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  • Suhas Bhosale, Technical Architect

iOS 10 – First Impressions of the Latest Version of Apple’s Famous OS

iOS 10

There are many reasons why Apple has been one of the leading lights of the global smartphone market ever since the iPhone was launched. There is no denying that the tech firm’s stellar operating system – iOS – is one of the biggest reasons for its popularity. When the first-gen iPhone was launched in 2007, the OS was nothing like anything we had ever seen; simple clean, and suave. Apple is not known for resting on its laurels though, so now, less than ten years later the iPhone already has its 10th OS. If you own an iPhone 6S, or have seen our own iOS app development page that still reads iOS 9 and are scratching your head at the previous statement, yes, it is true.

In fact, iOS 10 has been “out” since it was announced in June 2016 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference’s (WWDC) keynote. However it is not for mass consumption just yet. There is a developer beta 8, and a public beta version 7 of iOS 10 released by the smartphone giant is currently doing the rounds, with the official launch expected sometime in Fall.

You will have to wait for a bit until Apple irons out all the kinks and works on all the bugs before you can get your hands on the shiny new OS. If you own the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPod touch 5th gen or anything older, bad news, iOS 10 won’t be compatible! So start saving up for an upgrade if you really want to get with the iOS 10 program. There is good reason to want to switch to the new OS too because so far, the upgrades look tantalizing.

Here is a taste of what is to come in the iOS 10:

  • A new way to begin – The memorable, unique and iconic slide to unlock is gone in iOS 10. Instead, a simple “press Home to open” has replaced it. That is not all; the screen comes alive as soon as you pick up the phone, showing you all your lock screen notifications without having to make any extra effort.

  • Home screen notifications – The way you interact with your home screen notifications has changed completely as well. Using 3D touch you can respond to messages, see photos or videos, and even interact with apps like calendar, weather and more, all without unlocking your phone. The best part? This ability is not reserved solely for in-house apps, because certain third party apps will also be able to offer this functionality. Finally, there is also a “clear all notifications” option so you do not need to swipe individually to get rid of them.

  • Swipe left or right – No, the iPhone has not gone all native with an in-built Tinder app. Instead, you can swipe right at the lock screen to open your camera. So if you see your little pooch doing something adorable, or your best friend doing something embarrassing, you can get photographic evidence before the moment has passed. Swipe left and you pull up an Android-esque widgets tab.

  • Clear control – The control center, which is the menu you get when you slide upwards from the bottom of the screen, has been improved upon. The display layout is more evenly spaced and simplified. The bottom row reverts to four shortcuts, namely flashlight, stopwatch, calculator and camera. The new Night Shift feature gets a prominent button above the four.

Air Play and Air Drop buttons are now bigger, and a right swipe reveals the new location for the music buttons, with this dedicated space sporting everything from volume, playback, output and album art.

  • Siri gets smarter – Siri is extremely useful as an AI assistant but up until now, its use has been limited to native apps only. Not any longer though, because now Siri is third party compatible! WhatsApp, WeChat, Uber, MapMyRun, Lyft, Skype, Square and many more apps can now all be used via Siri. Not only that, Siri’s AI has been tweaked to understand similar commands phrased differently, including more colloquial variants and in various languages too.

  • Typing gets smarter too – Siri’s bigger brain is transmuted into the keyboard as well. So expect handy features like the option to share your location popping up when someone asks you where you are, or contacts appearing when someone asks you for a person’s phone number.

  • Music and lyrics – Apple music has gotten a whole lot cleaner too. The album art pops, and song lyrics are available through the native app as well. Apart from this, the ‘For You’ tab gets better at curating music based on your tastes.

  • Messages, emojis, and digital ink – Apple knows just how important texting is, and they have worked to ensure it is much more immersive in iOS 10. You can ‘shout’ and ‘whisper’ texts with bigger fonts and a sudden appearance on the screen for the former, and a slow appearing, smaller font for the latter. More emojis, 72 of them to be precise, are now on offer and you can tap a word to turn it into its corresponding emoji too. Digital Ink lets you write directly onto the screen, making the correspondence more personal, and Invisible Ink crystalizes hidden messages and blurred out images with a tap. Stickers have been added too, à la Facebook, to add even more fun to the texts.

  • Water alerts – iPhones are susceptible to water damage, we know this. Certain rivals have even ribbed the brand for this in their ads. Of course, a software can’t magically turn your phone waterproof, but Apple has managed to do the next best thing. The phone warns you to disconnect the charger from your phone if it detects water within. A great feature that will definitely save you from short-circuiting your beloved phone.

These are some of the biggest and potentially most popular changes coming via iOS 10. We cannot wait to get our hands on the final release, and clearly, there is a lot of great potential for unique app development with all these upgrades coming in.

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