If you’re already on iOS 9.3 you may be wondering what iOS 10 can do that’s even better. Over the past one month Apple has been releasing several beta versions of the brand new iOS 10 for developers as well as the public. After the beta test on iOS 9 last year, Apple seems to want to make this a regular feature so it can squash all those bugs before the big release planned for September 7, which will coincide with the launch of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The Latest Public Beta as of today is version 6, but there’s also a version 7 specifically for developers. You can sign up to the Apple Beta Software Program to download the latest versions of iOS 10 Beta on the entire range of iPhone 5, iPhone 6 variants, the newer iPads and iPad Minis and the iPod.
Here’s a full list of devices that iOS 10 will work on, courtesy Macworld:
- iPad 4 and later (ie, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro (9.7in and 12.9in)
- iPad mini 2 and later (iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4)
- iPod touch 6th generation
- iPhone 5 and later (iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE)
Here are some of the new features you can expect to see on iOS 10.
Locked and Fully Loaded: A New Lock Screen Experience
iOS 10 has an amazing new look and feel, and has several sub-features such as Raise to Wake. It lets you do exactly that – just lifting the phone will make it light up and take you to your home screen. An extremely convenient feature, in my opinion.
That’s not all. You can now also do a bunch of different things on the lock screen notifications with 3D Touch, such as track your Uber car, see full message threads, respond to messages and lots more.
You can also clear all notifications with a 3D Touch press, and this is something we’ll also see on the current Apple Watch as well as Apple Watch 2 when that comes out next month.
The Control Center now has multiple screens that lets you swipe from left to access and customize your widgets, and swipe from right to go to your Music section. On the lock screen you can also access your camera by swiping from the right.
Now, instead of the Slide to Unlock message, you’ll see Press Home to Open. And when you do that you’ll either be prompted for the passcode or the TouchID will take you straight to the home page.
HomeKit Function and the Home App
This is one of the coolest updates I’ve seen on the iOS 10. With the proliferation of artificial intelligence, smart homes and connectivity to Internet of Things devices, the Home app will let you connect to any device in your home that is compatible with the HomeKit.
For example, using 3D Touch you can dim your lights or turn your TV volume down and do a ton of other things depending on how “connected” your home is.
There’s also a very convenient feature called Scenes, which allows you to control the settings for a variety of appliances and gadgets at home. For example, the “Goodnight” scene has a full range of options to pre-set all your connected devices so they shut down for the night.
But the really cool part is that it works with Siri as well, so you can pre-customize your settings and say “Goodnight, Siri” to turn off all the lights at bedtime.
And that brings us to our friendly neighborhood virtual assistant.
Apple recently opened up Siri’s SDK (software developer kit) to third-party applications such as WhatsApp, WeChat and so on. Once these are integrated you can use Siri to control a host of third party applications like Uber, Lyft, Pinterest and so on.
I believe that ecosystem will grow around Siri’s capabilities, and its something I wrote about recently. Someday soon you’ll be able to control hundreds of mobile apps using Siri, and that’s when you’ll see the full capability of artificial intelligence.
Imagine being able to book an entire trip using Siri – everything from your cab to the airport, your lounge facilities, your flight tickets, your cab to the hotel, your hotel bookings and maybe even all your entertainment while you’re there. Plus, Siri will be able to keep track of all your expenses and organize them on various financial apps so you have everything where you need it.
That’s the kind of convenience artificial intelligence can and should bring to our daily lives.
Yet another artificial intelligence facet of iOS 10 is the Siri-like responses from your keyboard. As you type, QuickType will give you suggestions based on information you’ve stored on your phone. For example, if you start to type a name it will suggest an email ID or other contact details for that person.
Moreover, Apple says that QuickType will also be able to “feed back” information from other apps that you’ve downloaded. It’s a bit like Siri’s third party integration, but for your keyboard.
Another great feature with QuickType is that it can handle multiple languages simultaneously without you having to switch keyboards. For example, if you’re writing something in English and Spanish, QuickType will intuitively learn what you’re trying to do and give you the most appropriate suggestion. Of course, I expect the software to take a little time to learn your habits and act accordingly, but that’s what AI is all about – constantly learning from our habits and improving its responses every day.
Smart Photo Albums
No more trawling through thousands of photos or searching feverishly for the right date, location or month. Using over 11 billion computations per photo (yes, that’s right), the Photo app will now be able to cross reference all your images as well as videos using information about them such as places, people and time.
These are what Apple calls “Memories”. If you’re looking for a particular person or a particular event or even a type of content, Memories will be able to put that together for you in an instant album that’s created on the fly.
As Apple’s AI capability gets better, someday we might even be able to search for photos with terms such as “show me photos where I’m drunk” or “show me and my girlfriend on the beach” type photos and videos.
Although most of us are more comfortable with Google Maps, Apple has made a real effort at making their own Maps app more interactive and even smarter. For example, you can swipe up on Maps to see what your regular commute schedule is for that particular time of day. Tap on the one you want and it will lay your trip out for you and get you there in the shortest time.
There’s also a feature that makes zoom in and zoom out intuitive rather than manual, making it easier to follow on the road.
The look of Maps on iOS 10 will also be cleaner and simpler than ever before. But you have to try it out for yourself to see how much work they’ve put into it.
Apple News, still running on beta mode, has been given a new design like most of the other iOS 10 features, but the biggest element is probably the Subscriptions option. Using this, you can look up to any of your existing online newspaper and magazine subscriptions and have it appear in your Apple News feed.
There’s also a brand new “Breaking News” notification option where you can set what kind of news you want realtime notifications on. This is going to be extremely useful if you’re a busy person with a hectic schedule but have to stay on top of news within a particular segment.
The Music app also gets a lot of new features like the onscreen lyrics when you’re listening to your favorite tunes. It also keeps playing when you’re taking photos so the party can go on uninterrupted.
The oft-neglected Phone app now features voicemail transcriptions so you can see a speech-to-text-converted version of all your voicemail messages. If it’s not that accurate you’ll at least be able to see the gist of the message, and then hear it on voicemail if you think it’s important.
Messages is probably the most used app on any iOS, and there are lots of fun upgrades to Messages on iOS 10. Most of it is targeted at the younger generation of iPhone users, and includes 3X bigger emoji’s, dynamic speech bubbles and even an invisible ink option where the recipient has to swipe the message like a scratch card to read it.
On the whole it looks like iOS 10 will have a ton of new features that should make using it very exciting. Couple that with the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus capabilities that I’ve written about recently and you’re looking at an artificial-intelligence-heavy feature set on new devices with the new OS.
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