iOS was hailed as “the mother of all releases” by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, and it’s true that it is one of most important release. Of course, each new iOS version actually comes with hundreds of new APIs and smaller features, but Apple put forward 10 of the most visible novelties that users should look at and try.

User Experience

ios-10_wwdc16_126Apple has introduced a motion-based wake-up function that basically turn the phone on if it senses that you just picked it up to look at notifications for example. iOS 10 also lets people use 3D Touch to interact with notifications right away, without having to launch the full app.

ios-10_wwdc16_1233D Touch has made its way to more places in the user experience. It can be used to quickly clear the notifications list now. The bottom controls have also been redesigned to be more readable and accessible. Apple has added a specialized music controller that can be accessed with an additional swipe on the side.

ios-10_wwdc16_118Sliding over from the right in the lock screen will start the camera app. It’s convenient, although probably not as fast as a double-tap on the Power or Home button on other phones. Anything that reduced the friction to start the camera is welcome, though.

Messages

ios-10_wwdc16_017Text chats are one of the top 3 reasons to use a smartphone, and Messages is probably the most popular one for iPhone users. First, there are now more ways to express more nuances, thanks to the “Bubble effect” which allows one to change the size of the text. It is also possible to send handwritten messages or even

ios-10_wwdc16_018It is also possible to send handwritten messages or even Digital Touch messages (simple sketch, heartbeat) which were introduced with the Apple Watch. Emojis are getting a spedcial treatment with larger sizes, but also the ability to analyze text to suggest emojis after you’re done typing.

Messages and Photos can now come with and “invisible ink” that hides the content until revealed by a swipe. This is great to build up anticipation to add a little more fun.

Apple also pointed out that it uses end-to-end encryption to make sure that messages stay private. Finally, developers can now integrate their apps with Messages so that a number of actions can be performed from within the conversation. Typical examples include booking a table or sharing a ride.

QuickType keyboard

ios-10_wwdc16_098The iOS QuickType keyboard is becoming smarter with better suggestions and a better comprehension of the current context. For example, if someone asks “where are you”, the keyboard will propose sending your location on a map in one tap. Messages can also create calendar events when it sees the opportunity to do so in a conversation. Apple says that it is using Deep Learning AI to improve its keyboard’s intelligence.

Photos

ios-10_wwdc16_087Taking photos and showing them on the iPhone is without a doubt a top activity. To make that easier, Apple is introducing new features to this app. Some, such as showing where your photos were taken on a map, use the metadata included with your photo files. The same data (time and position) will allow Photos to build a short video clip that is a “trailer” for a photo album – this is called a Memory (and is very much like HTC’s Zoe app).

ios-10_wwdc16_083Now, Photos can also analyze your photos to see who is in them, classify and tag the subjects for easier research later. Photos will do a better job at analyzing your photos, and adding more metadata that will facilitate a future search action, whether you search a person, a place, or photos shot at a specific time.

Phone Calls

ios-10_wwdc16_026Phone Calls opens up to VOIP apps integration, and this is a big improvement in terms of user interface. Once integrated, VOIP calls from a number of chat/calls apps appear like a regular call, and can be answered to from the lock screen. This is much cleaner and potentially less confusing than having to deal with individual apps.

Apple also made it easier for 3rd party apps to flag potential spammers, which can save you money by allowing you to reject suspect calls.

Homekit

ios-10_wwdc16_039Interoperability is the name of the game with the latest version of Home. Apple is working with more OEMs, and has probably made it possible for them to describe any kind of devices. Google and Samsung have taken a similar approach, and it’s not surprising to see Apple do the same. This is great in general because users will be able to control a vast array of smart home appliances from the Home app, instead of having to install one app per device.

Maps

ios-10_wwdc16_077There are two main things that I like about the new Maps. First, the map display is better/cleaner and it auto-adapts depending on the circumstances. When there are no immediate turns, it will zoom out. You can manually zoom out, even more, to check on the road’s traffic conditions. When there is an upcoming action, the map will zoom in to let you see in details what the immediate action looks like.

ios-10_wwdc16_068More importantly, Maps is now open to developers that can integrate their apps with it. This means that some new actions can be taken directly from inside the Maps application so that you can book a place, or do many other things without having to leave and come back to Maps.

Siri

ios-10_wwdc16_109The biggest change with Siri is that it is now open to developers. This means that Siri will be able to send commands to more apps than ever before, making it more useful to you. The Siri car integration has been improved, and the addition of 3rd party apps, will increase the importance of voice commands.

Music

ios-10_wwdc16_060Apple Music features a redesign “from the ground up” as Apple would point out. The interface is arguably simpler and therefore better than the previous version. That said, the overall experience should not disorient current users since the main navigation has remained similar to the old one — with the addition of lyrics if you want to practice before your next Karaoke…

News

ios-10_wwdc16_042The News app is getting two main updates in iOS 10. The most important is that you can now subscribe to paid publications and get content that is normally behind a paywall. Subscriptions are convenient because you can centralize your paid content to one place, instead of using many different apps with variable quality.

Secondly, News has been redesigned with improved readability (bigger images, fonts) and possibly a better recommendation engine, which includes some personalization.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Read more about iOS, iPad, iPhone, wwdc and wwdc 2016.

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