iOS 16 Release Date: All Details

The newest version of the iPhone operating system brings handy features to your lock screen and iMessages.

Ditch your old lock screen and enter a new era of phone customization when iOS 16 arrives on Sept. 12. Apple revealed the iOS 16 and WatchOS 9 release date Wednesday as part of its fall iPhone event.

This is a yearly tradition for Apple: Announce the next version of iOS in the spring at its WWDC conference,

spend the summer testing the new operating system with developers and other beta testers, then launch the OS alongside the newest iPhone in the fall.

These annual upgrades to iOS are important chances for Apple to make larger overhauls to its operating system, which it's been doing since 2007.

Users can still expect smaller updates throughout the year -- iOS 15.6.1 is the latest version, and it includes an important security patch

but the September updates that upgrade iOS by an entire version usually involve the biggest changes.