iOS 10 was announced Monday morning at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and with it comes a ton of new features. During its introduction, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, claimed that iOS 10 is a “huge release for developers”, and possibly the biggest release ever for users. iPhone users running iOS 9 will undoubtedly be ecstatic about the many exciting enhancements coming in iOS 10, which we have summarized below.
In the longest section of the WWDC keynote, Federighi outlined 10 brand new features in iOS 10 that are sure to excite users, beginning with some new, more intuitive, user interface changes. A completely redesigned lock screen now introduces a “raise to wake” feature, waking up the display without any buttons being pressed. New “rich notifications” allow users to get more information about their apps without having to unlock their phones, and users can swipe from the right of the screen to instantly access the camera, or from the left of the screen for instant access to their widgets. The Notification and Control Centers are both redesigned as well, and 3D-Touch functionality allows users to clear all of their notifications with one press.
Siri undergoes a major overhaul, as well, with iOS 10. The personal assistant that gets 2 billion requests per week is now open to developers for third-party apps. Users can use natural language to call an Uber, send a WeChat message, or search through their Shutterfly photos. Users can start, stop, or pause a workout in RunKeeper or MapMyRun, send money instantly through Square Cash, and more all through Siri. And that Siri intelligence is now coming to the keyboard, dramatically improving QuickType’s suggestions, now based more on context. When a friend asks “where are you?” the keyboard can suggest sending your current location, or if a friend asks you to “send Karen’s number”, Siri can automatically offer up relevant contacts. The whole thing adds up to a much more intuitive and hassle-free experience.
iOS 10 also introduces a revamped Photos app, with some incredible new functionality. Users can now see where their photos were taken on a map, and incredible new AI uses facial recognition as well as object and scene recognition to group your photos into smart albums. And a new “Memories” function will analyze your entire photo library to cluster together photos based on location, people, scenery, etc. And each “memory” album can be turned into a highlight video, each with a variable length, moods, and more, which will certainly be great for sharing.
The Maps app sees some great new functionality introduced – slide up from the bottom of the screen to see intelligent suggestions, view traffic while on your route, and easily search for and add pit stops along the drive. CarPlay functionality can offer turn-by-turn navigation right on your car’s instrument cluster. Apple has also opened the Maps app up to developers, allowing for third-party “extensions” into the Maps app – users can find a restaurant, book a reservation with OpenTable, request an Uber and pay for it all within the Maps app.
The Apple Music and News apps have also been redesigned, each with a cleaner, more user-friendly interface and more convenient navigation. The Apple Music app new includes lyrics in the Now Playing screen, and the Apple News app allows you to “subscribe” to different publications, as well as receive breaking news notifications.
HomeKit sees an update with iOS 10 as well, with a new “Home” app. The Home app is personalized for all of your smart home accessories, and “scenes” allow you to control several different gadgets with one tap. A “goodnight” scene can lock your doors, adjust the thermostat, and turn off the lights. Users can command Siri to control the scenes as well – saying “good morning Siri” can adjust a number of different gadgets for a morning scene. Controls can be integrated with the Control Center, and notifications are available for certain connected gadgets as well – your doorbell rings? See who it is, speak to them, and unlock the door all from your phone with the updated HomeKit.
Using your phone as a phone works even better now, as well. iOS 10 transcribes your voicemails, so you can see what each message is about without having to listen to them. The Phone app has been opened up to developers as well, so a third-party app can now warn you that an incoming call may be a scammer or spam before you even answer it, and a new interface for incoming calls from third-party apps look just as great as a normal phone call.
Lastly, the most frequently used app in iOS, Messages, sees some great new functionality. “Rich links” can show artwork, extracted titles, and even videos from a website that you’ve shared, and the in-app camera is much easier to use. Emoji are bigger and easier to find, and bubble effects allow you to change the way your messages are received. For example, you might select the bubble effect that slams the bubble down if you’re angry, or maybe the one that gently rests the text bubble on the receiver’s screen to suggest sadness, fear, or lack of confidence.
“Invisible Ink” can send blurred out messages that the receiver has to swipe across to read – great for surprises – and users can even add some full screen effects for more interesting messages. In the demo, a “Happy New Years!” message was sent with fireworks exploding across the background.
On top of all that, iOS 10 also adds collaborative notes, conversation view in the Mail app, and improvements to Live Photos, and Split View in Safari for the iPad. Although it wasn’t mentioned in the keynote, users can now delete some of iOS’ stock apps, such as, say, the “Stocks” app in iOS 10 if they’d like.
All of these features are immediately available to developers, with a public beta that will be available in July. The official iOS 10 release will be available this coming fall.
What’s your favorite iOS 10 feature coming this fall? Let us know in the comments below.