Every year, Apple comes out with an update to its iPhone software with a bunch of improvements and tweaks.Apple says iOS 10, out later this year, is the “biggest release ever,” thanks to a slew of new user-facing features.
Respected Apple writer John Gruber says the improvements are all “very practical,” and that the theme of this year’s updates is “common sense prevails.”
So iOS 10 is the “common sense” release — which sort of implies that Apple should’ve made these changes a long time ago.
Regardless, they’re heading to your iPhone later this year. Here are some of the niftiest changes to iOS:
‘Slide to unlock’ is gone. It didn’t make much sense in recent years as most people simply use the TouchID fingerprint sensor.
Now Apple lets users manage their music collections on their iPhones. There’s a simple button to cull and optimize your iPhone music library if you’re low on space.
You look at your lock screen a lot. That’s why Apple has totally revamped it with significantly more detailed notifications that will let you take actions without unlocking your phone.
Some big improvements are coming to the Photos app, too. It can now recognize people, places, and activities. And search should be much improved: You should be able to search for something like “burritos,” and it will return pictures with burritos in them.
Apple Music’s rather confusing design has been totally redone — now it’s a lot lighter, with much more white space, bigger letters, and more prominent album art.
Siri will be able to transcribe your voicemail, so you don’t have to listen to it, but you can instead read it like a text message.
Your phone can now set new defaults for what services a contact likes to use. So if you mostly send WhatsApp messages to your mom or your best friend, now your phone will know to use that app.
Your phone can also warn you that the person calling you might be a spammer.
You can also receive calls from other services — like Skype or WhatsApp — right on the main lock screen.
But you might not want to ditch the Messages app after all the improvements Apple has made to it. iOS 10 will have new animations, a bunch of sticker apps, and even hidden messages with ‘invisible ink.’ Generally, texting is going to be a lot more fun.
You can turn on read receipts for specific people in the Messages app. Finally. So you can let your boss or roommate know you saw their message, but not your blind date from last night.
For many people, Apple’s alarm clock is the last thing they see before going to sleep and the first thing when they wake up. So Apple has totally redesigned it in iOS 10. It can even give you a heads-up when it’s time to go to bed. It’s sporting a new dark mode, too.
Your iPhone will remember where you parked your car through Apple Maps.
And an easy button in the Mail app to unsubscribe from a mailing list.
The flashlight button on the iPhone now comes with different intensity settings.
And the insanely loud typing sound on the iPhone has been quieted and muffled. (But you probably already mute it.)