6 awesome iOS Easter eggs you may have missed

iOS 16
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Technology Easter Eggs are fun, not necessarily because they help you do something better with your favorite hardware or software but because they're like a secret, a hidden treat inside an egg of code that, when opened, sparks just a little bit of joy.

Apple hides quite a few little Easter eggs in the iPhone via iOS 16. Sure, none of them are at the level of a full-blown game, but most are clever and some are even a bit touching. These are some of the best ones.

A favorite target of Apple for hiding little messages that perhaps only true Apple fans would notice is icons and emojis.

iOS Easter Eggs Steve Jobs Glasses

Yup, those are Steve Jobs glasses. (Image credit: Getty Images and composite)

1. Let’s start with Safari. If you open a webpage and choose the Bookmark icon, you’ll find three options, Bookmarks, History, and, in the center, Reading list. Take a close look at that eyeglass icon. Look familiar? It’s a replica of the eyeglasses Steve Jobs wore. Jobs founded Apple and served as CEO twice before his untimely death from cancer in 2011. Yes, pass the tissues.

iOS Easter Eggs Book Emoji

We did our best to sharpen this emoji image to prove it's real text. (Image credit: Future)

2. Over in Messages, there’s a well-known Easter egg hidden in one of the emojis.

If you’ve even texted someone the book emoji, you may have noticed what appears to be greeked or gibberish text on the tiny image. The truth is, it’s real text. We’ve done our best to blow up the emoji and sharpen the image so you can almost read the text.

What is it? It’s the text from Apple’s classic Think Different ad campaign in a commercial voiced by actor Richard Dreyfus 

iOS Easter Eggs working clock

Just for you, we captured the Clock emoji in motion. (Image credit: Future)

3. Apple has slowly removed some of the classic icon Easter eggs like the Maps icon showing the location of the original Apple Campus in California, but some remain.

You may not have noticed, for instance, that the clock icon is actually a working clock. Whenever you look at it, the time is always accurate, and, as you can see here, the second hand is always on the move.

4. Siri is also full of surprising responses that might be considered Easter eggs. You just have to know what to ask to get the right response. 

If you ask Siri, for instance, “Knock Knock,” the voice assistant will engage in the typical knock-knock joke back and forth. 

When we tried it, we got: 

Siri: “Okay, Knock knock.”

Us: “Who’s there?”

Siri: “Shamp.”

Us: “Shamp who?”

Siri: “Maybe rinse and repeat…”

Hilarious, right?

When we asked about the meaning of life, Siri made a joke about appreciating "the little things.”

5. Of course there are pop-culture Easter eggs in Siri’s bag of tricks. When we said, “Hey Siri, I am your father,” Siri responded with, “Searching my feelings,” a perfect Star Wars reference.

iOS Easter Eggs Clown Fish wallpaper

The clownfish wallpaper as it originally appeared in 2007 (left), it in the current Collections (center), and as our Lock Screen on an iPhone 14 Pro. (Image credit: Future)

6. Apple loves and celebrates its history in Easter eggs. In the latest version of iOS 16 (16.3.1) Apple hid a little nod that harkens back to the very first iPhone.

Back when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone in 2007, his demo phone featured a photo of a clownfish as its wallpaper. That wallpaper never made it to iPhones until now.

With the latest update, Collections in Wallpapers now includes that exact clownfish image (obviously in a resolution and aspect ratio that works for modern iPhones).

It’s a nice little nod to Jobs’s now iconic presentation that probably only the most ardent Apple fans will notice. 

Lance Ulanoff
Editor At Large

A 38-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.

Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.