All eyes are on Apple now, as the company has just released its next major iPhone software update, iOS 16. Pixel phones – and it comes with some eye-catching improvements.
The main update is perhaps improvements to Google’s At a Glance widget, which makes important information visible on both the home screen and the lock screen.
The update adds new information options that can be displayed on the lock screen, including a video feed of your Nest Doorbell, air quality alerts, and a reminder that your flashlight is on.
But that’s not all this update brings. It also allows you to add a shortcut to a screenshot vaccination card on your home screen, so you can display proof of your vaccination status with a single tap.
Elsewhere, Google’s Live Translator feature now supports Traditional Chinese, Korean, Dutch, Turkish, and Thai; there are new wallpapers available; and the update arrives next to a Pocket Operator app (opens in new tab)which allows you to edit and add sounds to your recorded videos.
There’s also the usual plethora of bug fixes and security updates, so even if the new features don’t interest you, the update is worth downloading. It’s already started rolling out, but it won’t be available to everyone right away, so keep an eye out for an alert on your phone.
Review: Lock screens are getting updates on iOS and Android
One of the great new features in iOS 16 is the ability to fully customize the lock screen and add widgets to it. It’s a big change, but with this feature drop, Pixel users are getting a bunch of new widget-like features right now via the At a Glance update.
These new features follow on from other recent updates that added earthquake alerts and details of connected Bluetooth devices to the lock screen, so you can see a lot without ever unlocking your phone.
That said, these features are only available to Pixel owners – not the wider Android world, and it looks like iOS 16 will allow users to add an even wider variety of things to the lock screen.
So this isn’t quite what Apple is doing, but on the other hand, it’s available now, while iOS 16 probably won’t be released in its final form until September.