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If you’re an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch owner who has been waiting eagerly for WWDC 2016 announcements, then you will be glad to learn that Apple has officially announced and provided us with the first glance of iOS 10. Apple’s annual developer conference has become almost as much about what gets announced during the opening keynote as it is about the actual workshops and engineer sessions that are offered to developers throughout the WWDC week.
As expected, Tim Cook and his executive team team have stood tall at the front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to provide us with our first look into iOS 10.
Apple’s next major release of iOS has been heavily speculated about over the last few months. There’s been plenty of Internet chatter about whether or not Apple would look to entirely reinvent the platform with a slew of new major updates and features, or whether or not it would go down the route of solidifying and stabilizing the platform ahead of an iPhone 7 launch later this year.
As always, we’ve got everything you need to know about iOS 10, including all the new features, as well as compatibility and release date. Enjoy.
–Redesigned Lock Screen
iOS 10 has redesigned the Lock screen, giving it a clear background even when notifications are in view, a search bar at the top and a host of info, including notifications, appointments, Map suggestions and Siri App Suggestions, presented in neat cards with rounded corners.
Fans of the Quick Reply feature are bound to love this one. iOS 10 introduces interactive notifications to the platform, allowing users to view media or respond to messageswith full view of the thread, right from the notification view.
–3D Touch-Powered Interactive Widgets
With iOS 10, certain apps are getting the capability to display an interactive widget of info with a 3D Touch-powered hard-press. These include Stocks, Weather and Calendar.
The new and improved Messages app in iOS 10 promises more expressive conversations with your friends and family with the addition of stickers, message bubble animations, full-screen effects like balloons flying across the screen or confetti dropping down from the top, and animated handwritten notes.
Users can now view or play shared content such as web links or music right within the Messages app and easily insert hard-to-find emoji through the use of automatic suggestions, which can replace a word of choice with the appropriate emoticon. A fun new feature called Tapback allows you to respond to a message much like Facebook allows you to react to posts.
On top of all that, Messages is being opened to developers. The app now houses an “app drawer” of its own that will allow users to quickly jump to the App Store to download “iMessage apps” and then use them to do all manner of things from customizing GIFs to sending payments to a friend.
–Maps Redesign And Extensions
Since its disappointing debut years ago, the stock Maps app in iOS has seldom been deemed a viable alternative to the likes of Google Maps. It has taken a couple major iterations, but it seems Apple is finally gearing up to fix the problem. Not only has Maps been given a fresh coat of paint, it can now provide proactive suggestions for places you are likely to visit from your current location, and the ability to search for places of interest, even while receiving turn-by-turn directions.
The most significant change here, however, is the app’s ability to integrate with third-party extensions, allowing users to make reservations at restaurants, book Uber rides and pay for it all through Apple Pay without ever having to leave the app.
-Apple Music Revamp
If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, allowing Apple to handle all of your music streaming needs across multiple devices, then iOS 10 will definitely appeal to you. iOS 10 still continues to promote Apple Music as a perfect streaming option through the native Music app, but Apple has seen fit to make some changes that will hopefully improve the overall experience.
First of all, there’s been a redesign of certain views within Apple Music to try and allow users to more easily find and discover new content. The app opens to the Library section, there’s now a separate Search tab, and the For You page puts additional emphasis on album artwork to bring your music collection to life.
Moreover, it seems that after trying to push the ability to “connect” with artists when Apple Music was initially unveiled, the company has conceded that it just hasn’t been executed correctly and doesn’t really warrant a section of its own. To that end, as was expected, Connect will no longer command its own tab bar item in the main interface, and will instead form part of the For Youexperience within iOS 10.
The Radio and Now Playing screens too have been refreshed, with the latter sporting a card-based UI and, as per pre-WWDC rumors, support for song lyrics.
-Siri Improvements And SiriKit
Improvements to Siri have been a long time coming. A number of high-profile companies have shown their hands recently by investing in, and making significant improvements to digital assistants and products that have that assistant at the forefront of the experience. Apple was in danger of being left behind if Siri didn’t improve.
Well, with iOS 10, Siri most definitely improves and becomes a lot smarter than it currently is thanks to the new SiriKit SDK that opens the assistant to third-party developers for integration into App Store apps – a whole new world of possibilities ranging from using Siri for booking trips and handling payments to controlling CarPlay apps while on the road.
In addition, the digital assistant has been upgraded with new QuickType capabilities that will allow it to offer contextual predictions and info within the stock keyboard.
-Photos App Improvements And New Memories Feature
iOS 10 adds an entirely new section called Memories within the Photos app, which is meant to help you reminisce about good times with friends and family ala Facebook’s On this Day offering. The tab intelligently collects photos from a trip, a get-together, or based on the people in your albums, and automatically sorts them into a collection called a Memory, which also contains the Memory Movie – a auto-generated video that contains all shots and clips from the collection punctuated by customizable titles, transitions and background music.
All of this is going to be made possible through “facial, object and scene recognition” built into iOS 10. The same capability will also allow you to search for photos by the people or objects within them.
-Apple Pay Updates
While the Apple Pay team is continuing to push the payment platform into different markets around the world as part of growing partnership with financial institutions, Apple’s engineers are developing the platform from a functionality perspective.
iOS 10 introduces the ability to use Apple Pay to pay for goods and services through supporting websites online.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier, through the use of Maps extensions and iMessage apps, users should be able to employ Apple Pay for peer-to-peer payments. Rather than having to find additional ways to pay a contact, business or service some money, iOS 10 users will be able to send cash through Apple Pay directly to them, right from within Maps or Messages.
-New Home App For HomeKit
Apple has finally seen fit to introduced a simple but highly powerful app for HomeKit called Homeinto iOS 10. Rather than having to use multiple third-party apps to control different aspects of the connected home, Apple now allow users to invoke the power of the new app to interact with and control all HomeKit-compatible hardware, either individually or in custom groups, through one powerful interface.
–New Raise To Wake Feature
iOS 10 comes with a new Raise to wake feature that instantly turns on your iPhone’s screen as you pick it up, offering you a quick look at your Lock screen and any notifications you might have waiting for you.
–Other Features And Improvements
The News app has also received a redesign with a new For You section, the purpose of which is similar to the tab by the same name in the Music app.
Safari now supports split-view on iPad, Notes now features a collaboration option and Live Photos have finally been afforded some editing features.
The stock keyboard in iOS 10 lets you type in multiple languages without having to switch keyboards.
The Clock app now has a new Bedtime Alarm feature that allows you to set a “sleep schedule” and have the app remind you when it’s time for bed.
iOS 10 will be using a new Differential Privacy technology to collect usage data and offer better QuickType and emoji suggestions within the stock keyboard from “a large number of users without compromising individual privacy.”
As always, the first developer beta seeds are available for immediate download today. The public beta will go live in July while the full and final version of iOS 10 will be available to everyone this fall.