Apple revealed the next version of iOS, called iOS 10, at WWDC Keynote on 13th June. Apple CEO, Tim Cook called it “The Mother of all Releases.”
The iPhone Operating System added many new features, made tons of improvements and answered the calls of their customers. There were complete overhauled designs of few apps and last but not least, plenty of new stuff for the developers to play with.
iOS 10 will not be released until fall, but Apple has released a Public Beta this week which is available for everyone who just can’t wait. (Me being one of them)
This being my first OS Beta Test, I have to say, the way it looks and feels is pretty impressive. Visually, there are many enhancements and virtually it feels like an entirely new smartphone, which is pretty damn smart.
New Lockscreen and Notification Centre
The first thing you’ll notice about the new OS is the redesigned Lockscreen and Notification Centre. The notifications are larger in size with clean Roboto typography and if swiped right, it gives you the access to Camera.
Swiping to the left it takes you to the ‘Today’ screen which gives the access to all your widgets. All of the widgets are accessible on the lock screen which can be very useful when you’re in a hurry. With the rich notifications on the lock screen, you can see interactive live status updates with apps like Uber.
Apple introduced a new feature called “Raise to Wake” which is very helpful. You can see the lock screen by simply lifting the phone up. It is similar to a few Android devices but it makes it easier to see what’s happening.
Finally the showstopper update to the lock screen, “Slide To Unlock” is no more. Though it will be disheartening for many but with ‘Fingerprint Lock’ being the thing, it is quite a clever decision. To unlock your iPhone, you need to just press the Home Button and viola! it’s done. For devices without a Fingerprint Sensor, i.e. iPhone 5, once the home button is clicked, the page to enter the passcode will show up and eventually you enter the pin to unlock your device.
iMessage and Quick Typing
Apple made significant changes to iMessages.
First, Quick Typing is a new Artificial Intelligence which makes smart suggestions using Apple’s Keyboard. In the above picture you can see, as you write a text and hit the ‘Emoticon Button’, the Quick Type Keyboard automatically prompts you a few words which can be transformed into an emoticon. All you have to do as Craig Federighi said, is to “Tap, Tap, and Tap” to change the words into an emoticon.
Additionally, it can keep track of your availability through Calendar and also it can pre-fill an email when someone asks for a specific email address.
iMessages is now incorporating features from Apple Watch, like a Heartbeat or a handwritten text. Sharing a website link will also pull images or videos if available so that you never have to leave the app. Moving on from emoticons Apple added features previously seen on Google’s Allo App. The size of your text can increase to emphasize.
You can personally react to a text with ‘Love, Like, Dislike, HAHA, !! and ?’ by long pressing on a particular text as well as share and play music on iMessages so that you never have to leave the application. Moreover, iMessage along with many different applications on iOS will be open to developers so as to create a layer on top of the messaging platform.
Overhauled Control Centre
The Control Centre received a complete overhaul. It is more colourful, supports 3D Touch and you can swipe it right to access what’s playing for Music. The previous cramped up Control Centre is much more spacious now.
AirPlay and AirDrop are placed side by side where the music player used to be before and the menu of AirDrop changed from ‘OFF – Contacts Only – Everyone’ to ‘Receiving OFF – Contacts Only – Everyone’ which makes more sense.
Night Shift is not confined within the lower panel anymore, it has its own big button showing you the timing, “Off Until 10:00 PM” – “On Until 7:00 AM”.
Control Centre now supports 3D Touch, and they are actually pretty useful. For Torch, 3D Touch gives you ‘Bright Light – Medium Light – Low Light’, for Timer, you get options for ‘1 Hour – 20 Minutes – 5 Minutes – 1 Minute’, for Calculator, it copies the last result and for Camera, the options are for ‘Take Photo – Record Slo-mo – Record Video – Take Selfie’.
On swiping right it gives you the access to Music Player. A big and bold Album Art with the name of the Song, Artist and Album Name. Below is the playback bar followed by the Next – Play/Pause – Rewind button and the volume level.
Redesigned Apple Music
Apple Music’s biggest criticism, the chaotic design was answered with this update. A complete redesign with mostly Black, White, and Pink colour scheme is much simpler with a big focus on album art.
The app now opens to the ‘Library’ section instead of ‘For You’ which will please many users who want to just access their added or downloaded music and not Apple suggestions. In Library you get the options of Playlist, Artist, Albums, Songs, Music Videos and Downloads. Swiping up from the Library will give you access to Recently Added Music.
The ‘For You’ section has a fresh look with curated playlist keeping your music tastes in mind. You will find your Recently Played songs here, along with the New Releases For You and Artist Spotlight Playlists. Swiping up further will get you to the Connect Posts, which previously used to be a separate tab. Here in Connect Posts, you get access to the first-hand uploaded stuff of the artists where you can “Like – Comment – Share” any post you would want to.
The ‘Browse’ tab give you the New Singles, New Album, Featured Artists, Featured Playlists and Featured Albums. Here you can browse through Curated Playlists, Top Charts, and different Genres.
‘Radio’ brought in a very useful thing, the timings of the Radio Shows. It shows you the Beats1 on AIR timing, the Radio Jockey, and various other Genre based Radios like Pop Workout, Jazz, Bollywood and so on.
The fresh new look and the easy access will get many new subscribers to Apple Music.
New Photos App
Apple’s new Photos app will stop you downloading Google Photos for iPhone or delete that app if you have it already. With iOS 10, Apple implemented face recognition into its app as well as smart tools that can recognise videos and photos and merge into a small video clip. This video clip can further be edited ti fit with different songs and mood.
3D Touch Improvements
3D Touch is more useful than ever before. If you have thought that 3D Touch is just a gimmick, Bless You! It has more content over each app, it actually now can save your time through the shortcuts. It has its control over the Control Centre too as mentioned earlier.
Also, the most wanted and most anticipated feature is now available with iOS 10, Apple heard your problem and came up with the solution, “Clear All Notifications” is now possible. Yes! it’s true and it is happening.
In iOS 10, the Clock app has a new tab – Bedtime. Bedtime lets you set a bedtime and it gives you reminders to prod you into getting to bed. Also, there is a Wake tab which sets your alarm at a specific time on specific days of the week. The UI of the app is Black and not White, which might indicate a certain rumoured feature in the final version of iOS 10.
The sleep analysis from Bedtime is directly synchronised with the Health App and the data will be updated automatically.
Contacts : The contacts page is redesigned. The contact image is at the centre and the layout looks much cleaner.
The moment for everyone is when you can remove stock Apps like ‘Weather’, ‘Stocks’ from the Home screen. The apps will not be deleted but they will be hidden.
Introducing Home. A new app to control all the appliances which are compatible with iOS. You can set up surveillance and monitor it also, you can automate behaviours of an appliance. Once the setup is done, from the homepage you can control the appliances individually.
Health App: The app is redesigned, tabs made Bigger, Better, and Bolder. With Health now you can register yourself as an organ donor. Also, you can set up emergency contacts, which will be visible even if the phone is locked.
Camera App: The app has received a minor change but a crucial one. The camera switch button is brought down from the top for ease of access.
With all the new improvements and redesigns in iOS 10, I would not recommend anyone to download the Public Beta without a proper backup of your device or without proper knowledge on how to install the Public Beta. There is few bugs and glitches present which can be reported to Apple via their ‘Feedback’ app.
Have a doubt? Pop a question below or start a conversation!