It’s a big gala time for Apple lovers! The larger-than-life affair, WWDC 2016 presented a keynote packed with a lot of announcements spanning nearly product line from the global giant, Apple.
Apple’s latest iOS 10 is the major update of the season – software for the popular iPhones, iPod touch and iPad is definitely a remarkable step forward for the range of iOS devices. iOS is still one of the fastest, smoothest and the most preferred platforms for mobile users. Now, iOS is ready to be packed with even greater features.
At the WWDC this year, the company revealed significant improvements to the overall design as well as functionality of the 4 major platforms of Apple – iOS, tvOS, macOS and watchOS. Whilst more details are likely to emerge over the coming weeks, noted below are the 10 key features from the recent presentation.
1. The Complete Redesign and User Experience – Raise to Wake
Apple claims it has “redesigned the experience of the lock screen.” Certainly, but there’s something that you are more likely to notice in your lock screen.
At present, Apple’s iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus has the second-fen faster Touch ID fingerprint sensor. However, with that, users have developed a tendency of hitting the Home button and getting straight to the Home screen. However, Apple disclosed the “raise to wake” feature that can make the iPhone light up, taking users straight to the Home Screen, as they lift up. Incidentally, this is one of the many features where you can see the influence of the popular Apple Watch on iOS ecosystem.
In addition, onscreen notifications have also been made more interactive. You can find a lot of 3D Touch shortcuts responding to these notifications cleverly without leaving your lock screen. Many such dynamic features have been introduced for enhanced user experience.
Users can now accept invitations, respond to their messages, and even stay in a specific message thread, everything on the phone’s lock screen. See the line animated progresses of your cab driver by 3D Touching Uber Notification. Just like on your Apple Watch, you can now use the 3D Touch press to clear notifications.
The control centre has also been redesigned. It has been made customizable, it seems, though details are yet to be revealed.
2. The Biggest Update – Siri
Siri has been revamped completely! The biggest change you can experience, apart from its Mac launch as macOS Sierra update, is that it is opening up to third party developers. Well, that’s one great news!! It means you can now activate the non-Apple apps as well as functions using voice control (which was not possible earlier).
Siri would now have better contextual awareness too. It can offer you intelligent suggestions based on your location, contacts, calendar visibility, recent addresses and much more.
To app developers, now you can easily bring up an interface to make sure it interacts with WeChat directly for sending messages to your friends. Siri would also work well in other apps such as WhatsApp , Uber, Slack, Didi in China, Runkeeper, Runtastic, Skype for VoIP calls, Lyft, Pinterest, Shutterfly and MapMyRun.
3. Siri Intelligence To Reach your Keyboard – QuickType
Yes, Apple is all set to bring Siri intelligence to the regular keyboard. It would manifest itself by using artificial intelligence and some context related cues to offer relevant and suitable suggestions as you type.
QuickType is a handy and real time-saving feature at present, though unsophisticated. If it can be redesigned as promised in the demos, it can be more accurate at predicting words and sentences. As revealed, QuickType is likely to become even more proactive at bringing in relevant data from various other apps in use, thus offering quick response. If asked where you are, it can confirm your location; if asked for someone’s email address and your iOS recognizes it, it can suggest the relevant details.
QuickType would also have multilingual typing support – not just in one or the other language, but it can also blend two different languages. You need not switch keyboards for this purpose, Apple revealed, though they did not give any further details.
4. Photos App
Photos are real fun! iOS has also induced artificial intelligence in photos. Apple suggests that it would use deeper learning experiences and techniques to analyze places, objects and faces.
The Photos app can draw together several linked videos and photos by place, time and people, and create highlights and mementoes. Apple has named it “Memories.” At WWDC, it demonstrated excellent quality photo and video albums created from vacations. Photos can be turned into highlight reels with effects and audio track depending on the chosen mood. For privacy, Apple assured its audience that all processing are done on the phone without collecting any data from the profile.
5. Apple Maps
Apple Maps would get a new design in the latest iOS 10. Like most of the other apps, expect an update that would be cleaner and simpler. Apple also ensures that the controls would be much easier to access.
Maps can do more in times to come, with proactive elements included in iOS 10. Sliding upwards from the bottom of Apple maps, you can get suggested destinations.
Sub-filter feature is added to help you look for nearby businesses. Likewise, filter for fast food restaurants, seafood restaurants and just restaurants.
In iOS, Apple Maps can take the traffic into account really fast, offering alternative routes en route if traffic is preferable. However, unlike Google Maps, Apple Maps allows the zoom feature, both in and out, depending on the distance.
Apple is also opening Maps to developers – it makes booking an Uber rise easier and you can pay for the ride with Apple Pay, without leaving Maps.
6. Apple Music
As expected, Music has been through major visual redesign and changes. It looks spectacular!
It gets onscreen lyrics for songs, though you might have to wait for some time for the lyrics of some of your favorite numbers to be added. The Apple music app is going to be much easier to navigate, having a streamlined menu to view music stored on the iPhone. The popular “For You” tab comes with a Discovery Mix and daily curated playlist.
7. Apple News
Apple News has also been redesigned, like most of the other apps. It looks neater and cleaner. Interestingly, Apple has also added subscriptions in its News app.
Oh! Apple also promises to launch the “Breaking News” notification from news.
8. Apple HomeKit
It can’t get bigger and better than this – the HomeKit from Apple. Apple is now serious about its smart homes with this dedicated app, the Home. It can be used to control all appliances compatible with HomeKit.
Once you open up the Home app, you can see the HomeKit compatible accessories, regardless of the company that makes them. You can also access the controls from one hub. Most of these would have specific 3D Touch shortcuts – you can slide and force-tap on dimmer apps and adjust the level of light.
Home has some really interesting features, such as Scenes – a pre-customized set of adjustments for accessories that can be activated with one tap or the Siri command. For instance, the Goodnight command would put the Home off to sleep by closing all the apps; likewise, the Good Morning command would get the home ready for another day.
Home would be built into the Control Centre of iOS, and notifications are likely to be interactive. In fact, Apple, at the WWDC, demonstrated a door notification with 3D Touch feature. It brings up a live feed of the door camera and enables door unlocking.
9. Phone App
The phone app, albeit the most neglected one, is very important. It gets the much needed big enhancement with voicemail transcription. iOS can convert speech into legible text so that you can just glance through any voicemail without listening to it. It would certainly be a great feature, only if it is accurate enough.
Another big update is that Apple has assured to work with other third parties in order to provide adequate information about notorious voicemail spammers. It can warn you whenever you are called.
Last but not the least – the huge app update comes for the most frequently used iOS app – Message. You can experience a lot of minute updates for messages, meant for young audience.
You can now use links in Messages. Wow!!!
Share any link, just like Twitter or Slack, and your friends can get the idea or the gist of the content associated with the link.
When it comes to emoji, the most loved feature of messages, it would be three times the normal size. Also, emoji can be incorporated into a predictive text. Well, on the downside, messages can even scan the entire message you want to send and it would highlight all relevant words that can be replaced with multiple emojis. Just tap them to transform them into pictures.
You can also add bubble effects to messages. You can even make messages including pictures, come up with invisible ink for blurred effect and much more. Effects like Slam can make the speech bubble bulge outwards, while others make text smaller than the normal size. Interesting!!
Furthermore, you can also send handwritten messages using Digital Touch. You can even send your heartbeat using the watchOS feature. Full-screen visual effects can be used for messages too.
All in all, kids and young adults are simply going to love the changes likely to come with the iOS 10. Keep waiting!