The lock screen is impressive. According to me, it is the best part of the OS update. Long gone are those days when you’d have to swipe to unlock. In fact, in iOS 10, there is no swipe to unlock at all! Instead, the password number pad comes up when you press the home button (or it just flies past when you use Touch ID). The swipe to the right instead reveals your widgets, the exact ones that existed in the iOS 9 notification centre. Swiping left opens the camera (instead of swiping that tiny camera icon in the lower right corner). The lockscreen now has a real sense of its existence, and that’s exactly what it needed.
If you own an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, the screen will turn on simply by picking your phone up; it’s called “Raise to Wake”. The 6S and 6S Plus also feature awesome new 3D Touch optimisations, especially on message notifications wherein you can 3D Touch the lockscreen notification to open up an entire conversation and continue to chat without needing to unlock your iPhone. I’ve found myself using this feature a lot whenever I receive a message and quickly want to reply to it.
The home screen and beyond has nothing distinctively new. Apple threw in occasional 3D Touch enhancements to certain stock apps. Stock apps can now be disabled and removed from the home screen to reduce clutter. The control centre feels more spacious and the pagination in it helps. The Apple Music overhaul is attractive, but you’ll soon realise that you are dealing with a skinned version of the same software. I like the new animations on the home screen and in updated apps like Apple Music, although none of them are especially significant. The redesign of the Clock and News apps are mediocre, and it seems Apple is bringing sleep tracking to the iPhone via the clock app.
The Messages app is complete overkill. Apple spent about 15 minutes of the WWDC keynote on iMessage features that most of you wouldn’t even end up using. From emojification of messages to third party app integrations, multiple ways to draw and send your messages and full screen effects (and a ton of other “features”), iMessage is absolutely overwhelming, for the worse. I ended up using approximately 2 out of the 10+ features on the new iMessage and I have no plans to rewire my brain to utilise the others.
iOS 10 is clearly a not-so-significant update, and the 10 big features of iOS 10 barely change the way you'll use your iPhone.
As for the beta software, it is surprisingly stable! Sure, animations are slow, apps crash sometimes and certain apps just don’t work properly, but these issues will certainly be resolved over future beta iterations. I don’t recommend that you use the iOS 10 Beta 1 as your daily driver, but if you really want to try it out without losing any data, here’s how to do it.
One thing though - don’t leave with the impression that most iOS updates are insignificant. Remember how iPhoneOS started off on the original iPhone 10 years ago: no AppStore, no way to rearrange apps, no lockscreen camera option, no control centre or notification centre, no 3D Touch menus or widgets and no Siri. iOS 10, in that sense, has so many features and additions that I can’t even imagine my phone without. Yes, every grain of sand adds up to form a beach. Take a look at this video and see it for yourself:
Follow Technonerds on Facebook, Twitter and Flipboard.
You write technology? Get in touch!
1. 100 features in iOS 10 you didn’t know existed (ft. EverythingApplePro)
2. 10 new features in iOS 10 - the ‘Androidification of iOS'
3. Say hello to macOS Sierra! (R.I.P. Mac OS X)