Here’s an announcement that should come as literally no surprise to anyone: Apple previewed iOS 10 at today’s WWDC 2016 keynote.
iOS version 10.1 will come to iPhone and iPad users with a heavy focus on messaging & app interconnectivity, as well as the long-awaited Home app for Apple’s HomeKit for IoT connected devices. Below is an overview of what Apple mobile users should expect to see come Fall, when iOS 10 will be publicly available.
Messages Go Millennial
With chat platforms dominating App Store downloads, Apple is attempting to bring
some of the fun of competitors’ apps to their own stock communications tool. Beginning with iOS 10, the Messages app will support third-party extensions (for things such as stickers or ordering food), like the FB Messenger platform does, and will have the capability of showing rich previews, such as for YouTube videos, directly inside of a message.
Apple will also be enlarging emojis (“oh joy!” -everyone not 15-25) and “suggesting” emojis capable of replacing real words if you’re so inclined. They’ll also be introducing bubble and full-screen effects (like fireworks—ooooh!), quick responses (like Slack) and invisible ink, a technique that hides messages until the recipient swipes over them. Handwriting capability will also come to Messages in iOS 10.
HomeKit Gets a Home
Apple’s HomeKit—a one-stop shop for managing Internet of Things connected devices around your, well, home of course—was a practical idea (after all, who doesn’t always have their phone?) without a practical implementation.
With iOS 10, HomeKit finally gets a Home….app. Come Fall, users of Apple’s IoT hub will have a place to turn of their lights, lock their doors, and get a fresh cup of café mocha brewing on their $1200 coffee systems, all from the comfort of their beds.
Music is Redesigned
The Music app will be rejiggered in iOS 10—in a design change that retro iPod users may find familiar. Apple will be dropping the “Connect” tab (though, “Connect” itself isn’t going away) and re-imagining “Now Playing” a bit—including a lyrics feature when you scroll down. Apple Music will now open to the “Library” tab when it is launched, and show new music that is saved from the subscription service if you scroll down.
Siri Imitates Viv
Siri’s original creators previewed their new AI platform—Viv—just over a month ago. Besides for being platform agnostic, one of the most impressive features of Viv is the assistant’s ability to take conversational cues to open and interact with other apps on users’ devices.
With iOS 10, Siri will have the same functionality with apps downloaded from the App Store. The assistant will open small versions of apps within its interface so users can send money to friends, hail a ride via Uber or Lyft, or order a pizza.
Default Apps Get the Boot (?)
Although not specifically mentioned on stage during WWDC, iOS 10 could bring the most painful “features” of owning an iPhone or iPad to an end: the ability to delete default bundled apps.
Apple did reveal that default apps—such as Mail—would move to the App Store, so they can be updated independently of iOS updates. And, sure enough, as of today, here they are.
Buh-bye, Stocks app.
The Best of the Rest
…Photos is getting a reboot in iOS 10, likely to compete with Google’s photo storage. iOS will utilize facial and image recognition to compile albums on your behalf as well.
…For 6s owners, 3D Touch is being upgraded this Fall, as apps will have the ability to put live information right in the popup. Default apps (at least the ones you don’t delete) like Weather and Calendar will also get 3D Touch functionality.
…Apple is adding along-your-route searches and in-app reservations to Maps, for those that prefer to use the default app instead of the more popular option from Google.
…Apple Pay is coming to the mobile web via Safari
…The iPhone will get a “Raise to Wake” feature, reportedly due to Touch ID being “so quick”.
…Voicemail will be transcribed (where possible), so actual communication between other human beings will be reduced even further.
iOS 10 is available for developers now.