The 2016 World Wide Developers Conference was certainly a notable one for Apple fans, but undoubtedly the highlight was the unveiling of iOS 10. The Apple mobile operating system is unquestionably the most significant piece of software that the consumer electronics giant produces, and the latest version is certainly a landmark for the iOS series. Far from being a minor update to last year’s iOS 9,The new iOS 10 system represents a major upgrade to the software.
There are so many new elements to the iOS 10 system that it is difficult to summarize all of them, but here are some of the key features which will mean that this software is a significant improvement over iOS 9.
Apple has completely redesigned the lock screen included in iOS 10, most notably including a brand new raise-to-wake feature, which enables users to display the lock screen without pressing any buttons. All notifications can now be deleted immediately via a single 3D Touch gesture, and Apple has also updated widgets and provided new features related to third-party applications.
Siri was always likely to get a major update with iOS 10, and Apple certainly hasn’t disappointed. Apple has utilized a deep learning process in order to vastly improve the Quick Type suggestions that the personal assistant and artificial intelligence program generates. This can operate in a wide variety of ways, but essentially Siri will now make intelligent suggestions in real-time to iPhone and iPad users.
Apple was also keen to emphasize a new feature in the Siri software referred to as memories, which enables users to automatically group together various media in order to create movies, slideshows and other impressive presentations.
A good example of this functionality is that now the iPhone will enable users to group together hundreds of photographs automatically into what Apple describes as a single ‘memory’. iOS 10 automatically creates a highlight reel, with music, videos and still images for each memory, and will even intelligently recommend other related memories based on people and locations.
This sounds like an intriguing addition to the iOS 10 portfolio.
Apple has also added new functionality to Maps, and completely redesigned the front end of the software. This was certainly necessary, as every man and his dog already realises that Google Maps is far superior at present. Apple has attempted to address this deficit by ensuring that Maps now offers traffic on route, while proactive location features have also be included in the software. Maps has become slicker, more feature-packed and significantly more intelligent.
It was widely anticipated ahead of the unveiling of iOS 10 that Apple would make major changes to Apple Music, and this has indeed come to fruition. Apple has had to field a rather large number of consumer complaints relating to this service, and thus the corporation has chosen to completely redesign the user interface of the software.
Thus, Apple users will be able to tap straight into their music library, while the playlist has been made considerably more accessible. A dedicated search tab has also been included for the first time, and Apple has also made an effort in order to insure that other key aspects of the software are more readily accessible.
However, some users have reflected that the changes are mainly cosmetic, and that the software needed more fundamental attention.
Apple News is already a rip-roaring success for the corporation, with a reported 650 million monthly readers. Yet Apple is not resting on its laurels in this department, with iOS 10 completely redesigning and revamping this popular aspect of the operating system. Although it has just been unveiled, comments on the new user interface have been extremely positive, with News now resembling the new Apple Music app.
News is smarter now, able to offer easy access to favourite topics and suggestions based on observations of user behaviour. Breaking news notifications are being added to the mix as well.
Another anticipated aspect of the iOS 10 operating system was the beefing up of the smart home functionality included in iOS 10, and this arrives on cue with the introduction of the new home app. This new aspects of the iOS 10 system enables all HomeKit compatible accessories to be controlled via a single piece of software. This really opens up the smart home capabilities of the iOS 10 operating system; a single command now able to operate several different aspects of a person’s home.
HomeKit device controls have also being added directly to Control Center, and Apple has ensured that the new home system collaborates intelligently with Siri.
The phone app included in iOS 10 now has the ability to automatically transcribe voicemail, opening up a whole new world of possibility for Apple business users and consumers. Apple has also improved the VoIP capabilities of the software, and an extension API now enables users to block spam calls automatically.
Messages is one of the most important apps included in the iOS 10 system, simply because it is one of the most frequently utilized. Thus, Apple has ensured that Message users are well served by this latest operating system release, as a wide variety of new features have been added to the software.
Rich links now enable users to preview content when messages are received with a link, with videos on this system playing automatically. Emojis have been increased in size significantly, and the Quick Type system will now offer emoji suggestions. Handwriting and Digital Touch have also migrated from the Apple Watch.
There is also a new pleasing bubble effect which enables users to send messages that feature animated chat bubbles. These bubbles then increase and decrease in size when whispering and shouting, for example. Apple has also ensure that iOS 10 supports iMessage maps, enabling developers to build software and make it available to users via an iMessage app drawer.
Apple also announced new collaboration features for Notes, digital image stabilization related to its Live Photos application, and the introduction of a split view in its Safari browser, although this final feature is only available to iPad users.
Perhaps it is a little strong to describe iOS 10 as a quantum leap over iOS 9, but it is certainly a considerable step forward.