5 hidden iOS 16 features we weren’t expecting to find

Apples iOS 16 is expected to be released in the fall, along with a host of big league features, including a suit redesigned lock screen with widgets and extensive customization, plus the ability to cancel sending and edit text messages and helps prevent stupid mistakes.

However, these features are just the beginning. You’ll be thrilled to learn that there are several new hidden features that could completely change the way you use your iPhone.

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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

And if you want to learn 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 right now. Find how Download and install the second 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. And you can 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-Con 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 you can find it easily, which 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 can 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 see what’s inside, 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 extract the password from 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 know 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 any duplicate photos and videos

Maybe you have saved the same photo multiple times or downloaded a video more than once, so you have duplicates scattered throughout your photo album. It might not be a problem if you have free storage, but if you don’t, it might be a good idea to go back and remove every single duplicate, which is now easy to do on iOS 16.

In Photos > Albumnow you should see a new one Duplicates album in Utilities, where Apple scans all your photos and shows you any photos or videos you’ve saved more than once. From there, you can delete any duplicates or just press Mergewhich will keep the photo in 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 > Merge to remove every single photo and video that Apple thinks is a duplicate, all at once.

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 are displayed 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.

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