iOS 10 brings a newly redesigned Lock screen and Control Center, extensions for Maps and Siri and an entire App Store for the Messages app. And that’s just the start of it. There are lots of smaller, productivity based features in iOS 10. If you want to get the most out of this upgrade, check out our tips and tricks below.
1. Use Siri To Send Messages Or Call in WhatsApp
In iOS 10, just ask Siri something like “Send a message to Alex on WhatsApp saying I’ll be 10 minutes late”. And you can try different combinations of this and Siri will understand. You can also say “Call Alex on Skype” and she’s start the call right up, without you having to go to the app.
As long as the app is supported. Messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat and Skype already are.
2. Use Siri To Call an Uber
Another cool thing you can do with Siri is ask her to call you an Uber of a Lyft. You can say things like “Get me an Uber home”. Or “Get me an Uber for x place”. Siri will show you details like which car is coming along with a live map right there.
3. 3D Touch Notifications Everywhere
The default way of interacting with notifications in iOS 10 is using 3D Touch. Whenever you see a notification, no matter if it’s on the Lock screen, Notification Center or when you’re in an app, just 3D Touch it. You’ll see a preview of the message along with actions you can take. If the app supports it, you’ll also get a rich preview. For Messages this will be the conversation or for Uber it will be the live app.
4. Quickly Access Cellular Data from Home screen
3D Touch the Settings icon and you’ll see the Cellular Data option there. Tap it and you’l directly jump to the Cellular Data section in Settings.
5. Quickly Take A Selfie From Control Center
Open the Control Center, 3D Touch the Camera icon and select “Selfie”. Camera app will open with the front facing camera enabled.
6. Use Widgets in Lock screen
On the Lock screen, swipe right and you’ll see the new Today View. This is where all your widgets are. The new widgets for Apple’s own apps are itself very useful. Just arrange them in an order that makes sense to you. I have a calculator, step counter, expense tracker, unit converter and Notes widgets here. I also have the Workflow widget setup. So I can enter my weight every morning without ever unlocking my Phone.
7. Search in Spotlight From The Lock screen
In the same Today view, swipe to the top and you’ll see the “Search” bar. This is Spotlight search. You can now search for anything and get intelligent results here.
8. Call Contacts Without Unlocking Your Phone
If you’ve got your Favorites widget setup, you can call your favorite contacts with just a tap, without unlocking your phone. Check out our guide on setting it all up.
9. Send A Selfie From The Keyboard in iMessages
When you’re in a conversation in iMessage, tap the “right arrow” button, select “Camera” and you’ll see a small viewfinder in the Keyboard. Flip the camera if it’s not in Selfie mode already and take a picture.
10. Use Safari in Split Screen
Safari is the first iPad app to support split screen mode inside the app. So you can finally open two Safari tabs side by side. Get started by tapping and holding the “Tabs” icon and select “Open Split View”. For more information on using the Split View, check out our guide.
11. Clear All Notifications With One Tap
If you have an iPhone with 3D Touch or an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, you can now clear all notifications. 3D Touch the “x” icon in Notification Center and a “Clear all Notifications” option will show up.
12. 3D Touch App Icons for Widgets
Widgets will now show up when you 3D Touch an app’s icon, if the app support’s iOS 10’s new compact size widgets.
13. 3D Touch Folders For App Notification Counts
If you’re the kind of person who uses folders, you know how it can be mildly annoying to see a notification count in a Folder, but have no idea which app it is from. Well, iOS 10 wants to solve this. Just 3D Touch a folder with unread count and you’ll a list of all the apps that have notifications, and their individual unread counts. What’s best is you can directly open an app from here.
14. Share Your Apps From Home screen
If you want to copy the App Store link for any of your installed apps, or share it, 3D Touch the app icon and select “Share (app)”. This will bring up iOS’s standard share sheet.
15. Automatically Download Apple Music Library
Apple Music is my default and only way of listening to music. And if you’re like me, you like to download all the songs you add to your library. You can now turn on Automatic Downloads from “Settings” -> “Music” and the Music app will do it automatically.
16. Turn On Optimized Storage for Apple Music
Music app’s eating up too much of your storage space on your 16 GB iPhone? You can now turn on Optimized Storage option in “Settings” -> “Music”. You can then select how many GBs of space Music can take up. Once you go over it, the app will automatically start deleting older music and stuff you don’t listen to.
17. Shared Clipboard Between Devices
If you routinely switch between an iPhone, iPad and a Mac, you’re going to love the Universal Clipboard feature in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. As long as you’re running the latest OS, just copy some text or images on one device and paste it on another device. The clipboard will be shared for 2 minutes and then it will go back to what was on the device’s clipboard. We’ve talked about the technology behind the feature and the caveats in our guide here.
18. Easily Create Awesome Highlights Videos From Your Trips
The Photos app will automatically generate videos for albums and grouped photos and videos based on context. And these highlight videos are pretty awesome. Just go to the Memories tab to see all the app generated groups. You can also manually create albums of photos and videos and you’ll see the video option above. For more details on how to use this feature, check out our guide to the Memories feature in Photos app.
19. Search For Objects Within Photos
Photos app scans all your photos and logs the objects within them based on categories. So now you can search for objects inside your photos like Bottle or Horse and they’ll show up.
20. Use Extensions in Maps App
Maps app now supported third party extensions. So if you have apps like OpenTable or Zomato installed, you’ll see details for booking a restaurant when you search for it in Maps app.
21. Explore the iMessage App Store
IOS 10 added a special App Store, just for iMessage. You can explore apps and use them in iMessage conversations by tapping the “App Store” button that show up after you tap the “right arrow” button next to the text field.
22. Send Parts of Animated Stickers
It’s already a great thing that you can use Stickers in iMessage. But you can go a step further. Tap and hold parts of an animated sticker to “peel” it. Then drag and drop it anywhere in the conversation to stick in on top of messages or photos.
23. Log Your Vitals in Health App
Health app now lets you log vitals like Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, Body Temerature and more. It’s a great way to record data and view your progress.
24. Unlock Your iPhone Without Pressing The Home Button
Now that Slide to Unlock is gone, the only way to unlock your iPhone is by pressing the Home button. But if you’re using a device with Touch ID you can enable the “Rest Finger to Unlock” option from “Touch ID” settings. This will unlock your device when you up put your finger on the home button.
25. Find Your Parked Car with Maps App
As long as your car has a Bluetooth connection and you connect to it to play music or answer calls, your iPhone will now be able to remember where you parked your car. You’ll see a notification tell you the place has been marked. You can go in and edit the location, add a photo or even a note.
Bonus 1: Share Your Notes With Your Friends
Notes app has a new and very basic collaboration feature. Go to a note and tap the “Collabroate” button from the top toolbar to get started. This can be a great way to share things like the grocery list or movie list with your significant other. Check out our guide on using the feature for more information.
Bonus 2: Control Smart Home Devices From Control Center
If you’ve got HomeKit devices setup in the Home app, you can just swipe up to bring the Control Center, switch to the Home pane and control all your lights and other smart devices right there.
Your Favorite Tips and Tricks
Did we miss something? Share with us in the comments below.