Sheldon PintoSep 14, 2016 14:00:22 IST
Apple's iOS 10 beta (developer and public) have been out for quite a while. Today iOS 10.0.1 finally steps out of beta and makes it to a number of devices (all they way back to the iPhone 5) in what Apple calls its biggest update yet!
There are tonnes of new features, but there are couple of them that stand out not just for iOS, but for smartphones in general (Yes, I am looking at you, Android!)
1. A redesigned lockscreen that is actually useful
With iOS 10, Apple has redesigned the lock screen to make it a lot more interactive than we have seen past versions of iOS. The lock screen not only displays notifications from different apps, but rich notifications now lets you reply and react to them as well. And this works with not just the native apps from Apple, but for third-party apps as well. You can press down (3D Touch) on a WhatsApp notification and reply back to that message right from your lock screen.
With the new lock screen you don't even have to unlock a phone to make a call to your favourite contact. Just swipe to the right and it will reveal a new widgets area where you pin down plenty of stuff in the form of widgets. So instead of unlocking the lock screen and then tapping on your Phone app and then tapping on favourite, you can just swipe to the right on the lock screen and tap on the favourite contact that places a call! This works with other third-party apps like WhatsApp as well.
iOS takes widgets on your notifications center a lot more seriously, you can customise the widgets area (depending on support from third-party apps). The point is that these widgets on your lock screen are active. The WhatsApp widget for example will keep refreshing and shuffling the recent chats widget depending on which contact or group is more active. So just glancing at the widget can tell you who all have pinged you in the last few seconds. You will not even need to visit the app to figure that out. The same widgets also pop up when you press down on the Whatsapp icon with 3D Touch. What's different here is that all of this can be accessed from your iPhone's lock screen.
3. Siri for third party apps
In what I honestly believe is the coolest new feature across platforms and smartphones, Siri has finally gotten a lot smarter.
Siri now plays nice with third-party apps. So now instead of asking Siri to send a text message to a contact, you can simply ask Siri to WhatsApp a contact and send your message without even opening WhatsApp or hunting for a contact in WhatsApp contacts! This is supposed to work with a host of other apps like Maps and even Uber. Yes, with an upcoming Uber app update you can simply ask Siri to hail a cab for you!
You will however first give Siri access to those apps as shown above.
Searching within apps has also got better. For example I asked Siri to show me the photos that I had clicked on 5 September and it showed me just that!
4. Raise to Wake
This is not a new feature, but the way iOS 10 has implemented it makes it a lot more useful. Raise to Wake basically wakes wakes your phone the moment it thinks your phone has been lifted, just as Apple does with the Watch. The iPhone 6s now wakes up when you pull it out from your pocket, off a desk and even if the phone was in your hand and you pulled it up closer to unlock it. What's cooler is that if you put it back down without interfacing with the screen, it switches the display off almost instantly. You can now pull out your phone, glance at the time and notifications, and put it back down. All in one smooth movement.
Waking up the screen without pressing a button is impressive indeed, as the next step simply requires you to place your finger on the home button to unlock it. No more pressing down the home button and goodbye 'Slide to Unlock'!
5. Folder notifications
Yes! You can now go on adding Messaging apps in one single folder because iOS 10 will now club those notifications. But wasn't that available before? Well, yes, but press down on the folder and a pop up will reveal the notification count from every app listed separately.
In short, iOS 10 does bring plenty, but just glancing through the screenshots above indicates that it is going big with 3D Touch. What was once an alternative means to get things done has now been established as the norm. On an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or a 5SE? Well, it's time you upgraded.
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