Today's iPhone 2022 event was chock full of marquee reveals with the new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro — not to mention the new Watch Ultra line. But tucked away amidst the news torrenting out of Cupertino, Apple announced on Wednesday that iOS 16, which all this new hardware runs, will be available as a free download beginning September 12th. Not everybody will be eligible to upgrade however.
Among the updated operating system's new features is a redesigned lock screen focused on "communication, sharing, and intelligence" with more expansive wallpaper options, enhanced messaging capabilities and photo sharing, and improved Live Text performance. iOS 16 will also be the first to offer Apple's new Emergency SOS service, which will enable folks stranded in the backcountry to contact emergency responders via low bandwidth satellite communications (only for the iPhone 14, mind you, on account of the special antenna needed). That service will be free for the first two years, though the company has not yet released pricing for following the introductory period.
If you have an iPhone 7 or older, you will not have access to the new OS, unfortunately. iPhones 8 and newer, up to today's announced iPhone 14 and 14 Pro, will be notified once the update is pushed live.