11 Hidden iOS 16 Features You Should Be Using on Your iPhone

It’s been half a year since Apple released iOS 16, and yet there are still new features and settings to discover on the iPhone’s latest software update. These lesser-known features are certainly not as popular as the main features, such as customizable lock screen or ability to send text messagesbut they are still worth exploring because they can unlock a whole new experience for you on your iPhone.

I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the best hidden gems in iOS 16, like password-protected photo albums, easily accessible Wi-Fi passwords and more.

Read more: All the new features in iOS 16.3

And while you’re here, make sure you brush up on the major too new iOS 16 features you’ll loveand a few that you might just hate (luckily there is a solution).

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 automatically work, you couldn’t just dig up the password from your settings. Plus, if you wanted to share a saved Wi-Fi password with someone else, like an Android user or someone on a computer, you’d have to remember the password. Until now.

In Settings, go to Wireless Internet and tap the small information icon to the right of the network you want the password for. Tap to see the network password Password and then use Face ID or enter your password to view it. You can then press Copy to copy the password to your clipboard and share it.

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

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Find and remove duplicate photos and videos

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

IN Photos > Albumsyou should see a new one Duplicates album under Utilities. Apple will scan through all your photos and show you any photo or video you’ve saved more than once in that album. From there you can either delete any duplicates or simply press Mergewhich will keep the highest quality image (and relevant data) and then move the others to the trash.

Interlacing preserves the image at its highest quality and deletes the rest.

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

While you’ll probably want to go through each set of duplicates to make sure they’re actually exact copies and not similar images, you can also tap choose > Select all > Merge to remove every single photo and video that Apple believes is a duplicate at once.

Hang up a phone or FaceTime call with Siri

Siri does many things. You 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. Weird isn’t it? Now it’s finally an option with iOS 16.

In Settings, go to Siri & Search and make sure first Listen for “Hey Siri” is turned on. If it is, you should see a new option below — Call Hang up. Enter this opportunity and strike Call Hang up. When you’re on a phone call or FaceTime video chat, just say “Hey Siri” and ask her to hang up on your current call.

For this to work, Listen for “Hey Siri” must be switched on first.

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Pair the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with your iPhone

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

If you own one Nintendo Switchyou can now pair your Joy-Con controllers to your iPhone or iPad running iOS 16. To start, hold down the little black pairing button on the Joy-Con until the green lights start to cycle back and forth. This means that the device is in pairing mode. Then open your iPhone and go to Settings > Bluetooth and choose Joy-Con from the list. Repeat this step with the other Joy-Con.

Video: iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed

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. This makes it impractical to 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. You don’t actually need to do anything to turn this feature on. To check it out, launch the Photos app and go to Albums tab at the bottom of the screen. If you scroll down, you will see a small lock next to it Hidden and Recently deleted album. To view the contents of these albums, you must use Face ID or your password.

The hidden and recently deleted albums now require Face ID to access.

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Copy and paste photo and video edits

If you use the editing tool in the Photos app, you’ll be happy to learn that you can now copy and paste edits, including saturation, contrast, and brightness, between photos. If you edit one photo or video and are happy with the look, you can apply the same exact edits to any other photo or video in your camera roll.

To do this, launch the Photos app and open an image that has been edited in full screen. Then tap on the three dots menu in the top right corner and then tap Copy edits. This option only appears if the photo has been edited in Photos, not a third-party photo editor. Finally, go to the image you want to copy these edits to, tap the three-dot menu, then tap Paste edits. After a second or so, you should see the image edits appear.

This feature works between photos and videos.

Screenshots by 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 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 light vibration for each key you type, go to Settings > Sounds and haptics > Keyboard feedback and strike Haptic. The sound setting you see is the loud and annoying clapping sound you hear when you’re typing and your phone isn’t in silent mode, so you can keep it off.

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

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Pin your favorite tabs in Safari

Safari limits your open tabs to 500, and if you approach that limit, it can be pretty difficult to find the exact tab you’re looking for. You can scroll endlessly, but there’s now 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 hit 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. Pressing down and releasing a tab moves it to first in your grid of open tabs.

All your pinned tabs appear at the top of Safari.

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Use Face ID while lying down

If you’ve ever tried to unlock your iPhone while it’s vertical, like when you’re lying on its side, you might have noticed that it doesn’t work. You must place your iPhone in portrait or upright orientation for Face ID to work. With iOS 16, you can finally use Face ID to unlock your iPhone when it’s in landscape orientation. But for this to work, you need an iPhone 13 or 14 running iOS 16.

Copy your screenshots to your clipboard without saving them

You don’t need to save a screenshot to your photo album to share it with someone else. A new iOS 16 feature lets you take a screenshot, copy it to your clipboard, delete it from your phone, and paste it wherever you like. After taking a screenshot, tap on the screenshot preview that appears done at the top right, then tap Copy and delete to copy the screenshot to your clipboard.

If you take a lot of screenshots, this feature can help you save storage space.

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Remove multiple pre-installed Apple apps

Since iOS 10, you’ve been able to remove some pre-installed iOS applications like Stocks, Maps, and Calculator — but not all of them. With the release of iOS 16, you can add three more apps to this list of those you can remove: Find My, Clock, and Health. However, deleting these apps can negatively affect and break support with other apps and connected devices, such as your Apple Watch.

For more on iOS 16 and iPhone, check out our IOS 16 cheat sheet.

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