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10 Major Improvements You’ll Immediately Notice in iOS 10

If you expected a major facelift with Apple’s latest mobile OS update, you may be disappointed. Despite this minor letdown, iOS 10 ultimately impresses with a collection of changes geared towards improving the user experience.

Without further ado, here are 10 of the biggest improvements you can expect to see in the latest iOS update:

Purposeful Messaging

Right off the bat, you’ll see that Apple is making the Messages app way more fun and interactive. Perhaps this big change is its response to the growing popularity of other instant messaging apps like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger. With the all-new Messages, you can do more than just send video, audio, or SMS.

To begin with, there are now stickers and new emojis. Colorful and fun, you can begin sending tons of stickers and emojis as an individual message or put them on photos you’re about to send.

Aside from this, you can now mark photos and videos in Messages with text overlays and scribbles like you do on Snapchat. You can even take a quick photo without leaving the app, thanks to a shortcut below the keyboard.

In addition, there are quirky animations that you can send along with a text. For instance, a text grows temporarily bigger when a chat is initially opened or it may be hidden behind an “invisible ink” so the recipient has to swipe the screen to see what was sent. Plus, you can quickly scribble something on a provided space as Messages now makes it possible to record your handwriting.

Also, pressing a chat message will now prompt a “tap-back” response so recipients can react to a message with a thumbs up/down, heart, and more.

Lastly, developers can now add app extensions into Messages so you can do stuff like hail a taxicab within your conversation. Not to mention that the app also now comes with rich links—a small preview of the link sent to you so you know where you’re headed when you tap on it.

 

Improved Music and Maps

iOS 10 also introduces a fresh-looking and better-performing Music and Maps apps in its release.

Let’s begin with Maps. In iOS 10, Maps is clearly hot on the heels of Google Maps in terms of functionality. In the new Maps, weather info and quick directions can be provided. Additionally, proactive suggestions show current traffic conditions in the places you frequently visit. It can also indicate the location of upcoming scheduled meetings, as long as the meetings are on your calendar.

While in turn-by-turn navigation mode, you may notice that there are more options at your disposal. You’ll also see an improved Transit integration in specific cities. Not to mention that Maps now has better search capability.

As for the Music app, you’ll notice a major design overhaul that highlights lighter colors and a cleaner interface. Accessing the downloaded library is easier, and the “For You” section provides intuitive recommendations of other artists you might enjoy.

All in all, the app may still take some getting used to but it’s definitely much easier to use and understand than ever before.

Better Siri

While Siri has been at the forefront of voice assistance technology, iOS 10 makes her less robotic and even more versatile. In the latest iOS update, Siri can do so much more as she’ll be opened to third-party developers.

She now works well with a variety of third-party apps like Uber, Slack, Pinterest, MapMyRun, and more. Meaning, you can now ask Siri to hail you a ride, start a call, search photos online, track exercise regimens, and even send money!

With Siri’s latest upgrade, she will be less frustrating to use and will get you more results.

Richer Lock Screen

The lock screen in iOS 10 no longer needs to be unlocked to perform basic tasks like accepting calendar invites, seeing Uber updates, and replying to messages. A lot of these can be done in-line without ever leaving the lock screen, thanks to 3D Touch-enabled notifications.

Indeed, all you need to do is hard-press on a specific notification to show hidden menu actions. No more digging around through layers of app menus to check critical information!

Subtle Overall Redesign

Although everything still looks familiar in iOS 10, you’ll notice that it’s a tad different from iOS 9. You’ll see round edges to separate different sections more and a lot of apps seem bubble-like. These changes are welcomed improvements to the previously stacked block design. While such improvements don’t seem like much, they can help with readability, as everything looks a lot cleaner in iOS 10.

Another very prominent change you’ll see in the latest iOS is the introduction of “rich notifications”.  Developers can now insert audio, images, and video right into the notifications. You can interact with these notifications without having to fully open an application.

The subtle redesigns in iOS 10 are geared towards a better mobile experience rather than mere aesthetic value.

  • Water Detection. Avoiding potential water damage is easier with the iOS 10 update. A handy software warns users whenever water is detected. It will also provide instructions to prevent any damage to the device (e.g. unplugging the charger).
  • Raise to Wake. Undeniably one of the best iOS 10 features we’ve seen in the latest update so far, you can now simply raise your iPhone to wake it. With this, you no longer need to reach those tiny, side-mounted sleep/wake button.
  • Home App. A new app that ties all smart household devices together, you can easily control the blinds, lights, alarms, even door locks with its simple interface. Or if you’re too tired to press any buttons, tell Siri to turn on/off any smart home accessories.
  • De-cluttered Control Center. In iOS 10, the swipe-up-from-the-bottom Control Center is now split into several panels, including Apple Home, quick settings, and media playback. While it’s a wise design overall, the multiple panes make the shortcuts unnecessarily complex to tinker with.
  • Clearing Notifications.  With 3D Touch, you can now clear all old notifications by hard-pressing the little “x” icon within the redesigned notifications menu and then tap the “clear all” box that subsequently pops up. Quite a relief for many of us who used to swipe each notification away one by one.

These are just a few of the changes that users will instantly notice when they update to iOS 10. Everything looks better and feels more intuitive, which makes the OS more fun and easier to use.  Lastly, iOS 10 is very promising as it’s been open to third-party developments. So the improvements will continue to come from Apple and other companies.

Overall, Apple users should be excited about the iOS 10 upgrade.