone devices to validate and comprehend the operation of the parts more thoroughly. Consider the OS version adoption rate and region-specific testing while evaluating iOS features, as not all features are accessible everywhere. You can test on different iOS versions manually using BrowserStack App Live or automatically using App Automate, on legacy and latest devices.