Your iPad is on track for an update coming soon. iOS 10 was announced on June 13, 2016 at the beginning of the Apple WWDC developer conference. Available first as a developer preview, then to be made available to all in the new Beta program, with final release expected in the fall of 2016.
Fall of 2016 will likely mean we’re on deck for the iOS 10 update on September 16th, but stay tuned for an update if that changes.
We announced a handful of great new features in iOS 9 last year, with iOS 10 promising to be more of an update to improve existing apps and features, improving usability and security.
Let’s see what’s new.
Apple says the latest iOS will include massive updates to Messages, a new Home app, as well as Photos, Music and News. Lastly, your favorite apps from the App Store may become much more powerful, Apple has opened a few key tools for developers, including Siri, Maps, Phone and Messages.
Let us start with a basic takeaway from this announcement, Apple is taking a new and much more open approach to their software in this iOS update. Obviously, things are able to change or disappear in between the Developer Preview and the final release, but the ability for developers to tap into Siri is a pretty big deal, and the new Home app may make iOS a much more viable option in the home automation market.
Let’s take a look at the features.
New look for Maps
Yes, we all remember the horror stories of Apple Maps, but continual updates and this latest redesign promise a simpler and more intuitive experience. New extensions take Maps to a level that many are accustomed to in the competing Google Maps, with basic search while navigating, OpenTable bookings and more.
Animated and personalized Messages
There is actually a lot to talk about here, but let me sum up in brevity, iOS 10 will automatically and easily swap emoji for text, add animations like balloons and have some text functionality, including handwritten notes with invisible ink. All that fun stuff aside, the new Tapback adds a simple way to respond to messages and you’ll see rich media in-line with your conversation.
Best of all, much like Microsoft’s Skype bots and upcoming Google Assistant functionality, Apple is opening up Messages for developers to tinker with, to create their own plugins and extensions to greatly improve your experience.
Siri is now open for developers
Following this trend, Siri is also opening for developers to enhance. In short, the power of Amazon’s Alexa, combined with the functionality of IF by IFTTT could be a starting comparison, but add to this all of those bot-like functions we were talking about above, so that you could use Siri to control your smart home, search for photos or control your CarPlay apps. We look forward to learning more about this tool.
New Home app for home automation
I feel like we’ve said home automation a few times already, the new Home app has improved security along with deeper integration into iOS to better meld your iPad to your smart home. Let’s keep tabs on this one, Apple’s HomeKit is not new to the market, but the ever expanding market itself will make iOS 10 more relevant than ever for the tinkerers in the crowd.
Memories now in Photos
We cannot help but think of Google’s Photos online tools for the web and Android when we heard about this one. Photos now includes a tool called Memories, which scans your files to match people places and things, presents them to you in logical groupings, even including a short video highlight clip.
Despite their late entry with these sort or photo tools, we like what we are seeing so far. These are solid tools to offer users, now all of you iPad users that do not use Google Photos can get in on the fun.
This sounds like a problem more than a feature, but Apple will be including an Optimize Storage setting that will remove music from your device when storage space gets low. Please make sure you have your tunes backed up somewhere.
Ambient Display, as Android calls it
For many of our Android phone users in the crowd, you may be familiar with a feature that lights up your display for a moment when you either pick up your device from a table or when a notification arrives. We call this Ambient Display, and it’s pretty common on AMOLED devices. iOS 10 will include the gesture based variant of this feature, allowing you to see a notification just by picking up your device, no button pushing required.
There are a handful of additional apps, tools and features coming to a tablet near you with iOS 10, let’s run down a few of them that we think all but explain themselves. We’ll expand on this list at a later date.
- New design for the Apple Music app
- New design for the Apple News app
- Support for third-party VoIP calls, voicemail transcription and caller ID for spam detection in the Phone app
- Built-in app updates, including Safari, Split-view for iPad, Notes and more.
- Apple Pay purchases on the web, through Safari
- New QuickType features with contextual predictions, calendar integration and more through Siri
- New bedtime Alarm that reminds you to go get some slumber
- Raise to wake screen gesture detection
- Improved and deeper integrated security
As mentioned earlier, iOS 10 is available now as a developer preview. If you are not a registered developer, you can join me in July for the open Beta program, or hold off until the final and official release of iOS 10 in the fall. We hope to see a couple new iPads join the update in the fall, but that’s just a wish, we’ll have to wait to see.
Be sure to stay tuned, we’ll be exploring iOS 10 in-depth over the coming months. Until then, what are your thoughts on the new OS so far?