I’ve been using iOS 10 since last Friday, it’s the final version of the OS that will be available globally tonight South African time. I don’t trust the beta software anymore, so I won’t put them on any of my devices. iOS 10 has changed a bit, and it will no doubt take a bit of getting used to. Here are some features you can look out for.
Messages/iMessage has a whole bunch of new features, but not sure who uses it more than Whatsapp. You can “react” to messages like you would on Facebook (thumbs up, thumbs down, ha ha, heart, question mark). You can add stickers and drag and drop it onto any pic on the chat (you can download them from the App Store, the same way Telegram supports it), you can share songs from Apple Music, and you can send Digital Touch Messages (like on the Watch). This lets you send sketches, fireballs, heartbeat, heartbreak, kiss, and just taps. I am also getting emoji suggestions when I type words so I can change them to emoji instantly. A friend running iOS10 says this option does not work for him. This is not the same as when Apple did a demo and showed you how it highlights words to change them, my suggestions are next to word suggestions. Also, if you share links, you get a live preview. For example with a tweet, you can read it in the preview without clicking the link.
The “edit” button on the top right that was second nature for me when cropping pics is gone. I was very annoyed with this change, because it’s now accessible on the “settings” icon next to trash, which takes getting used to. Your Albums are now displayed larger, which looks better. It has a new search function that scans objects in your album – so try type “food” or “cat” in search and see what happens! Nifty! You can also assign names to faces that your camera roll recognises. The button to switch to front-facing cam has been moved to the bottom. If you take a lot of selfies, you’ll adapt soon enough. “Memories” is new and pulls together pics like Timehop.
Siri is way more useful now because it supports third party apps. If you’ve never used it before, now is a good time. You can ask Siri to call an Uber or send a Whatsapp, etc (when the updates for the apps roll out). You can also ask Siri to search for you, like above “Hey Siri… show me all photos from London” and it will bring up all your London pics on camera roll. Or something like “Hey Siri… send a Whatsapp to [FRIEND] and say I am running 15 minutes late”.
Apple Music has received a revamp, which is better than the previous one; it has to be, it was built from scratch. I use it a lot for offline play. If you switch between iTunes accounts, just turn on iCloud Music Library so you don’t lose any playlists you spent hours creating. Lyrics are supported on certain songs. Just scroll down to where the track is playing, bring it up in full screen, and scroll down again.
The widgets screen has gotten a revamp and looks neat (actually looks like Google Now cards). You can also reply directly to messages while you’re in another app without exiting. Like if you are chatting on Whatsapp and receive an iMessage, you can remain in Whatsapp and respond to the iMessage without going “offline”.
RAISE TO WAKE/UNLOCK
This will take a while to get used to. When you raise your phone, it will “wake it” you can see what notifications you have. When you press Touch ID to unlock the phone, it will remain on the notifications screen, so if you don’t have any notifications, you have to press the home button again to go to home. I still haven’t gotten used to it. I prefer the old method. Unless you remember not to lift it/raise to wake, then you can just unlock directly and go to the home screen. But it’s just a natural way to hold your phone when unlocking.
This will make a lot of people happy, you can finally delete stock standard apps! Don’t know why it took this long. Happy deleting!
iOS 10 will release globally at the same time, so check your phone from 7pm tonight, Tuesday, 13 September.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org