Big announcements from Apple today: the company has given audiences the first preview of its upcoming iOS 10 operating system for iPhone, iPad, and the iPod touch.
The reveal came as part of Apple's WWDC 16, and the presentation included smaller iOS features, such as new/Safari integration and updates to the Phone app. But there are some major redesigns and big new inclusions in store for iOS users this year - here's what you can expect from Apple this fall.
Apple claims Messages is the most-used iOS app, so it's fitting that the company has added some fun new updates for iOS 10. You’ll now be able to add animations such as balloons, confetti and fireworks to your messages, as well as stickers and emojis up to three times bigger.
You can send hidden text and pictures with the new ‘invisible ink’ feature (which only reveals messages when the recipient swipes the screen), or send your own handwritten notes for a personal touch.
Messages will also include what Apple is calling Rich Links, which allow you to preview links and videos inline from within the Messages app. Responding to texts is quicker than ever with the addition of Tapback for one-touch replies, and automatic suggestions will now include emoji as well as words. You can also bring up a live preview of your front-facing camera before you snap a selfie.
Lock Screen and Control Center
iOS 10 sees the addition of Raise to Wake, which ‘wakes up’ the lock screen when you pick up your iPhone. New 3D Touch integration lets you respond to and interact with notifications from your lock screen, with Today and the Control Center available with a single swipe or tap.
The Control Center itself is getting a redesign, with new gestures available to access your phone’s camera, and a separate Music screen so you can have even more playback options.
Apple’s digital assistant will finally be open to developers and third-party apps – which is great if you love Siri, but potentially annoying if it’s a feature you never use. Siri will also feature QuickType to make intelligent suggestions based on where you are, what you’re doing, what time it is, and who you’re contacting.
Music is one of several apps getting an interface overhaul, and Apple is optimistic that users will find it easier to navigate their audio library thanks to the changes. A new Search tab will be added to the app, as well as the inclusion of lyrics on the Playing Now screen and more improvements to music discovery.
Another app getting a makeover is News, which will now feature an all-new design and For You section. You’ll get new categories such as Top Stories, Trending, and Topics You Follow, as well as topic suggestions and Breaking News notifications.
Users can also subscribe to their favourite publications, so you'll never miss an update or article.
Like Siri, Apple Maps will also be opened up for developers to play with. The app itself is getting an ‘intuitive’ redesign, and will feature new integration from third-party pass like OpenTable, Uber or Lyft – so you can book a ride or a reservation without leaving the Maps screen.
Maps will also get proactive, by delivering predictive directions to where it thinks you’ll be heading to next – based on your routines, appointments or location. The app will also search along planned routes for potential stops like gas stations or cafes, and calculate break time into your overall trip length.
Whether any of this will sway dedicated Google Maps users to finally preference Apple, however, remains to be seen.
Apple is adding some powerful recognition technology to the Photos app in order to organize your images and media. The app can now group people, places and things in separate albums, recognize scenery and faces, and get you feeling all nostalgic by presenting these collections as Memories.
A Memory automatically surfaces collections of people, trips and events and presents them for your reminiscing pleasure. The new feature also includes a Memory Movie for each collection: basically, this is an automatically curated and edited presentation of your memories with music, titles and 'cinematic' transitions (star wipe?).
A brand new Home app will group together all your home automation needs, so you can control your home's accessories either individually or as a group through one-touch commands.
You’ll be able to manage all your home’s smart devices – like thermostats, lighting, and security – from the Control Center or Home app, and customize any of the one hundred new products that have adopted HomeKit in the past year.
If you’re concerned all these new data-collecting features may impact your privacy, Apple is talking up the security of iOS 10. End-to-end encryption protects the info you send through Messages, FaceTime and HomeKit, while on-device intelligence is used in the new recognition features and in QuickType.
Apple is debuting its Differential Privacy technology in iOS 10, however, which will help the company identify usage patterns in customers without imposing on individual privacy. According to Apple, this data will be used to improve auto-suggest features such as QuickType.
While the developer preview of iOS 10 is available now, the free consumer update will launch later this fall. iOS 10 is compatible with the iPhone 5 and later, the iPad 4th generation, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, the iPads mini 2 and later, and the iPod touch 6th generation.