iOS 10 is here, and with it comes a brand new lock screen, a completely different way to unlock your phone and a fancy new messages app. Let’s take a quick look at all the new stuff.
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Note: Apple has acknowledged that the iOS 10 update has locked up some iPhones and iPads. Click here to find out more and to learn how to fix the issue.
The Lock Screen Is Completely Redesigned With New Notifications And Raise to Wake
The first thing you’ll likely notice after installing iOS 10 is the new “Raise to Wake” feature. When you pick up your phone, the screen automatically lights up. This works on iPhone 6s phones and newer.
The lock screen is a bit different now. You can swipe in three directions to pull up different screens. Swipe to the left to pull up the camera, swipe up from the bottom for the Control Center, and if you swipe left on Control Center, you’ll get to your audio controls. When you swipe to the right, you’ll see the new widget area. This is basically the same as the widgets in the Notification Center in iOS 9, but a lot cleaner.
Notifications are also a bit different now. When a new notification pops up, you can hard-press it to reply, view attachments, or watch any videos right from the lock screen.
When you’re done looking around, you’ll notice a feature that’s been in iOS since the first iPhone is gone. That’s right, “Slide to Unlock” is no more. Now, press the Home button to unlock your device using Touch ID.
Messages Now Has Animations, Rich Links And Giant Emoji
Messages is… a lot sillier. You can handwrite messages on the screen, add animation effects to message bubbles, add animations to the entire screen, send goofy “hidden” messages, respond with simple animated quick responses, add sketches over images and use stickers. In fact, there’s a whole new App Store built into the Messages app where you can search for and add apps.
You can also now scan a message before you send it to see if any emoji can replace words. Oh, and emoji are now giant when they’re sent without any other text.
Photos Automatically Organises Images, Creates Its Own Groups
Photos will now tag and organise photos automatically, which will hopefully improve its organisation. Photos will continue doing this by date and location as always, but can now also automatically build albums with the new Memories tab. Here, you’ll find albums that Photos creates all by itself, usually based around things like holidays. The app can also now search for people’s faces in the app and can recognise objects that it will automatically tag so you can find them later by searching. This works for all kinds of things, like mountains, cars, bikes, cats and sunsets.
Siri Can Now Control Some Non-Apple Apps
Apple has finally given Siri control of third-party apps, though before you get too excited, it’s a little limited. Siri can access six different types of apps: Ride booking, messaging, photo search, payments, VoIP calling and workouts. That means you can potentially ask Siri to do stuff like send a message over Facebook Messenger, book a ride with Uber or pay someone with Paypal. You cannot and will not be able to control a third-party music app or maps app though.
Apple Maps Can Work With Third-Party Apps and Calendars, Can Also Now Search Along Your Route
Apple Maps gets some minor tweaks to its basic design alongside a handful of new features. It will now scan your calendar to see if you have any events coming up and should show that even on the map. You can also tap the navigation bar on the bottom once you start driving to pull up some new options, including an overview mode, details mode and audio options. Here, you can now search for petrol, food and coffee along your route. Third-party apps will also get integrated into Apple Maps. For example, you’ll be able to request an Uber from Apple Maps itself, or directly book reservations using OpenTable when you’re in the Apple Maps app. These features will come from the third-party apps themselves, so we’ll have to wait and see how it gets used.
Apple Music Gets a Tweak to Make Finding Music Easier
If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you’ll be happy to see that the main Music screen gets some minor tweaks that make it easier to find and play music. The connect tab — the one that lead to the generally unused Apple Music social network — is also gone.
The New Home App Wants to Control All Your Connected Devices
If you have a lot of connected devices in your home, like smart light bulbs, thermostats or whatever else, you know that managing them all is a pain. Home is a new app that’s meant to improve that by giving you a single place to manage all those devices. Home is only compatible with devices that support HomeKit, but that’s a pretty massive collection.