Apple is promising users the latest iteration of its mobile operating system, iOS 10, will be ‘the biggest iOS release ever’, with updates big and small providing faster interactions with apps.
The update, which is due to hit Kiwi shores this spring, adds more smarts for Siri, and opens up the doors for plenty of new initiatives, with several apps, including Maps, being opened up to developers.
Craig Federighi, Apple senior vice president of software engineering says: “iOS 10 is our biggest release ever, with delightful new ways to express yourself in Messages, a native app for Home automation, and beautifully redesigned apps for Music, Maps and News that are more intuitive and more powerful, making everything you love about your iPhone and iPad even better.
“iOS 10 adds Siri intelligence into QuickType and Photos, automates your home with the new Home app and opens up Siri, Maps, Phone and Messages to developers, while increasing security and privacy with powerful technologies like Differential Privacy,” Federighi says.
The changes start with the lock screen, which will include ‘Raise to Wake’ enabling you to wake your lock screen and read notifications simply by raising the iPhone.
Notifications – which have been completely redesigned – Today view and Control Center are accessible from the lock screen with a swipe or press, while Apple is promising that deeper 3D Touch integration with iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will ‘make interacting with apps even easier’ – take that as meaning that a deep press on a notification will provide you with a view of a message, for example.
Third party apps will also be able to utilise the 3D Touch integration, which will also see live information appearing in the popups.
Messages itself is going to become ‘more expressive and fun with animated and personalised ways to message friends and family’, Apple says. Yes, folks animations will spread across the entire screen to celebrate special occasions – fireworks anyone – invisible ink will enable messages to only be viewed after the recipient has swiped over it, and handwritten notes will be possible.
Rich links will be available in Messages – the most used iOS app – enabling you to see content and media such as videos, inside the message.
Messages will also include automatic suggestions on ‘emojifiable’ works – tap and say farewell to the text and hello to an emoji.
Messages too is being opened up to developers, as is Siri. You’ll be able to ask Siri to do things in third-party apps, such as WhatsApp, Uber or MapMyRun.
Siri intelligence meanwhile, brings new QuickType features, including contextual preditions to surface relevant information based on location, calendar availability or contacts.
Photos has also gotten smart, with on-device face, object and scene recognition letting you build albums based on people or scenes. ‘Memories’ also includes the Memory Movie, an automatically edited movie with theme music, titles and cinematic transitions.
Maps has been redesigned, and is open to developers, enabling apps to integrate bookings into Maps, or for users to book an Uber ride from Maps.
Apple Music has ‘an all-new design’ to bring clarity and simplicity to the offering and make navigation and discovery of new music much easier.
For those of us into home automation, Apple is including a new app, Home, which builds on the HomeKit and enables users to set up, manage and control your connected smart home devices. Accessories can be managed individually or grouped into scenes to work together with a single command. Siri makes an appearance too, with accessories able to be controlled using Siri.
They can be managed remotely or set up for home automation with Apple TV and can respond with automatic triggers set by time of day, location or action.
The Phone app includes voicemail transcription and a new caller ID extension for spam alerts, and third party integration for VoIP calls will be available.
In other updates, the Clock app lets you set a sleep schedule and receive bedtime reminders via a ‘bedtime alarm’, and other updates include built in app updates include Safari split-view for iPad, Notes collaborations and Live Photos editing.