Apple’s upcoming iOS 16 update brings with it a lot of new features — things like the ability to customize your Lock Screen, edit iMessages, or copy written text from a video. But Apple’s also made an under-the-radar change to some of the iPhone’s sounds, which some of us here at The Verge noticed while using the betas.
When you go to the Find My app and choose the “play sound” option for an iOS / iPadOS 16 device, you’ll now be greeted with what sounds like an electronic xylophone, instead of the pinging sound that played on iOS 15 and before. The change also applies to when you ask your Apple Watch to ping your phone for you, except the sound plays once instead of over and over. One of my co-workers described the new sound as higher pitched and easier to hear, but I’ll let you judge how it sounds for yourself.
Let me just say: I think this sound is way better than the old one. While iOS 15’s radar-like pings are a thematically appropriate soundtrack while I’m searching for a lost phone, the new sound seems fun and playful, like my phone is doing a little “here I am, come find me” dance.
What I don’t love as much is the new Siri activation sound. While Siri’s classic two-note activation beep has been missing for a while (when I say “hey Siri” or hold down the power button on your phone, Siri just waits a moment before uttering a slightly creepy “uh-huh?” or “hmm?”), there is still one place I hear it: when activating the voice assistant while using CarPlay. Now, that tone has been replaced with a softer bong, which I find way less attention-grabbing. While I like the sound, I’m not a huge fan of the fact that it makes me second-guess whether Siri’s actually listening while I’m trying to keep my eyes on the road.
If you’ve made it this far in the story, I think it’s safe to assume you’re interested in the sounds phones make to notify use humans that something’s happening. If that’s the case, you may want to check out our incredible article detailing the history of Nokia’s famous ringtones.