There are so many little things in iOS 10 to unpack. But I think that’s where Apple is best, refining things and making something delightful out of the mundane. Little or not, there are a lot of new features in iOS 10. So let’s get to them.
Top iOS 10 Features for iPhone
New Lockscreen Experience
Apple wants you to accomplish a lot without even unlocking the phone. And that’s clear from the all new lockscreen experience.
1. Raise To Wake
Just pick up your phone to view the lockscreen.
2. Interactive Notifications
Other than the fact that notifications now look like cards with almost opaque white background (much better for readability), they’re also interactive. 3D Touch (long press for older devices) on a notification and you’ll see a preview along with some actions you can take.
If the app supports it, the preview can be rich – like tracking a Uber car and the actions can be for quickly archiving an email.
If it’s a message, you’ll be able to reply from right there and even continue the conversation without leaving the lockscreen.
3. Widgets On The Left
The left screen is now filled with widgets. There are a many new first party widgets like for Weather, contacts, Music, and more. Plus, all your third party widgets will also show up here.
On the top of the widgets screen is Spotlight search.
Widgets are also expandable. You can view the information without unlocking the phone but to actually interact with anything will require Touch ID authentication.
4. Camera on The Right
Camera now opens using a left swipe.
5. Press Home To Unlock
Instead of Slide to Unlock, you now press the home button to unlock the phone instead. Touch ID users are already used to this gesture.
New Homescreen and Notifications Experience
6. Widgets in 3D Touch Quick Actions
When you 3D Touch an app icon, it can now show you a widget as well. First party apps like Phone, Weather, Music, and more already have widgets. Third party apps can also integrate widgets in the Quick Actions menu.
You can quickly add this widget to the left screen using the “Add widget” button.
7. Widgets on the left
Proactive screen – the left most screen on the home screen has been replaced by the widgets screen. They’ve been removed from the Notification Center – more on that a bit.
This is the exact same screen you saw in the lockscreen. You can scroll to the bottom to tap the “Edit” button an rearrange the widgets.
Widgets are also expandable now.
8. Interactive Notifications
Just like the notification cards on the lockscreen, the notifications from the Notification Center are also interactive. 3D Touch on a notification to view all the available actions.
9. Widgets in Notification Center – Kinda
This is a big weird but the widgets screen will show up in the Notification Center only if you’re in an app. If you’re in an app, swipe down and then swipe to the left to view the widgets.
If you’re on the home screen, the widgets won’t be in the Notification Center. They’ll be in the left most screen instead.
10. Everything’s Bigger
The Control Center got the first redesign since its release and now everything’s much bigger, easier to see and interact with. The toggles are now colored and the music and volume slider are missing.
That’s because there’s an entire new pane for audio playback. Swipe right on the Control Center to see it.
If you have smart devices set up using the Home app, all the smart devices controls will show up here as well.
12. 3D Touch Bottom App Shortcuts
The 4 shortcuts to apps at the bottom of the Control Center (flashlight, timer, calculator, camera) can be 3D Touched. Check out the image below to see all the options.
Music Gets a Fresh Coat of Paint
The Music app is finally getting a redesign. I just hope the reordering works better than the last one.
13. Your Music Front and Center
The music app now starts with the “Library” tab first. And they’ve added options to jump directly to your playlist or downloaded music from here. This should make browsing your own personal music in the new Music app much better.
14. New Design Language
Personally, I’m a big fan of this big bold black on white design change in apps like Music and News. This makes things much clearer, and visually easy to pick out. Plus it just looks beautiful. Instead of small red text, you’ll now see big bold text for menus.
Finally, things from my iOS wishlist are starting to come true. Lyrics are officially available for all Apple Music songs and I couldn’t be happier. Just scroll down when you’re playing a song to see the lyrics.
16. Good Bye Connect
Connect tab is gone. It’s been integrated in the new “For You” section. It will not be missed.
17. Discovery Mix
Apple is doing something similar to Spotify here. The Discovery Mix creates a mix based on your listening habits. Things it thinks you’ll actually like.
18. Siri Intelligence
Apple is finally adding AI like features – with object and facial recognition to the Photos app. Similar to Google Photos. Only difference is that everything is happening on your device and not on a server somewhere far. Your privacy is taken care of.
19. Search For Stuff In Images
Because iOS 10 is tagging all your photos with what it’s about, you can now search for something like “dog” and find pictures of your dog easily.
Apple has added an entire new tab. Here you’ll find collections of photos, videos and Live Photos that Apple has created for you. One of the worst things about taking a bajillion photos on a trip is not having anything good to show for at the end of it.
But with Memories, Apple will show you the best photos of the bunch. So you can quickly share them.
21. Auto Video Generation
Along with every moment there will be a video thumbnail at the top. Just tap on it and an automatically generated video of the best photos, videos and Live Photos will start playing.
You can edit this by altering the length and selecting a preset – something like chill or uplifting.
If you like it, share the video or save it.
In my experience the videos generated are pretty cool, even if they’re a bit too cheezy.
22. Markup Photos
When you go to edit a photo you’ll see a markup icon. From here you can add text on a photo, doodle over it and even use a magnifier glass effect – with granular controls.
Messages Is It’s Own Platform
Messages app added so many little features that will make conversations on iMessage ever so delightful.
23. Emoji Replacement
It’s almost impossible to find the right Emoji when you need one. Apple is solving this problem by letting you tap on words that it has matched with an Emoji and instantly replacing it with one.
Messages are one of the things in iOS 10 that are getting App Store support. What this means is that users will be able to search for and use apps that basically work inside Messages. This can be a third party sticker app or a GIF app. It can also be a payment app or a food ordering app.
25. Bubble Effects
Apple thinks plain old blue bubbles are too boring. So they’re introducing 4 bubble effects and a couple of full screen effects (which are a great way to blind your friends).
When you 3D Touch (or long press) on the “send” icon, you’ll see the following 4 options.
– Slam will add a fist on the table kind of effect.
– Loud will make the bubble larger.
– Gentle will make the bubble text quite small.
– Invisible Ink will hide your message and the recipient can only see it by swiping over it.
If you tab the “effects” icon, you’ll also be able to send full screen effects for balloons, fireworks, lasers and more.
26. Scribble on Photos
Messages now allows you to take a photo, write on it, add effects and send it along.
27. Digital Touch
Digital Touch lets you draw stuff that’s then sent in an animated form. You can also send handwritten text notes this way.
28. Quick Responses
Tap on a message and you can now quickly select from 6 responses.
29. Full-Screen Animation
Typing specific words or emojis will send full screen animations in the conversation’s background.
Stickers are finally here. And they’re pretty great. Just tap on a sticker and drag it over to the conversation. You can even “peel” parts of a sticker and put it over other stickers in the conversation.
31. Extensions support
Much like Siri, Apple Maps has received support for extensions. This means any developer will be able to build extensions for Apple Maps. Details on how the user will interact with apps is not exactly clear yet.
32. Proactive Suggestions
Apple Maps will provide smart suggestions for places you travel frequently and where it thinks you might want to go.
33. Search What’s Nearby
Much like Google Maps you can quickly search for a Cafe nearby.
News App Leaves 19th Century
News also got a new UI using the same big bold design language. And to my eyes, it looks really good. Like reading a Magazine but a modern one. The old News app felt like I was reading a newspaper from 1800s. This design looks much more modern.
34. Auto Topic Creation
News App will intelligently create topics for stuff you usually spend a lot of time reading about.
You’ll now be able to subscribe to publications like Nat Geo and Wall Street Journal from inside the News app.
Keyboard Get Smarter
36. Siri Suggestions
The QuickType keyboard now integrates the intelligence of Siri. So when you type, it will show suggestions based on context and what you’ve written.
Siri Spreads Her Wings
37. Siri Extensions
Apple is finally opening up Siri to developers. Soon, you’ll be able to interact with some kinds of apps directly from Siri. This feature won’t just be available for everyone. Apple is only allowing access to 6 kinds of apps – ride booking, messaging, workout, photo search, VoIP calling, and payments.
But the great thing is that this feature will be supported across 36 countries that support Siri.
Home App Helps You Manage Your Smart Devices
38. Control All Your Devices From One Place
The Home app is going to be a great way to control all your smart devices using just one well designed, simple app.
Just tap to flick the lights on or off. Or use the slider as a dimmer switch.
You can also set presets. So a “Good night” preset will turn off all lights, enable the smart camera and adjust the temperature.
40. Control Center Pane
Why go to an app to control the smart devices? Just swipe up on the lockscreen, and swipe the right pane to view Home controls.
Phone Goes All Internet
41. VOIP Support
When someone calls you using WhatsApp or Viber, you’ll now receive it in the same way you receive normal calls – visually. It will say “WhatsApp call”. This is much better than swiping on a notification.
42. Voicemail Transcription
When someone leaves you a Voicemail, Apple will now tap into Siri to transcribe it for you.
43. Universal Clipboard
Copy on your iPhone, paste on your Mac. Revolutionary (if it works).
44. Shop on Mac, Authenticate with iPhone
Now that Apple Pay is supported on the web, you can shop using Apple Pay on the Mac and when it comes to authenticating the transaction, you’ll get a popup on your iPhone to scan your fingerprint. This is very seamless and other than the fact that you need to pick up your iPhone, doesn’t sacrifice functionality for security.
Your Favorite Features?
What are some of your favorite features in iOS 10? Share with us in the comments below.