Apple Announces iOS 10 With Rich Notifications, Apple Home, And Emojification For iMessages

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Apple today announced the latest version of its popular mobile operating system: iOS 10. If you were looking for a drastic design overhaul of the iOS UI like we saw with iOS 7, you’re going to be disappointed. However, Apple has added a wealth of features to iOS 10 that are sure to please the faithful, but likely won’t be enough to court those firmly entrenched in the Android camp.

Apple broke down the new edition to iOS 10 into ten categories, which will detail below:

User Experience: Apple has introduced a Raise to Wake feature for iOS to help alleviate a problem that some people have had with the iPhone 6s when it comes to viewing notifications. Touch ID is so quick at recognizing your fingerprint on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that you often don’t have a chance to see what notifications have come through on your lock screen before it transports you to the home screen. With Raise to Wake, simply lifting up your iPhone will turn on the screen giving you quick access to notifications like text messages.

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The notifications themselves have been overhauled with translucent effects and open up new interactions through the use of 3D Touch. You can interact with the app notifications and receive rich, real-time content without having to unlock your iPhone (or iPad).

3D Touch for apps on your home screen have also been expanded to include actionable information without even having to open the app directly. For example, force touching the ESPN app can present you with a real-time score in a current basketball game and even provide video highlights.

3d touch espn

Siri: Siri has also been opened up to developers, which should greatly expand its power beyond the walled garden that Apple has put up around the digital assistant since its inception. Some of the apps already supported by Siri include WeChat, Slack, and Uber.

QuickType: Typing has been enhanced with deep learning-based Intelligent Suggestions, which can insert relevant information into emails or text message conversations including location data, contact information and more. For example, if you’re chatting with a friend and they ask “Where are you”, Siri recognizes this request and presents you with an option to insert your current location. You can then choose to send a Maps overlay which shows your current location.

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Photos: Photos also taps into deep learning, bringing with it even smarter facial recognition, and location awareness. The Photos app also records “Memories” which group photos together based on data and location.

Maps: Apple Maps has been redesigned from the ground up with a revamped user interface and enhanced traffic information. If you’re currently using using Maps to route towards a destination, the application can provide alternate routes based on traffic information and present how much time you’ll save by choosing said route. This is hardly groundbreaking stuff in the world of navigation apps, however. Maps also has gained the ability to provided turn-by-turn directions in your instrument cluster via CarPlay in supported vehicles. As an added bonus, Apple is also opening up Maps to developers.

Apple Music: Apple Music launched last year to some negative press for its confusing and cluttered UI, which clashed with Apple’s typical simplicity. In its place is a completely redesigned interface that is much easier on the eyes, and is a breeze to navigate according to Eddy Cue.

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Apple News: Apple’s news aggregation engine/app has been upgraded with the ability send breaking new notifications and to accept in-app subscriptions. Design wise, Apple News shares a lot with the new Apple Music app.

Apple Home: Apple’s HomeKit now has a “home” on your iOS device. The Apple Home app will be included with all iOS devices (and the Apple Watch) and provides a centralized hub to control all of the smart devices in your home, and even assign “activities” that can perform multiple actions with a simple button press. HomeKit APIs are built direct into Control Center and are accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

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Phone: The Phone app has gained the ability to provide voice transcriptions for voicemails (something that Google Voice has provided for years), and VoIP apps can now integrate with the Phone app (i.e. Skype, Facebook Messenger). Incoming and outgoing calls placed with these services will also show up in your recent calls list in the Phone app.

iMessage: iMessage has perhaps received the most significant update with emojification as Craig Federighi explained. Rich links are now included, allowing you t lay video inline, right inside the message. There are new bubble effects (animations) for text messages including vanishing text/pictures.

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iOS 10 is available today for developers and will be available as a public beta in July. It will release to the public in the fall. Supported iPhones include the iPhone 5 and newer, while the iPad mini 2 and higher are supported on the tablet front. The sixth generation iPad touch is also supported.