Apple has announced the new iOS 10 and there are plenty of things to get excited about. While the major improvement centers around Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, other features like enhanced 3D touch features, improved lock screens, more responsive notifications, and changes to the Photos, Music and Message app, ensure that the latest Operating System for the iPhone and iPad has plenty to offer.
As was expected before the reveal, Apple has finally made Siri open to third-party developers, which means that developers will now be able to incorporate it into their apps. Up until now only Apple’s own services, and a select few third-party apps like Yelp and OpenTable, were compatible with Siri, which had resulted in a limited usability of the virtual assistant, and as a result, an overall limited usability of the iOS devices. However, now you can talk and have your commands followed in apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, Slack, or any other third party application. The launch of the Siri SDK will usher iOS apps into a whole new era.
Apple’s Quicktype is also getting an upgrade, incorporating Siri’s artificial intelligence to predict your responses based on “contextual awareness,” viz. things like the date, your location etc. In other words, if someone wants to know where you are, Siri can effectively predict what your response will most likely be based on your location.
The phone app and the message app have both received upgrades. The phone app now has voicemail transcription and a new VoIP API that makes incoming calls from Skype, WhatsApp or other call making apps look more like normal phone calls. On the hand, iMessage now has bigger emojis and will let you emojify any word as you type it. Also, the app is now open for third party integration and has an app drawer that lets you do things like order food via DoorDash, or send money via Square, etc. And finally, iMessage will now support rich links such as videos from YouTube or songs without having to open a different app.
— Apple News (@applenws) June 15, 2016
The Photos app got updated too, and will have new features like facial recognition, object recognition, and the clustering and sorting of photos based on the place, the date, or the person. The app pretty much does what Google photos does, with one major difference : All the machine learning part takes place in the device itself, hence giving the user more privacy. Another added feature, and quite frankly a deal-breaker for many, iPhone and iPad apps will be able to shoot RAW photos with iOS 10.
The much-maligned apple maps has been given a sleeker appearance and a smarter core, scanning your calendar for places and learning from your typical actions. And, the deal breaker here, it is now open to third-party developers.
Apple Music, which has often been criticized for its clunky and cluttered design, has been given a simpler interface. The app will look and feel more clean and navigable, and there will be new tabs for “Downloaded Music” along with a “For You” section, which will generate a new playlist for you everyday, based on your listening habits.
Apple News has also received a major boost. While previously, it presented a sequence of news that had no relation to each another, in the new iOS 10, it will be smarter, with similar news sorted into sections. Furthermore, breaking news will show up as a notification, and subscriptions will be available. Regarding the notifications, Apple has tried to make them more responsive, with notifications that are activated through 3d touch gestures on the notification panel, the widget panel, or the lock screen.
— The Verge (@verge) June 13, 2016
To summarize the latest version of the iOS, Apple’s head of software, Craig Federighi, commented “Great features and great privacy. You demanded it.” iOS 10 will support iPhone 5 and newer, iPad Air and newer, and the 6th generation iPod Touch.
While the final version of iOS 10 will only be available to consumers in September, the update, along with a new development kit, will be rolling out to developers right away. With so many native apps now open to 3rd party integration, we are sure to see a lot more user-friendly apps.
[Photo by Tony Avelar/AP Images]