22 JUN 2016 2397
In Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week, the company announced its release of iOS 10 that introduces new features to your iPhone and iPad. These features are available for free and users can download them as soon as they are officially accessible.
Once again, Apple has planned to go for a release date that staggers among app developers, public beta testers, and then finally the general public awaiting the final version. From a technical viewpoint, iOS 10 has been released to developers (beta version) on the day of WWDC; but it is not ready for iPhone & iPad users.
But the waiting period isn’t long enough; in July, a public beta for iOS 10 would help eliminate bugs two months prior to the official release. If you wish to go directly for the final version of iOS 10, you’ll have to wait for more as there would be additional bug testing.
The iOS 10 is compatible on all iPhone sets that are later than iPhone 5. It is also compatible on iPad 4th generation, Air, Air 2, Pro, mini 2, mini 3, mini 4, and iPod touch 6th generation. So basically, any Apple phone/tablet that uses the 30-pin dock connector is not compatible, nor is any iPod older than the 6th generation.
Raise to wake
The lock screen of iPhone and iPad has been changed, which is perhaps one of the major changes since the first iPhone. The ‘Slide to Unlock’ option has been replaced with ‘Press Home to Open’. The ‘raise to wake’ feature that we’ve seen in Google Nexus 6P and 5X has also been introduced in iOS 10. Under this feature, all information is displayed on the screen without pressing the home button. This would definitely change the way we use our iPhone and add a bit of human touch to it.
Lock screen notifications
The lock screen notifications have been enhanced, replacing the standard notifications with separate bubbled ones. The hidden menu options appear via 3D Touch; this makes it even better for messages where you don’t have to surpass the lock screen to respond to them.
One plus point of iOS 10 (in comparison to iOS 9) is the clear all notifications button where you can clear all notifications via 3D Touch. In iOS 9, this task was tedious where you could only swipe notifications one-by-one or in groups.
Within the new notifications pulldown menu, there are notifications arranged in groups such as ‘Missed’ and ‘Yesterday’, and in order to clear these off, you would have to hard-press the ‘x’ icon next to such groups to clear notifications of that group.
The Widgets panel features all the widgets that were in the ‘Today’ section of the Notification Center. The new iOS 10 introduces some new widgets as well, including Maps, Contacts, Music, Photos, Notes and Mail. Widgets normally do not appear on the notification center while on the home screen, but can be accessed by a right swipe while using an app and accessing the notification center.
A swipe to the left on the lock screen brings up the camera –pretty convenient, isn’t it? Also, the Control Center featured in iOS 10 is now decluttered, having 3D Touch shortcuts for Camera, Timer, and Flashlight options. There are now multiple screens introduced in the Control Center like a left swipe to open music options, and a further left swipe to display options for HomeKit devices.
For the first time, Siri can be integrated into third-party apps, thanks to Apple’s SiriKit SDK featured exclusively in iOS 10. This brings Siri onto a whole new level; commands like ‘Call Dad with Skype’ or ‘Send Paul $40 with Square Cash’ are now available. Basically, Siri integration is available for functions like messaging, payments, photo search, ride booking, VoIP calling, and workouts.
The limitations placed on SiriKit regarding specific functionalities enables Apple to keep a tight check with respect to data privacy, Siri experience and allow Siri to develop an understanding of context and language used. Hopefully, Apple would let SiriKit to reach its maximum possibilities.
In iOS 10, Siri’s intelligence is expanded to the keyboard while making new and improved contextual predictions. This on-screen QuickType keyboard uses a deeper understanding of what you’re thinking of typing and shows suggestions on the top bar accordingly. It basically considers the entire sentence (not just the word) to predict the next word you’re about to type.
This QuickType keyboard (with the help of Siri) analyses a conversation whether it be regarding restaurant addresses, meetings, talking about music and then pre-fills in a Calendar event when the Calendar app is opened. QuickType also supports various languages and automatically detects when a user changes a language while typing messages and adjusts accordingly; so there is no need to switch keyboards.
In iOS 10, the Photos app has been enriched with the intelligence of Siri, allowing deep learning algorithms to come in play while featuring advanced facial & object recognition techniques.
With the use of these tools, the Photos app becomes capable of scanning the entire photo library of a user plus having the ability to detect people, animals, objects, places, etc. more intelligently. It also groups up similar images so as to give the user powerful search capabilities; if you search for ‘scarfs’ all scarf images would come up.
For people, there is a specific album named ‘People’ that groups together all facial recognition photos. This makes it much easier to browse through tons of photos.
The newest and most attractive feature in Photos is the ‘Memories’ tab that assembles all photos based on a particular time period, family events, vacation trips, and more, by using the power of image recognition, location and date. Users can also watch video montages of photos that are short & quick which comprise cinematic transitions, titles and theme music.
Similar to Mail and Messages, Photos now features a ‘markup’ editing tool that allows adding text and sketches to photos. Also, Live Photos can now be intelligently edited plus there is support now for adding Live Filters to Live Photos.
With Apple’s clear statement that doesn’t view and scan images or image metadata, full privacy while using Photos features is ensured. There is no iCloud link, therefore, a device with a photo library has to scan images independently.
Deleting Stock Apps in iOS 10
We all know that we wanted to delete some of the pre-installed stock apps that come on iOS devices, simply because we never use them – finally in iOS 10, it is now possible to delete them.
The iOS App Store now has those built-in apps as standalone downloads that can be uninstalled/installed at will. It should be noted, however, that stock apps are actually never deleted from a technical viewpoint; they are hidden and remain in a binary form.
Being perhaps the most used app on the iPhone, Apple has put its best efforts to make user experience on messaging more personal, interactive and emotive.
This means that iMessages are now more lively, featuring an animated background and giving text a ‘Bubble Effect’ to convey emotions like ‘gentle’ and ‘loud’.
iOS 10 also features the sketching feature ‘Digital Touch’, now on iPhone, iPad and iPod devices. Digital Touch allows sending heartbeats, drawings plus integrating draw-able photos & videos on iOS devices. It also supports rich links that give a preview of a website link shared in messages.
Messages now have a handwriting feature where you can scribble a few words with your finger and send them as messages. For this, a new pen button (next to the keyboard) has been added.
The emoji prediction feature in iOS 10 is fun to play with. If you type in a sentence and switch over to the emoji keyboard, all words that can be converted to emoji are highlighted. To change them into emoji, just tap the highlighted words.
Tidbits and Extra Features in iOS 10
Safari – The Safari Brower now features unlimited number of tabs.
Safari on iPad – There is a split-screen feature added to Safari on iPad that allows easy multitasking. This means two windows can be opened side-by-side.
Copy & Paste – Anything copied on an iPhone can now be pasted on a Mac running macOS Sierra. This Continuity feature in iOS 10, therefore allows user to sync copied content across iOS and Mac devices.
Phone – With the new CallKit API that Apple has developed, third-party VoIP apps (like WhatsApp or Skype) act pretty much as a normal phone call. Also, users can screen phone calls for spam with the new caller ID extension.
Notes Collaboration – This feature allows users to ‘Add People’ to notes where they can view and edit them. Any changes made by any user will synchronize with the rest of the users.
Voicemail transcription – Voicemail messages received can now be translated to text and read.
Bedtime Alarm – You could add a standard sleep schedule with bedtime alarm; this way, reminders would go on when the time (when you normally sleep) approaches.
Music Storage Optimized – You can set a limit to the storage space music files could take on your drive. Also, those songs that have not been listened to in a while can be removed to optimize storage.
Keyboard Sounds – The sounds of pressing keys on a keyboard in iOS 10 have been changed.
Game Center – The Game Center has been removed although the Game Center service is still open.
New Apps and App Updates
A new change is introduced in Apple maps, iOS 10 (solving the previous problems of its users), in which anyone can scroll ahead on a track and by one click it surprisingly brings him back where he is present, whenever he wants to return. The navigation software in it made it possible to zoom-in and zoom-out of the multiple intersections and routes along with free and easy panning and zooming in the updated Apple's maps version.
Owing to the new function abilities, Apple Maps shows multiple restaurants or other points of interest on the map combining it with the amount of traffic present on the way. Apple CarPlay (placed adjacent to the odometer) associated vehicles, can show different routes by linking many roads on a map as an alternative, in case of a traffic jam in your way.
Moreover, Apple maps uses information from other apps into maps to prepare for alternative routes suggestions in the time of person’s work (if he used to go on a specific time) or a particular address, marked on his calendar. Similarly, due to Uber integration, Ubers can be called using Apple Maps by users without any problem.
Apple Music has been redesigned into a simpler way for their users along with some new remarkable features. Their users can easily search new albums on the ‘search’ tab and listen to songs, present in the library, with their lyrics (new integral feature) displayed on the screen. The previously installed songs can be found in the downloaded section of music.
It also contains ‘radio’ and ‘browse’ tabs and ‘For You’ section in Apple music that shows connected posts and suggestions to follow artists and singers. ‘For You’ presents new trending music and daily new different playlists combined with a greater experience and plainness by providing bold headings and greater white space, making everything noticeable.
The ‘For You’ section contains a clear and organized form of information linked with an easy-using interface, enabling users to focus on a particular heading. The heading breaks into many other small topics, featuring new trending stories and news, and by this, the user can catch up with incoming stories with ease. The ‘trending new’ contains new popular news and the Apple’s editors’ selected news are present in the ‘featured news’.
The feature in Apple news helps people to get up to date with new essential breaking news, by sending them a notification on the phone. The users can also visit other (paid) websites, like Wall Street Journal, to read the content because it supports subscripted publications.
Apple mails now can combine several messages together in a single page due to its new threaded conversations feature. The style in which messages are shown on a desktop (3 different columns) are now shown on iPad (12.9 inches), as its screen is much wider than other Apple devices.
Users can set their mails according to the newest or the oldest mail to show first, from the ‘settings’ option, by the threaded conversations. Also, the threaded conversations can turn off if a user doesn’t want it to display.
The ‘unsubscribed’ feature is now introduced (the option is present on the top of every mail) and by this, users will be able to unsubscribe unwanted mails quicker and conveniently than before. Furthermore, mails can be organized by placing each different mail into a suitable labeled folder due to new filters (like flagged, unread and etc.) present on the filter icon.
So the new iOS would undoubtedly make lives easier and more interactive. As iOS 10 would be released in the fall (alongside next-generation iPhones), the step ahead would be a successful one on the company’s part.