Apple’s iOS 10 was first unveiled back at WWDC 2016, but it is making its public debut very soon. Messages has to be the biggest feature of iOS 10, and it brings with it new ways to communicate with others. Siri has gotten smarter, and third party applications will now work seamlessly with it. The user interface has received a fresh updated with new modules for notifications. Plus, Apple has also shown some love in the form of updates to Maps, Control Center, and Apple Music.
Messages has been revamped and now allows you to send several different types. For starters, you can send text as a Slam, Loud, Gentle, Invisible Ink and a few others. This is an effect with how the text appears and with the text bubble itself. You can also have the text come through with backgrounds like confetti, balloons, shooting stars, and even fireworks. Think of this as Sanpchat and Facebook Messenger meets Apple’s iMessage in a more creative way.
Apple has also brought over Digital Touches, including a few new ones to iOS. Meaning these are not just limited to those with Apple Watches anymore. You can also take photos inline, although it is in a smaller window. However, it lets you get the image faster. Plus there will be a full store for Messages. This will let you get third party keyboards, sticker sets, and any application that has taken advantage of the new API.
Siri is getting smarter and at launch will be able to text or send messages through some third-party applications. The virtual assistant will also be able to send money through Square Cash or Venmo, and can even call you an Uber or Lyft. All of this is done without even opening an application, all you need to is ask.
While Messages and Siri are becoming stronger than ever, was a big focus of iOS 10, there are some smaller upgrades. Apple Music has gotten an update with a new cleaner design. It puts the emphasis on the Music and now features big bolded black lettering throughout. New playlists put the focus on human curation and will try to introduce you to new songs, as well as classics you already know and love. Lyrics will also be available in line for many songs at launch, and this was a neat addition.
Control Center is cleaner and less crowded, there is now a maximum of three panels. The main one in the center is still the go too. Apple has added in the ability to 3D touch certain aspects, like the flashlight for different levels of brightness. If you swipe to the left, you will find a new panel dedicated to Music, and a swipe to the right brings you to Home. The latter of the two pairs up with the new Home application that will let you control HomeKit enabled devices.
Maps has gotten an updated with a sleeker interface that makes it easier to get somewhere. The accuracy has also been improved, plus it will let you know traffic while you are in navigation mode. Notes has gotten a small update that allows you to share them with other users, similar to shared documents from Google.
You will also notice some slight changes to the user interface. Notifications are sleeker and have different modules, while spotlight now contains most of your widgets. A lot of the built-in applications have many 3D touch shortcuts that let you do the essentials. You might even find yourself using 3D touch to accomplish tasks, rather opening the applications.
I have been enjoying iOS 10 and I have to say that while it is not a groundbreaking update, it definitely refines the operating system. Several small updates help speed up processes throughout the OS, and improvements to Apple Music really shine through. So while some people may see Messages as a gimmick, I have been enjoying them and can’t wait to use this feature with more people.
iOS 10 will be available to iOS devices very soon.