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These are the big features that are coming to your iPhone

Some new features and redesigns feature in the next version of iOS which will arrive in September.

Apple Source: AP Photo/Tony Avelar

THIS IS THE biggest iOS release ever for our users.

As far as statements go, it was a big one for Apple to make at its developer conference WWDC where it covered new features for iOS, macOS, Apple TV and Apple Watch.

While that statement was aimed more towards developers, there is reason for users to look forward to iOS 10. While there was nothing revolutionary announced during the event, there were many small but useful changes made, ranging from redesigns to more functional additions.

The main thing it allows is for developers of your favourite apps to make use of certain Apple features like Siri and Messages which offers a great deal of potential. It might not seem obvious now since they were only announced, but the result should be a version of iOS that should feel more logical and easier to understand.

Like all iOS updates, the official one won’t arrive until autumn – September most likely – as it coincides with the release of the next iPhone range. The update will be available to those with the iPhone 5 and higher, iPad mini, Air and Pro range and iPod touch 5th and 6th gen.

However, you can still get the public beta next month if you don’t want to wait (the usual caveats about stability and bugs still apply).

iOS 10 Source: Apple

Notifications and the lock screen get a redesign

The first thing you’ll notice is how things are more colourful with lock screen notifications as it ditches the black and white display. There is more of a similarity with how most Android devices handle their lock screen and that’s not a bad thing.

One lock screen feature includes Raise to Wake which lights up the lock screen when you bring it up while it’s asleep.

lock screen Source: Apple

Those with 3D Touch-enabled iPhones (for now, its 6s owners) will be able to do more with it. You will be able to reply to notifications directly with a hard press.

imessages ios 10 Source: Apple

Siri gets smarter and ubiquitous

As well as appearing on the next version of macOS, named Sierra, Siri will now offer more contextually relevant suggestions. So if you’re messaging someone and they ask for a friend’s number, it will bring it up for easy access.

It also uses other information like location, date, recent addresses and other pieces of info to come up with relevant suggestions.

The other big announcement is Siri is now open to third-party developers. Currently, Siri only works with Apple apps or pre-approved third-party apps like Facebook and Twitter, but this update will allow any app, be it messaging, fitness or shopping, to carry out actions through the personal assistant.

Apple Source: AP Photo/Tony Avelar

Photos will understand context

Much like Google Photos, Apple’s Photos app will now recognise objects and scenes for quick and easy searches. The app gets a new tab called Memories which will group photos based on the dates and type of trips taken, as well as showing you photos of specific people and locations through face and object recognition.

Unlike Google’s offering, all actions behind the scenes will stay on your device. Something Apple is keen to point out with all of its services.

photos iOS 10 Source: Apple

Apple Music looks different but similar

With 15 million paid subscribers, Apple Music might be the fastest growing paid streaming service. There were rumours that Apple was working on a simplified version of its music app and in some ways, that is the case.

The look is certainly cleaner but the tabs below are the same, and each one is chock-full with options. It’s not a problem unique to Apple, but for the most part, it doesn’t feel like the right lessons have been learnt. Time will tell when the update is released.

The two noticeable updates apart from the redesign are the introduction of lyrics for each song, and the option to download music, something sorely missed from the current version.

Apple Music Source: Apple/YouTube

A handy solution for annoying voicemails

One for those who hate voicemail, iOS 10 will add voicemail transcriptions so you don’t have to listen to them unless you want to.

Another feature for calls is the ability to detect and label spam numbers so you know which ones to avoid. And iOS 10 will now display calls from third-party like WhatsApp similar to those from Apple’s own Phone app. This will also include Quick Messages and Remind Me options you find on it.

The focus for Messages is fun

As one of Apple’s largest platforms, Messages received a few updates that are mostly frivolous but could be fun.

As well as letting you make text bigger or smaller, it will bring other features like invisible ink (obscure a message or photo so the receiver has to swipe to reveal them), quick responses, the ability to handwrite replies, and the ability to emojify words.

messenger ink Source: Apple

When you’re typing out a message, words that can be changed to emojis will be highlighted in yellow. Tapping them will change them to a relevant emoji or give you a choice.

Emoji change Source: Apple

Like Siri, third-party apps can be integrated with Messages so things like stickers, and takeaway apps will integrate with the service. Now you will have an app drawer allowing you to use specific apps while you’re messaging your friends.

Copy/pasting becomes easier across iOS and macOS

One of Apple’s effort to make it easier to work across devices now includes a universal clipboard. Anything you copy on one device, be it text or links, will be available to paste on the others.

Swift goes to school 

Since it announced its coding language Swift two years ago, Apple now has more than 100,000 apps running on it. Obviously, it wants to increase that number so for iOS 10, it is bringing a new iPad app called Swift Playground.

Apple Source: AP Photo/Tony Avelar

A way to learn Swift, the app is clearly aimed at kids going by its cutesy and cartoony look but it signals something more important. The future of all of Apple’s products, not just iPhone and iPad, depends on having everyone on its coding platform so if it can convince kids (and adults) to code using Swift, it brings (and keeps) them on its platform.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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