Today at WWDC 2016, Apple unveiled to the world the next version of their mobile operating system, iOS 10. This update is bringing major new features to iDevices everywhere and increases the functionality of many of the features iOS already has.
Here’s everything you need to know about the next version of iOS.
1. New lock screen functionality and notifications
The first thing Apple spoke about at their keynote today was the new lock screen in iOS 10. They acknowledged the fact that since the Touch ID sensor is so quick on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, you don’t really have time to see your notifications before your phone is unlocked. They’re solving this problem with a new lift gesture they call Raise to Wake. What this does is wake up your iPhone when you lift it up so you can . It’s that simple. This way, you can see your notifications and interact with them using the new techniques available alongside access many different elements of the lock screen without having to worry about getting into your phone too quickly. It’s unclear at this time whether this feature works on all devices supporting iOS 10 or just the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, however we’ll let you know if we gain that information.
All notifications that pop up on your screen have been redesigned, making them a bit more Apple-like if you will as the firm is following a new design language which mimics speech bubbles and is pretty similar to the Mac’s UI.
Swiping to the right of the lock screen is where you’ll find a list of interactive widgets. You’ll also notice that Control Center is, while refreshed with a new look, isn’t customizable via changeable icons and controls. New 3D Touch features are also present on the lock screen alongside a redesigned notification center where widgets also appear.
2. Siri updates
As rumored previously, Apple has updated Siri with some new capabilities. Alongside a new, simpler UI, the firm also decided to open the virtual assistant to developers so they can plug their apps into her. At the event, WeChat was used as an example of this feature which allowed you to say, “Hey Siri, tell Nancy I’ll be five minutes late with WeChat” amongst others. This will definitely open new competition amongst Apple’s biggest competitors like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon in the voice assistant market as all three of those companies already support this type of feature with their assistants.
3. QuickType and Siri
As a part of the Siri upgrades mentioned above, QuickType now uses the voice assistant to help you message people more efficiently using Siri’s technologies and intelligence. Things like the ability for your iPhone to suggest different locations for sharing in messages and looking up contact information or calendar entries when you’re asked about them are all present, making typing a little less stressful and work-heavy.
4. Photos improvements
One of the shining features of iOS (at least in Apple’s eyes) is the Photos app. They believe that the gallery is a great place to view all your photos and videos while also find everything you’re looking for in a billion different ways. And it looks like the firm just added a billion more ways to find pics of your best friend or dog at that place you were at that day… and make movies out of them while you’re at it.
Here’s how Apple put it:
Photos in iOS 10 helps you rediscover favorite and forgotten occasions from your photo library by automatically surfacing them in Memories. Memories scans all your photos and videos and finds favorite and forgotten events, trips, and people, and presents them in a beautiful collection. A Memory also contains the Memory Movie, an automatically edited movie with theme music, titles and cinematic transitions.
Memories uses advanced computer vision to group the people, places and things inside your images into albums with on-device facial, object and scene recognition. This intelligence brings Memories and Related photos to life in a way that’s personal and meaningful to you, while maintaining your privacy.
5. Updates to Maps
Apple Maps has received a few new updates including a new design in iOS 10 which makes the experience “even simpler and more intuitive to use” according to Apple. This is very welcome since, as of now, we all know that Maps is a serious mess.
One of the updates included is the fact that developers now have access to Maps via an available SDK. This means that developers such as OpenTable or Uber and create plugins for Maps to integrate dinner reservations and make it easier to hail a ride.
Another upgrade Maps has received is more intelligence, as now the app can predict where you’re heading to next while driving based on your calendar appointments and everyday routine. This feature will notify you when it thinks you’re going somewhere and allow you to view your directions right on a display in your instrument panel via Apple CarPlay.
One last update headed to Maps is the addition of timed routines, meaning according to different routes you take and stops you make along the way, Maps will automatically tell you how long you’ve got until you reach your destination and factor in the time not driving. Pretty sweet, huh?
6. Apple Music redesign
Even though we didn’t get the expected black and white look, Apple did in fact give the Apple Music app a refresh. This includes a better focus on presented artwork and simplicity and includes a new design language Apple has created to make the experience much simpler on new users and create an easier way to discover new music.
Lyrics are now presented in every song you listen to, so now you can learn the words to that new jam by Kent Jones no one can understand. “Hola. ¿Cómo estás?” she said, “Konnichiwa”…
Oh yeah, and Connect is still here in case you were wondering. Great. 😐
7. Apple News app refresh
Another app to receive a design overhaul is the News app in iOS 10. The new version includes a redesigned For You section, supports paid subscriptions and breaking news alerts so you stay up to date on the latest happenings.
8. Official Home app and HomeKit updates
A new app found in iOS 10 is a Home app which allows you to control your HomeKit-connected devices using one app which is customizable via a wallpaper. You can also create presets like one called, “Good night” so you can shut your blinds, lock your door, and set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for the night. Integration with Control Center is also present, while video support for using a third-party doorbell with a camera and microphone to answer the door is now built-in natively.
The Home app is deeply integrated into iOS, delivering a simple and secure way to set up, manage and control your home in one place. Accessories can be managed individually or grouped into scenes so they work together with a single command and can be controlled by using Siri. They can be managed remotely or set up for home automation with Apple TV, and can respond with automatic triggers set by time of day, location or action.
Support for HomeKit continues to expand globally with nearly 100 home automation products adopting HomeKit this year, bringing support for thermostats, lights, window shades, door locks, video cameras and more to the Home app. Later this year, leading home builders, including Brookfield Residential, KB Home, Lennar Homes and R&F Properties, will begin integrating many of these HomeKit devices into new homes.
9. Improvements to the Phone app
Apple has updated the most unexpected app, the Phone app, with some new features.
First of all, the company has opened the app up to developers so coding extensions compatible with the software is possible (like spam catchers), while a VoIP API is also here to allow apps like WeChat or Skype to make and receive phone calls via the built-in app.
I’m pretty sure that more people will now be using the Phone app on their iPhones since these new features are being built in. Because, y’know, they probably haven’t touched it in eight years.
10. Upgraded Messages app
Probably the biggest update in iOS 10 is the new Messages app. Now, you have the power to send your friend a full screen animation to celebrate, say, a special day or accomplishment, or even a holiday. You’re also able to send a message using what Apple calls invisible ink, which means you need to swipe any message with your finger that you receive in this fashion. This also applies to photos and videos.
Another cool feature in Messages is the ability to make your texts bigger or smaller via bubble effects depending on whether you want to get your point across loudly or softly. In addition, responding to messages received with, say, a thumbs up or heart is now also a thing. In addition, words in messages you type with corresponding emojis can be tapped to convert them to their appropriate emoticons when using the emoji keyboard.
Replying to messages via actual handwriting, Digital Touch just like on Apple Watch, and voice recordings are also all present in the new Messages app. Developers can now also take advantage of the app by using the special SDK to build extensions to send things like stickers or even money via Square Cash. A custom place to download these extensions is built into the app for ease of access.
As discovered by 9to5Mac, other features of iOS 10 Apple didn’t mention on stage include,
- Read receipts by conversation in iMessages
- iCloud Drive Desktop folder
- Air Quality Index for China
- Faster Camera launch
- Continuity Clipboard
- Autocorrect improvements for Korean and Thai
- Notes Collaboration
- Unlimited tabs in Safari
- Male and female Siri voices for Russia, Spain, & Italy
- Definition dictionary in Danish
- Live Photos stabilization
- Markup in Messages
- Side-by-side Mail compose iPad
- Location suggestions in Calendar
- New iPad Camera UI
- Live Filters for Live Photos
- Conversation view in Mail
- Discover in iBooks
- Improved Auto Enhance in Photos
- Faster FaceTime connectivity
- CarPlay app reordering
- Split View in Safari on iPad
- Rest & type iPad keyboard
- Sort Favorites in News
- iCloud Drive Documents folder
- Bilingual dictionaries in Dutch & Italian
- Apple Pay in Safari
- Mail suggested move folder
- Air quality in Maps for China
- Found in Messages
- Brilliance adjustment slider in Photos
- Mail filters
- CarPlay on ultrawide screens
- Bedtime alarm
- Siri for South Africa & Ireland
- Definition dictionary in Traditional Chinese
- Live Photos editing
- Avoid tolls in Maps
- Mailbox column
- Faster attachment sending in Messages
And for developers…
- Interactive Notifications
- Cache Delete
- Smart Card API
- Window Tabs
- SiriKit Payments
- SiriKit VoIP calling
- Camera sensor data
- Live information
- Recent addresses
- SceneKit physically based rendering
- SiriKit Messaging
- iCloud for Developer ID
- SiriKit ride booking
- Xcode source editor extensions
- ReplayKit Live
- Book-a-ride extension
- Live Photos editing
- Apple Pay on the web
- SiriKit photo search
- iMessage apps
- Smaller Xcode download
- Xcode editor extensions
- Maps extensions
- Spam alert extension
- HomeKit Air Purifier
- Native VoIP experience
- Xcode FPS gauge
- Live Photos capture
- iMessage extensions
- Xcode thread sanitizer
- Speech Recognition
- HomeKit Doorbell
- Reservations Maps extension
- HomeKit accessories
- HomeKit Air Conditioning
- User notifications
- VoIP extensions
- Wide color
- CarPlay Maps instrument cluster
- Grid View
- HomeKit Camera
- CloudKit sharing
- RAW photo editing
- SiriKit Workouts
- Memory debugger
- Pixar USD model support
- Meta Tesselation
iOS 10 will be available this fall as a free upgrade for the iPhone 5/5c/5s/SE/6/6 Plus/6s/6s Plus, the iPad 2/3/4/Air/Air 2/Pro (both 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch), and the iPhone touch 5th and 6th generations. If you want to try out the new OS for yourself before the fall, you can install the beta on your device this July as a part of the beta program at beta.apple.com. You can also install the first build of iOS 10 right now if you’re a developer at developer.apple.com.
As more discoveries are made about iOS 10, we’ll update our site with the latest news as soon as we get it.
You can learn more about iOS 10 on Apple’s website.
What do you think of iOS 10? Hit or miss? Let us know in the comments!
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