iPhone For Seniors For Dummies
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Apple’s iPhone gets its features from a combination of hardware and its software operating system, which is called iOS (short for iPhone operating system). The most current version of the operating system, as of December 2022, is iOS 16.

It’s helpful to understand which new features the latest models and iOS 16 bring to the table.

Features of the latest models

Apple’s latest additions to the iPhone family are the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max. Like their predecessors, they're highly advanced smartphones that leave competitors in the dust. Following, are some of the key features of the latest iPhone models.

A15 and A16 Bionic chips

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus models include the A15 chip, while the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max receive the latest and greatest, the A16. The truly innovative tech in these models demands processors that can handle some heavy lifting while still being able to answer calls and retrieve email, and the A15 and A16 are both more than capable.

Dynamic Island (14 Pro and Pro Max models only)

No, this isn’t the latest reality show craze, but rather a long-awaited innovation. iPhone models of late have sported a notch at the top of their screens where sensors, cameras, and other hardware reside.

Dynamic Island is a seamless pairing of hardware and software that effectively makes that area come alive with information for you, making it an upgraded notch with a twist, if you will. The notch appears to expand or contract, depending on the notifications, alerts, and other activities its currently tasked with. I hope this great update will find its way into other iPhone models moving forward.

Emergency SOS via Satellite and Crash Detection

Apple has incorporated these two critically important new safety features into the iPhone 14 lineup. Emergency SOS via Satellite helps you reach emergency responders when you’re outside traditional cell or Wi-Fi service.

Crash Detection utilizes new gyroscope and accelerometer tech in the latest models to detect when you’ve been in an automobile crash and will cause your iPhone to alert emergency services automatically. Both features are something you never want to need but are thankful to have.

Splash, water, and dust resistance

Your new iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, or 14 Pro Max is resistant to damage caused by water splashing onto it or from dust collecting in it. Now, you don’t want to take your iPhone 14 model deep-sea diving, but it’s likely to survive submersion in about six meters of water for up to 30 minutes. In other words, if your iPhone 14 model gets wet, it’s much more likely to survive the ordeal than older iPhone iterations, but it still isn't something you’d like to see happen to your expensive investment.

You might consider acquiring AppleCare+, which is Apple’s extended warranty, currently priced at $149 (iPhone 14), $179 (14 Plus), or $199 (iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max) per year. Monthly plans are also available. AppleCare+ covers unlimited incidents of accidental damage (but you will be charged minimal fees, based on the nature of the repair), which could more than cover the cost of repairing your iPhone without it. You can also get AppleCare+ with theft and loss coverage for an additional $70 (all four models).

Ceramic Shield

The toughness and durability of Apple’s screens just keeps getting better. Ceramic Shield was developed by Apple and Corning, and according to them, it’s the toughest screen ever for a smartphone, making it four times more likely than other smartphones to survive a drop unscathed.

Don’t think your iPhone is unbreakable. Cases are still a good — no, make that a great — idea. As mentioned, Apple has a line of cases that not only protect your iPhone but also allow for wireless MagSafe and Qi charging. (Qi is an industry-standard wireless charging technology used by Apple and most smartphone manufacturers.)

Features of iOS 16

Any iPhone model from the iPhone 8 and newer (including the SE second generation, and all 11, 12, 13, and 14 models) can use most features of iOS 16 if you update the operating system. This update to the operating system adds many features, including (but definitely not limited to) the following.
  • All-new lock screen: Apple’s taken a fresh approach to the lock screen, allowing you to customize it to your heart’s content. You can create lock screens for every occasion, switch between them in a snap, and include items like widgets, live activities, weather, and more.
  • Focus: Think of Focus as an extension of the Do Not Disturb feature. You can customize a focus to filter notifications based on what you’re doing at the moment. iOS 16 introduces new features like focus schedules, focus filters (imagine one for work and one for personal), and allow and silence lists for apps and contacts.
  • Photos: Photos in iOS 16 includes the new iCloud Shared Photo Library feature, which allows you to create a library of photos that you can share with others via iCloud. Other participants may also collaborate by adding their own photos to the library, providing a more complete memory experience for all. Everyone can also edit, delete, caption, and mark as a favorite any photo in the library.
  • Messages: The latest iteration of Messages finally allows you to select multiple messages at once (for example, if you want to delete several at one time), mark read messages as unread, edit messages you’ve already sent (up to 15 minutes after), and more. This is a nice upgrade, IMO.
  • Safari: Tab groups, a welcome new feature in iOS 15, allow you to group your open web pages any way you like. iOS 16 takes the feature a step further by allowing you to share tab groups and create pinned tabs in tab groups. It also introduces Passkeys, a new and more secure way to authenticate yourself on websites that require a password.
  • Maps: Maps now allows you to add multiple stops along your route. The new Transit Fares feature helps you calculate fares and other fees so you can better prepare for trip costs.
  • Health app: You can now use Health to track your medications, discover potential interaction issues, add medications by scanning the label on bottles, get reminders when it’s time to take medications, and more.
These are but a few of the improvements made to the latest version of iOS. I suggest visiting Apple's iOS 16 web page to find out more.

Don’t need all the built-in apps? You can remove them from your Home screen. When you remove a built-in app from your Home screen, you aren't deleting it — you’re hiding it. (Note that built-in apps take up very little of your iPhone’s storage space.)

If you change your mind, you can easily add them back to your Home screen by searching for them in the App Store and tapping the Get button, or by retrieving them from the App Library. How you recover them depends on the app; some allow you to hide them while others only let you relegate them to the App Library.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Bob LeVitus has written nearly 100 reference books on Apple technologies. He’s the author or coauthor of macOS For Dummies, iPad For Dummies, and iPhone For Dummies, among others.

Dwight Spivey probably wrote the rest of the For Dummies books on Apple products, including iPhone For Seniors For Dummies, iPad For Seniors For Dummies, and Apple Watch For Seniors For Dummies.

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