At WWDC 2016, Apple released some major new changes coming to their products in the upcoming year. One of the most extensive are the changes coming to the new iOS 10. They broke it down into 10 big features on stage.
The first big change will be the overall user experience. They have redesigned the lock screen for more interaction with apps, a richer notification display, and an expansion on the 3D touch. A simple but convenient change is the new Raise to Wake feature; simply lift the phone like it would be getting used and it and the screen turns on to show notifications. Another convenient update is that now texts/photos can be sent and received through the new 3D touch feature while the phone is still locked. Other new controls implemented on the lock screen include:
- Interaction with Uber, and the ability to see as a ride approaches and send the driver a message.
- New music controls from the lock screen.
- New access to the camera simply by swiping left.
- New access to widgets simply by swiping right.
In big news to developers, Apple is now opening up Siri to developers. This means that the options of using Siri have increased exponentially for those creating apps and those apps already have installed. Siri can now easily voice request rides through the Uber app. Siri is also now capable of sending messages through other messaging apps (i.e. WhatsApp).
The third big feature is Quicktype, which also heavily incorporates Siri. An example of the incorporation of Quicktype is when someone sends a message saying something along the lines of “Where are you?”, Siri can ‘think’ for the user and have the option to auto-send it’s location to the person requesting it. For those multilingual users, it’s now even easier to type in multiple languages. The interface recognizes the language switch so typing is much more streamlined.
The Photos feature got a major update as well in the ability to auto-facial recognize people in photographs as well as the ability to auto-create photo albums featuring a specific person. For those trying to curate albums featuring photos from specific places, the Photos app now has the ability to show on a map where each photo was taken. It can also piece together videos and pictures to create slideshows/movies.
The Maps app has gotten an overhaul as well and is much more kind to those in a rush. The app can now sense when there is a lot of traffic on the route being driven and will automatically offer new directions to go to save time. There’s now the option to use the map to look up restaurants by type and have them pop up on the map screen to find them. From finding the desired restaurant, it’s now easy to use another reservation making app to get reservations at that exact restaurant, and automatic directions to start heading there.
The Music feature is now more personalized as well and more simplistically designed. The Radio feature is still readily available, which is live in almost 100 different countries. There’s also the Browse feature that has a multitude of uses, from curated playlists, to top charts, and more. The most personalized of them all is the new ‘For You’ feature. It has info from artists currently followed as well as new music from them, personalized curated playlists for the user, the ability to have the lyrics to the song being listened to instantaneously available, and a lot more.
Apple News experienced a little tweaking in the form of Breaking News, which now can pop up right on the lock screen with information about important happenings. The ability to subscribe to fan favorite newspapers and magazines is a nice new addition. Now The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, and other media can come straight to the app to have access to.
One of the biggest new changes, as it is entirely new to iOS is the new Home kit. Now with just a click of a button the Home app can change the lighting remotely in the home with new smart light bulbs, or the smart fridge, or any other multitude of products currently available.
With just a click of a button the Home app can change the lighting remotely with smart light bulbs
A new addition to the Phone feature, is the new Voicemail Transcriptions, where messages can be read without having to go into the voicemail to listen to it. 3rd parties are now able to tell when a call with an unsaved number coming through is more than likely spam in order to avoid the call. VoIP apps are now integrated into the lock-screen as well, so now calls from apps such as WhatsApp and the ilk now show up just like regular phone calls do instead of just a plain notification.
The final, and arguably most important app change, came to the Messages app. It’s easily the most used feature on the iPhone, and Apple has taken the experience to the next level. Emojis are now three times as large (no more straining those eyeballs), and words are now able to be “emoji-fyed” in texts. Gone are the days of the same old blue bubble of text we are used to. Now text bubbles are interactive as well. Now text bubbles can “explode” with excitement, or appear smaller to show timidity. The changes to messenger weren’t just limited to the bubbles and emojis, now there are full-screen effects such as fireworks exploding, balloons floating, and even more! For a more personal touch, it’s now possible to send hand-written messages as well. Now, thanks to the implementation of Rich Links, when links are sent, the receiver can see a smaller version of the site they are being linked to, or if being linked a video, the video pops up right in the text able to be watched.
Apple came out of the gate swinging with all the new updates to iOS. By the time the release of iOS 10 comes around in the fall, users should see a refined version of the platform. Now it’s just the seemingly never-ending game of hurry up and wait as the release creeps closer and closer.