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10 travel-friendly features coming to Apple’s newest iPhone software

June 06, 2022
10 min read
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It's that time of year again: when our Apple devices get a slew of new features and improvements thanks to redesigned operating systems.

This year, Apple dedicated much of its virtual keynote at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference to the software improvements coming this fall for iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches. (The tech giant even unveiled some new hardware, including a new MacBook Air, which is poised to be a contender for the best travel laptop.)

While there's a lot to get excited about, ten of the new features are especially appealing for travelers — let's take a look.

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Live Text helps you quickly get key info

Last year, Apple gave travelers a big update in the form of the Live Text feature.

Say you’re on the go and take a picture of a business card or a sign hanging at your favorite store.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

These shots were previously static, in that you’d need to find the picture and then trigger your short-term memory to jot down a phone number or email address.

With Live Text, your iPhone now automatically detects info on pictures and allows you to quickly tap to call, email or copy useful info.

Apple is bringing Live Text to videos in iOS 16, allowing you to pause and quickly interact with any info in the video, without needing to capture a screenshot or grab a notepad.

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Additionally, you’ll soon be able to perform quick actions on photos with Live Text.

Say you’re reading a sign in Europe that says something weighs 1.5 kg or costs 5 euros.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

With Live Text, you can quickly tap on the measurement or cost, and then quickly convert the weight or currency without needing to launch a second app.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

Plus, the Translate app is getting a new camera view, which will allow you to translate any photo in real-time, whether it’s a menu, poster or billboard in a foreign language.

IDs get more powerful

Apple is also building on the foundation that it laid last year when it introduced mobile IDs and driver's licenses.

While the feature is already live in Arizona and Maryland, the tech giant is actively working with 11 other states to enable digital IDs.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

With iOS 16, you’ll be able to use mobile IDs not just at TSA checkpoints, but also within apps to verify your identity. For instance, you could use your digital ID to verify that you’re above 21 years old to order liquor while you’re on the go.

(With Apple’s focus on privacy, your exact date of birth won’t be shared. Rather, just that you’re over 21.)

Sharing digital keys is easier than ever

Apple Wallet now supports digital hotel keys.

If you’re staying at an eligible hotel or resort, you can bypass both the reception desk and the hotel mobile app to get your room key. Simply opt-in for a digital key through Apple Wallet.

Apple rolled out this feature with World of Hyatt late last year, with additional partners including Walt Disney World and Nobu Hotels coming soon.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

Now, with the latest update to iOS, you’ll be able to share your digital key with family and friends directly through the Wallet app — with no need to approach the front desk.

You’ll be able to send your room key via Messages, WhatsApp or Mail.

Plus, the tech giant is working to standardize the tech behind digital keys to create a new industry standard that won’t necessarily require you to have an Apple device to use keys.

On-the-go dictation updates

When I’m on the go, I often use dictation on my iPhone to transcribe my messages and emails.

Now, with iOS 16, Apple is bringing some highly requested features to the dictation functionality.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

For one, dictation will automatically add punctuation, which will be especially useful when my hands are completely tied up.

Additionally, the keyboard will remain open during dictation, which will allow you to make real-time adjustments to the processed words.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

Finally, you’ll be able to highlight text and then replace it with dictation, giving your voice even more power with the latest software.

Tracking orders has never been simpler

Keeping track of my online orders, especially when I’m on the go, can be especially frustrating. I’m often navigating multiple apps and emails, with some of the most important info getting buried in my inbox.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

With iOS 16, you’ll be able to track all of your Apple Pay orders in the Wallet app. You’ll see all your order statuses, across multiple brands and shops, directly in the built-in app.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

At the outset, this functionality will support Shopify e-commerce platforms with additional support at "millions of merchants" coming soon.

Apply Pay Later

Apple is giving users the ability to check out with Apple Pay and pay over time with a new Apple Pay Later feature.

The cost of your purchase will be split into four equal payments spread over six weeks, with no interest or fees.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

This pay-over-time option will be available everywhere Apple Pay is accepted, but it will be limited to qualifying applicants in the U.S.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

We’ll be sure to follow up with more details once available from Apple, but this option could help unlock additional travel experiences and purchases for those on the road.

On the heels of Apple's move, Affirm, an incumbent in the BNPL (buy now, pay later) market, shared with TPG that "even as more players join the movement we started, the prize remains massive, and Affirm is well-positioned to win. We simply don't think anyone can do what our team and our technology can do."

Customizable lock screen with timely info

Since the iPhone’s introduction in 2007, the lock screen has largely looked the same.

That’s changing with iOS 16, giving users the ability to customize nearly every aspect of the screen, including the time display, widgets and more.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

Notifications also move to the bottom of the lock screen in a new carousel view.

For those on the go, the customizable lock screen will help you glance at all your important upcoming travel info. Plus, you even link a particular lock screen to a customized travel focus setting.

During the keynote, Apple highlighted an example of a live activities widget showing you a real-time view of your Uber ride status, giving you up-to-the-minute info on when your car will arrive.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

I’d imagine that many popular travel apps will add helpful live activities lock screen widgets in future app updates.

Revamped Apple Maps with big transit boosts

Apple's latest update will give users the ability to add multi-stop routes in Maps, with support for 15 planned stops.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

You’ll even be able to plan a particular route on your Mac and send it to your iPhone before you hit the road.

Personally, I’m especially excited about the improvements coming to transit directions.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

You’ll be able to see fares during route planning, and with transit cards in your digital wallet, you’ll even be alerted if your card doesn't have a sufficient balance to cover your planned trip.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

You’ll never miss a group photo

When I’m traveling with my family or friends, I always like to share my group photos. I also like to see what others have captured, too.

With Apple’s new Shared Photo Library, you’ll be able to share your group shots with everyone without needing to send content via AirDrop or through messages.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

The content you capture will appear in everyone’s memories, and you’ll be able to relive all your adventures without needing to ask someone to share a particular shot.

CarPlay coming soon

Apple is giving drivers a taste of what’s to come with CarPlay, the tech company’s next generation of in-car software that’ll debut late next year.

Car owners (and renters) will likely be excited about these improvements, which include the ability to tune the radio, change the temperature and perform other car adjustments without needing to exit CarPlay and use the car's built-in software system.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

Apple is also bringing widgets to CarPlay, so you’ll be able to glance at your upcoming meetings and travel plans when you’re stopped at a red light.

The next generation of CarPlay will even take over the gauge cluster with customizable displays and digital instrument options that will give you more control over what you see while driving.

Bonus: Use your iPhone camera as a webcam

If you’ve got both a Mac and an iPhone, you’ll soon be able to use your phone’s camera as a webcam for your computer.

This could be especially powerful for those working remotely, as the iPhone camera will offer improved low-light performance, portrait mode and Center Stage — a feature that pans the camera to your movement.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

Plus, by using the ultra-wide lens on your iPhone, you can enable a desk view that shows both your face and the an overhead view of your desk, which could be useful during presentations or when collaborating with co-workers.

Bottom line

Apple’s forthcoming software update promises to give users a number of new travel-friendly features that are sure to make hitting the road easier.

(Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

From improvements to the wallet experience to enhanced transit navigation, expect your travel experience to become more seamless than ever.

Apple is also packing some long-requested features into its newest software, including the ability to edit and undo iMessages, and the ability to mark threads as unread for easy access in the future.

While the list of improvements is long, Apple’s newest iPhone software has the potential to continue making all of us better travelers.

Featured image by (Screenshot courtesy of Apple)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023