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iOS 16 Makes Your iPhone Way More Powerful Than You Think

Why isn’t Apple shouting these hidden features from the rooftop?

You already know your iPhone can do a lot, but with any version of iOS 16 installed, it’s more powerful than you think. Underneath all the major new features, like home screen widgets, Live Activities and Emergency SOS via satellite, there are impressive tools and settings that Apple may not give as much shine to, but that can help make your day-to-day more efficient, interesting and fun.

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

And while you’re here, make sure you also brush up on the major new iOS 16 features you’ll love and a few that you might just hate (luckily, there’s a fix).

View and share saved Wi-Fi passwords

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 out 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 had to remember the password. Until now.

In Settings, go to Wi-Fi and tap the tiny information icon to the right of the network you want 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 into your clipboard and share it.

Wi-Fi network settings on iOS 16
You can view the password for any Wi-Fi network you’ve ever connected to, as long as you’re currently connected to it or near enough that it appears under My Networks.

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 littering up your photo album. It may not be a problem if you’ve got storage to spare, but you’re running out of space, you can now remove every single duplicate easily with iOS 16.

Read more: Introducing Apple Business Connect

In Photos > Albums, you should see a new Duplicates album under Utilities. Apple scans through all of your photos and shows 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 Merge, which will keep the photo with the highest quality (and relevant data) and then move the others to the trash.

 

Duplicates folder in Photos
Merging will keep the highest quality photo and delete the rest.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Although you’ll probably want to go through each set of duplicates, to ensure that they’re actually exact copies and not similar photos, you can also hit Select > Select All > Merge to remove every single photo and video that Apple thinks is a duplicate, all at once.

Hang up a phone or FaceTime call with Siri

Siri does a lot of 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 right? Now that’s finally a possibility with iOS 16.

In Settings, go to Siri & Search and first make sure Listen for “Hey Siri” is toggled on. If it is, you should see a new option underneath — Call Hang Up. Go into that option and toggle on Call Hang Up. When you’re on a phone call or FaceTime video chat, simply say, “Hey, Siri,” and ask her to hang up your current call.

Hang up call with siri
For this to work, Listen for “Hey Siri” must be toggled on first.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Pair Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with your iPhone

Apple has long allowed you to pair third-party controllers, like the PS5 Sony DualSense and Xbox Core Controller, to your iPhone and iPad, in order 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 own a Nintendo Switch, you 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 running 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 from the list. Repeat this step with the other Joy-Con.

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