Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Top 5 Best New Features of iOS10

Last night was Apple’s World Wide Developers conference (WWDC16). They run this event around this time every year to announce what they’ve been working on, and what will be released later in the year, usually September.

They announced quite a few things including the new Mac OS (now called macOS, first version is Sierra) that includes Siri and Apple Pay; a new watchOS offers that’s faster and easier to use; And an updated tvOS. However, the biggest announcement as it will affect most people (that is, iPhone and iPad users) is that iOS10 is on it’s way. I’ve picked out what I think are the 5 best new features you’ll notice on your iPhone or iPad when it launches.

1. Lockscreen

Currently, the only useful thing you can do from the lock screen is play music or open the camera, and that can sometimes be fiddly as it’s a small icon bottom right that you need to swipe up. With iOS10, as soon as you pick up your iPhone (Apple call it “Raise to wake”) the lock screen is shown. You can then simply swipe right across the screen to access the camera even quicker. That means you manage to take those “in the moment” shots you’d have previously missed. You can also swipe left to access the widgets screen. This contains widgets (they’re like mini Apps contained on this screen with key info) for things like weather, reminders, and your calendar.

2. Notifications

In iOS versions previous to iOS10, notifications were all too easy to miss and not always that useful as they only included limited information. Notifications have now been redesigned and are much more intuitive. You can easily see what App the notification came from and when. You can also swipe down (or 3D touch) to open a mini version of the App without leaving this screen. Great for making quick replies to text messages and the like.

3. Messages

Messages has had a complete overhaul. Rather than it being so text based they’ve gone all Snapchat on us! You can now do lots more with emoji’s, stickers, handwriting, and animations, as well as including features like invisible messages that only appear when swiped. Links also show previews for websites, images, and videos. You can even play these videos right from within the Messages App :)

4. Maps

The Maps App is finally becoming a contender against Google Maps, and looks more similar to it than it ever has before. It now allows you to move freely around (rather than annoyingly moving you back when you’d moved away from your current position!), shows live traffic information, and highlights specific places on route (e.g. petrol stations and the extra time needed for that detour). You can even interact with other Apps directly from within the Maps App. A great example of this is finding a place on the map and then calling an Uber directly without ever having to leave the Map App.

5. Phone calls

Yes it’s true, some people do still use their iPhones to make phone calls! iOS10 includes voicemail transcriptions which could be useful if you’re in a noisy area. Using this feature you can read a voicemail like a text message rather than struggling to hear it. Third party providers are now able to help detect spam phone numbers to avoid you getting annoying calls too. One of the biggest features though, is that VoIP calls can be integrated into the lockscreen. That means that your Whatsapp and Skype calls will show on the lockscreen like a normal call and can be answered from there too.

There really are lots of other features added to iOS10 (Apple say it’s the biggest update ever) so it’s worth checking out the Apple site itself by clicking here for everything.

Where Can I Find Out More?

You can also check out the whole WWDC16 Keynote itself by clicking here to find out more about iOS10 and details of all the other announcements I mentioned at the start of this article. It is a couple of hours long though…

Feel free to get in touch and tell me your own top 5 features of iOS10. And please do share this post with your friends and colleagues.