Got an iPhone? Then you’ll want to hear about Apple’s big plans for it - iOS 10 is coming, and it’s bringing some major changes.
The new OS got revealed on stage at WWDC, and while it might not land on your phone until September, developers will be spamming that download button so you’ve got plenty of apps to look forward to. If you can't wait, you can download the public beta.
In the meantime, we’ve got a primer on all things iOS 10. Scroll on down to find out what’s new.
1) Messages <3 emoji now
Want a one word summary of Apple’s greatest innovation for iOS 10? Emoji, and we’re only half-joking.
The formerly sober, if efficient Messages app has been transformed into something that’s vibrant and fun. That means emoji display in a larger format than ever before, you can comment on messages with emoji and change individual words in a text to emoji with a couple of taps. Seriously, Apple has gone all in those yellow nuggets of joy making Messages a lot more akin to WhatsApp or Slack than its formerly straight-faced guise.
This philosophy extends to more complex stuff like replying to messages with a full screen effect (laser machines, balloons and bursts of confetti are all available) or hiding the content of a message with ‘Invisible Ink’ that you can swipe away. Granted, some of these new features are immensely twee but they go a long way towards making Messages a distinctive app with its own identity rather than something you use out of sheer obligation.
Apple’s also made some more practical tweaks to Messages that iPhone users will no doubt appreciate. You can get rich links to a website (a.k.a. the ones where that preview a web page’s headline and lead image), the ability to play videos within the app and send hand-written messages.
If you’re most excited about the emoji, then that’s OK. Apple is too.
2. Kick Stocks off your iPhone, finally
iPhone owners have been itching to get rid of Apple’s own apps from their device since it first launched. Eight years later, you finally can.
All the major iOS apps, including Mail, Weather and Contacts, are now available to download through Apple’s App Store, meaning they can be updated individually by Apple and deleted by you as well. So you no longer need to download a whole new version of iOS simply to see a refreshed Notes and can also give Stocks a long-awaited boot off your 16GB of storage. It’s a win-win situation.
3. Siri’s made some new friends
After a somewhat shaky start, Siri has rapidly cemented itself (or herself, or himself, depending on your preferences) as an integral part of the iOS experience. And from the sounds of it, your favourite sassy AI assistant is only going to get more useful in iOS 10, because Apple has finally opened it up to developers.
That means you can now tell Siri to text your mates not just in Apple’s own Messages app, but in WeChat or WhatsApp or Slack.
It means you can tell her to call your cousin in Australia on Skype, pin a recipe your like on your Pinterest board, or ask her to find you an Uber when it’s 1am and you’re pretty sure you’ve missed the last train home.
The possibilities are vast here, and again, it’s great news for people who don’t like pushing buttons – or who are using CarPlay and don’t want to take their hands off the wheel.
4. 3D Touch has its finger on the button
We’d always suspected that 3D Touch would prove to be like Touch ID, underwhelming on first impressions but great once Apple learnt how to get the best from it. That certainly seems to be the case with iOS 10, with a host of lock screen features having been added to the innovation.
You can now reply and keep track of a Messages convo, check the status of your Uber and get further detail from your notification without having to unlock your iPhone. Just hard press down on the relevant pronouncement and to get familiar with its contents.
And there are further tweaks to 3D Touch once you’ve logged into your phone with the ability to watch video highlights, or view the number of unread messages you have from your most used contacts. So Apple’s getting the hang of its pressure sensitive tech, and just in time too.