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Home / Features / Starters for ten: the new iOS 10 tricks you should try first

Starters for ten: the new iOS 10 tricks you should try first

A selection of the best software treats for your iDevice to sink its teeth into...

September is like Christmas for iPhones (and their proud parents), with a new version of iOS coming down the digital chimney and delivering a healthy platter of software treats.  

The trouble is, it’s not always immediately obvious exactly where all of the new toys are hiding on your iPhone. So we’ve made this little iOS orienteering guide, pointing out some of the most interesting waypoints to visit on your way around Apple’s zippy new operating system.

We’ll no doubt unearth some more hidden treasure along the way, but these are the ten new features to wrap your thumbs around first…

1) Send a crazy iMessage

URLS are great and all – navigating the interwebs would be a nightmare without them – but boy, can they be ugly, especially when pasted into a message.

Thankfully the Messages app in iOS 10 is now clever enough to support rich previews, which pull in photos and videos from the sites that they link too – all of which can be viewed directly in the Messages app itself. Convenient, eh?

Not only that, but you can send stickers, add special background effects like fireworks and use supported apps directly in your chats too, such as sending someone your location using Citymapper.

2) Swipe for Today

iOS 10 comes bearing many gifts, and the Today widgets screen is one of its finer examples.

Swiping left on the home screen or lock screen provides a list of useful widgets including weather, news and your calendar.

You can expand these widgets to display more information, just as upcoming appointments or the weather forecast for the next day.

If you have any sensitive information – your Apple Health data for example, then you’ll have to scan your digits on the lock screen to reveal any sensitive info, which is a nice touch.

3) Rediscover 3D Touch

In iOS 10, 3D Touching certain icons now provides a rich preview. Press down on the News icon for example, and you’ll get snippets of the latest stories, which you can read right then and there.

While you’re only really getting a headline and a sentence or two, it should be enough to tempt you to click on through and read the whole article – or in the case of a Kardashian story, douse your iPhone in lighter fluid and find the nearest source of naked flames.

4) Delete the Stocks app

We’re going to go out on a limb and say you’re not a massive FTSE trader who needs to check on their diversified stock portfolio on an hourly basis.

If our hunch is correct, you’ll be relieved to hear that you can now finally delete Apple’s previously immortal Stocks app from your iPhone – just get your apps wiggling at your command with a long press and delete as usual.

This works for many of Apple’s apps including Watch, iBooks and the new Home app, though we’d recommend keeping the latter around for smart home duties.

5) Behold the Maps Slider-Upperer

We’re pretty sure this isn’t the precise technical term for this particular feature, but Apple hasn’t exactly give it an official name, so the Maps Slider-Upperer will do for now. We hope that’s okay with you.

Essentially, slide up in Apple Maps, and you’re treated to a whole host of handy shortcuts including one-tap buttons to take you home, or even to your parked car, as well as your more recent addresses and nearby places of interest. Simple, but effective.

6) Get ready for Bedtime

Your iPhone’s noticed all that 3am Instagramming you do, so tucked away in the Clock app is a new Bedtime feature for helping you get some better kip.

Answer a few questions on your preferred sleep schedule and it’ll give you a gentle nudge on when it’s time to go to bed, and also slowly wake you with one of nine alarm sounds.

Below the nicely designed interface there’s also a neat sleep analysis summary from the Health app, though for in-depth data you’ll still want to use the likes of Sleep Cycle.

7) Master the new Control Center

The observant iUsers among you will have noticed the lack of music and volume controls when you fling up the Control Center from the bottom of your iPhone or iPad’s screen.

Fret not – the controls are still right there, at your fingertips, except they’re hiding out of sight. Simply flick left on the Control Center panel, and you’ll be greeted with the music and volume controls you know and love.

8) Raise to wake

Life’s too short to waste time pressing buttons. Thankfully Apple has decided to save you previous seconds by letting your iDevice automatically turn on its screen when it detects that you’ve picked it up, letting you see your notifications or the time in an instant.

9) Slick Folder Animations

Yes, folder animations. You never realised how boring the old ones were until you see iOS 10’s slick folder opening skills.

Whereas before tapping a folder would simply fade in a grid of app icons (yawn), iOS folders embiggen themselves outwards in one smooth motion. Trust us, you’re going to be very impressed. Especially after a few pints.

10) Get with the Apple News

Apple news has had a much-needed facelift, and it’s all the better for it, with some slick font changes and a simpler, less busy interface.

The new News widget is a pretty useful way at snacking on current events while you’re out and about too, showing of three of the top stories of the day. Stories from your favourite gadget site too, by the way. Perhaps the one you’re reading these very words on right now…

Profile image of Esat Dedezade Esat Dedezade Contributor


Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.

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