Apple finally announced iOS 10 at this year’s WWDC event to the delight of every loyal iPhone, iPad, and iPod owner. During the developer conference, Apple gave us the first look at new iOS 10 features, but also provided information regarding the release date and compatibility for their upcoming major update.
Truth be told, the update bundles some impressive new capabilities and will undoubtedly provide a superior experience compared to the current version.
iOS 10 features and improvements
We now have a wealth of details regarding new iOS 10 features, as well as improvements of existing ones and we’ll share all of them below.
Improved Messages app
Messages is one of the most used stock apps and iOS 10 brings a collection of new stickers, full-screen effects and message bubble animations you can use in your conversations. It will also be possible to sketch on top of video messages, use Invisible Ink to send a hidden image or message which is revealed only when swiping on it, as well as create handwritten animated notes.
There are also functional updates such as the ability to play videos, GIFs, music, URLs and other types of rich content directly in the Messages app. Emoji support receives some improvements as well, and you’ll be able to receive automated emoji suggestions and use one of them to replace a word with a simple tap. On that note, there is also a new feature called Tap Back which lets you quickly reply to a message using an emoji.
Last but not least, the Messages app will include an app drawer you can use to view existing compatible apps and install new ones from the App Store.
Revamped Lock Screen
The Lock Screen lets you do more in iOS 10. For example, you can swipe from left to right and access a wealth of information like appointments Siri App Suggestions, widgets and Map suggestions.
Notifications are now displayed on a clear background as cards, and a search bar has been added at the top of the screen.
Notifications in iOS 10 will allow you to directly respond to messages while being able to view the entire conversation thread, as well as view any media content. So if you’re in a hurry, there’s no need to open the Messages app in order to send a reply.
In iOS 10, widgets have been relocated from the Notification Center Today View to the left side of both Home Screen and Lock screen. Furthermore, Today View is preserved only on the iPad, while being completely removed from the iPhone.
3D Touch Interactive Widgets
As more iPhone models are prepared for release, 3D Touch is also gaining more traction on iOS, becoming a common standard.
In iOS 10, several apps will allow you to hard-press in order to display an interactive widget on top of the existing quick options, and a number of stock apps like Calendar, Weather and Stocks already support this.
Apple Music redesign and improvements
Those who are subscribed to Apple Music will be happy to learn the service went through some significant changes (for the better, of course) in iOS 10.
Various screens have received a visual overhaul to improve search and discovery. For example, the Library has a dedicated Search tab, and the Now Playing section features a card-based layout with support for lyrics.
The Connect tab has been removed from the main window and is now accessible in the For You section.
Revamped Maps and extensions
The Maps app has received a steady stream of improvements over time, but iOS 10 brings even more to the table. An improved interface, proactive suggestions for places you might want to visit from the current location, a search option for places of interest and other useful features have been added to the iOS 10 version of Maps.
Nevertheless, another important new capability is Maps will support integration with third-party extensions from apps like Apple Pay and Uber.
Photos app new features and improvements
In iOS 10, the Photos app will let you search for photos based on the objects or people they contain. It also gains a new Memories section similar to Facebook’s On this Day feature which lets you remember nice moments you’ve had in the past. The images collected in this tab can come from special occasions, trips and based on other people present in your albums.
Besides the photo collection, Memories will also contain a Memory Movie, which is basically a video collage made with all the gathered pics allowing you to customize background music, transitions, and titles.
Siri new features and developer support
Siri has been getting a lot of competition lately so iOS 10 brings some much-needed improvements to Apple’s assistant. Firstly, there’s a new SiriKit SDK which will allow developers to integrate the assistant into third-party apps.
Moreover, Siri receives QuickType capabilities in iOS 10, which will give you context-based predictions and information inside the stock keyboard.
Apple Pay is becoming supported by more and more financial institutions all over the world, and starting with iOS 10, Apple Pay can be used as a payment method directly on websites.
Thanks to iMessage apps and Maps extensions it will also be possible to perform peer-to-peer payments via Apple Pay directly within these apps.
New Raise To Wake feature
Raise To Wake is a new and useful iOS 10 feature that allows you to simply pick up your iPhone with the screen being automatically lit, so you can quickly check out notifications and the Lock screen.
New Home app for HomeKit
A new app called Home into iOS 10 has been specifically developed for HomeKit. It will allow you to control any HomeKit-compatible hardware with the possibility to organize it into groups for easier management.
Option to remove stock Apple apps
This might seem somewhat insignificant compared to the laundry list of iOS 10 features I described so far, but it will surely be well received by most iPhone and iPad users. Being able to remove stock apps will allow you to declutter your device and keep only those you are actually using.
More iOS 10 features and improvements
Besides major new capabilities, iOS 10 comes with smaller yet very useful features and improvements. Here are some noteworthy examples.
- The stock keyboard allows you to type in multiple languages without having to switch to different keyboards
- Split View in Safari is available on the iPad
- The Phone app now supports voicemail transcription, a caller ID extension for spam alerts and third-party VoIP calls
- The News app features a new For You section
- Editing features are available for Live Photos
- Notes app includes a collaboration option
- A new Bedtime Alarm feature was added to the Clock app. You can use it to create a sleep schedule ad get reminders when it’s time for bed
- The Camera app can be accessed by swiping right on the Lock screen
iOS 10 release date
Since iOS 10 has been officially announced, following the tradition, this means you can already download the first beta build if you’re registered in Apple’s Developer Program.
The public beta will be released sometime in July, while the final version of iOS 10 will become available this fall.
iOS 10 compatible devices
- iPad 4, iPad Air and iPad Air 2
- 12.9 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 4
- iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
- Sixth-generation iPod touch