What Features Make iOS 10 Apple's Biggest Mobile Upgrade in Years

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-06-17
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What Features Make iOS 10 Apple's Biggest Mobile Upgrade in Years
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    What Features Make iOS 10 Apple's Biggest Mobile Upgrade in Years

    At WWDC, Apple showed off iOS 10, which it is calling its biggest mobile software upgrade yet. eWEEK looks at the new features that make iOS 10 so appealing.
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     Apple Messages Is Dramatically Improved
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    Apple Messages Is Dramatically Improved

    Arguably the biggest update in iOS 10 came to Apple Messages. The app now supports different bubble sizes to express emotions and allows users to handwrite messages to others. The Messages app also includes rich-link support, so users can preview content from within the app. There's even a new app store that will allow third-party developers to offer their own add-on apps to Messages users.
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    Apple Music Gets a Much-Needed Overhaul
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    Apple Music Gets a Much-Needed Overhaul

    Apple acknowledged at WWDC that Apple Music was hard to use and made it difficult to find content. In iOS 10, users will find a completely redesigned interface that presents users' content libraries far more effectively. The app will also feature better content curating in the For You section, as well as support for song lyrics. Finally, Apple added a "Browse" button to surface new or popular tracks.
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    The New and Improved Apple News
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    The New and Improved Apple News

    Apple News was also updated with some design enhancements that the company says will make it easier to read stories users really care about. Apple News will ship with support for more publications, and Apple says an improved algorithm will help users find content they might actually care about.
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    Siri Boosts iOS 10 Users' Typing Skills
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    Siri Boosts iOS 10 Users' Typing Skills

    Apple is using "deep learning" and the power of Siri to make predictive typing much more effective in iOS 10. More specifically, the service will analyze a conversation's content and make predictions on what a person might want to say next based on contextual clues. So, if a person types "I'm available at," Apple's software will automatically search for free times in the user's calendar and offer suggestions. The feature could make typing out long messages or emails much easier.
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    Bring On the Rich Notifications
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    Bring On the Rich Notifications

    Apple has done a nice job of delivering rich notifications in iOS 10. The feature will allow users to turn on their device and immediately view photos and videos, as well as respond to messages right within the notification's pane. The feature means that users won't need to jump between apps to see or respond to messages; instead, they can do it all within a notification window. It's a small update that could go a long way in improving a user's productivity.
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    Apple Makes 3D Touch More Useful in iOS 10
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    Apple Makes 3D Touch More Useful in iOS 10

    With help from 3D Touch, users can vary the pressure they apply to the screen and quickly glance at Calendar, Weather, Stocks and other apps. As Apple showed during its demo, 3D Touch makes using notifications and other apps much simpler. Getting a device that supports it, like the iPhone 6s, might be a good idea.
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    New Home App Controls Smart Devices
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    New Home App Controls Smart Devices

    Apple unveiled a new app it's calling Home during its WWDC keynote. The app is essentially a single space where people can access all of the "smart" devices that are connected around the home to Apple's HomeKit. From within the app, users can turn lights on and off, change the thermostat temperature and perform other smart home functions. Think of Home as a single destination for controlling devices built by third-party companies.
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    Siri Gets a Makeover
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    Siri Gets a Makeover

    Siri has received a major update in iOS 10. For one, Siri can now be integrated into third-party apps, making it far more useful across the entire iOS ecosystem. In addition, users will find that Siri has improved intelligence, allowing it to more easily find photos and respond to sophisticated user queries. Whether it will be able to match alternatives like Microsoft's Cortana remains to be seen. But Siri will be much better in iOS 10.
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    Photos Gets a Nice Update
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    Photos Gets a Nice Update

    Apple Photos wasn't left out of the party at Apple's keynote. The app is now capable of categorizing photos based on a particular location, like "beach," or by individuals in those photos. It also has a feature called Memories that automatically creates a slide show and movie. The Photos app was nice before, but if it can live up to the hype, it'll be even better in iOS 10.
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    Users Can Cut Spare Apps to Reduce Screen Clutter
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    Users Can Cut Spare Apps to Reduce Screen Clutter

    It might have taken 10 software iterations, but Apple will finally allow users to remove most of the apps built into the operating system, including Watch, Stocks, Weather and more. However, the apps can't be fully deleted from the operating system. Instead, they're simply hidden and user data is deleted. Still, it achieves the same effect: the elimination of apps that some users find unnecessary.
 

At the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 13, Apple senior vice presidents Craig Federighi and Eddy Cue showcased 10 new features and touted many more under-the-hood enhancements the company built into iOS 10. The updates are far-reaching and include everything from a more-intelligent Siri virtual assistant to a much-needed redesign of Apple Music and major improvements to the Apple Messages app. Apple will now also allow third-party developers to develop applications that link to Siri. Apple even delivered the long-desired ability to remove apps that come bundled with the operating system. Like macOS Sierra, its desktop counterpart, iOS 10 will launch this fall and will be available for beta test users in July. Its release will coincide with the introduction of the next iPhone generation, sure to be known as the iPhone 7 if Apple holds to its established branding practice. The new operating will also work on most earlier iPhone and iPad models. Apple is calling iOS 10 its biggest mobile software upgrade since it first introduced the mobile operating system in 2007, and it's hard to disagree. Here's why.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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