iOS 10 brings a lot of subtle changes to the UI along with plenty under-the-hood and never-before-thought-of features and improvements. Apple can be seen opening up iOS which was until recently a very closed platform into a slightly more open yet uncompromising platform for developers to build on.
Apple opened up Siri to third party developers which brings exciting prospects to an otherwise ‘ok’ personal assistant. Apple also brought some major and unexpected changes to iMessage with the ability to write handwritten messages which can animate, a new invisible ink that can be swiped to see its contents, different bubble sizes similar to Google’s Allo which can help get your point across, background animations that can fill the entire screen with animation and music, a new quick responder called Tapback that gives you an option to choose one of six different response options, the ability to send heartbeats, fireballs, sketches and even the ability to draw over videos being sent, stickers that can be adhered on top of a bubble or to dress up in a photo or even layer multiple stickers, a new emojification mode which can provide intelligent suggestions of converting a message from text-to-emoji with a simple touch, the ability to send money using third party apps and new dedicated iMessage app store opening up the possibilities of messaging.
Siri can now integrate deeply within third party apps thanks to Apple opening it up for developers. This means that now you could just hail a ride using Uber or Lyft or send money to someone using Square just using your voice making Siri a better and more capable personal assistant. Apple has also updated its Maps app opening it up for developers which means now you can book reservations for a table or hail a ride using third party apps like OpenTable or Uber respectively within Maps itself. Maps can also interactively give you turn-by-turn directions with traffic status, fastest routes, automatic suggestions on where your headed and points of interest that you might want to visit on your route even informing you on how much time delay it could cause to your trip should you choose to stop by.
HomeKit devices now get a single management system on iOS and watchOS 3. Apple introduced a new Home app which let’s you control every HomeKit device all at once in a very user-friendly and interactive UI. Apple News got a new update with a more distinctive feel and a new Featured Section based on your reading habits.
One of the biggest revamps in terms of apps was coming to Apple Music. Apple has now simplified the UI even more now putting focus on the music and album art. You can now view the lyrics of songs while listening to them and get a new redesigned ‘For You’ section which integrates ‘Connect’ to show you the latest from your favourite artists.
Photos received a major update with new face and scene recognition capabilities with advanced searching thanks to these new parameters. There’s even the ability to make a customizable movie with music and animations based on your mood and duration you choose called Memories and Photos will make an automatic movie based on the parameters that can then be shared on Social media or stored on your device.
Apple added a few other minor yet useful features. A new ‘Raise to wake’ feature which helps you to look at your notifications on your Lock screen without whizzing past them thanks to the super-fast TouchID sensor especially on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Calendar, Weather and Stocks now receive 3D Touch support as well, Widgets can now be accessed by swiping to the left of your home screen for a quick glance and Notifications are now more richer with support for quick actions using 3D touch and can now let you stay in a conversation and even view photos or videos without going to the app. There is also a new ‘Contextual predictions’ feature that provides intelligent responses based on your conversations like your free time from your calendar if you are typing something like ‘I’m available at” and third party VoIP apps like WhatsApp and Viber can now give you the same Call interface like you would get if your getting a real call.
Apple opened up Apple Pay for the web in addition to apps so now you can use Apple Pay even in your browser with authentication with your TouchID enabled iOS device or a double tap of the side button on your Apple Watch. There’s also now a new added ability to have type in two languages simultaneously without having to switch keyboards back and forth. Apple also stressed on how Privacy was at the core of iOS 10. “Your privacy always comes first. That’s why iOS 10 uses on-device intelligence to identify the people, objects and scenes in Photos, and power QuickType suggestions. And when you do share sensitive data with Apple for services like Siri and Maps, it’s always encrypted and never used to build user profiles.” Apple said.
iOS 10 will be available as a free update this fall with the public beta opening up this July. To see what else was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference(WWDC) this year, click here.