Apple’s WWDC 2016 keynote occurred earlier today in San Francisco, and the big news coming out of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium was the unveiling of iOS 10. Billed as the “biggest iOS release ever for our users,” iOS 10 features updates and tweaks to pre-existing apps, rather than new apps and features. It all sets the plate for the company’s slate of new devices set to roll out in the fall, including new iPhones and iPads. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s go over some of the major features of iOS 10.
First up, Siri will be open to third-party developers. This means you can command Siri to send messages through third-party apps like Slack and WhatsApp, or book a ride on Uber or search for photos on Pinterest.
Messages, the most frequently used app on iOS, will support a number of new features: “rich links” will pull artwork from websites and play YouTube videos within a conversation; emojis will be three times larger; “bubble effects” will let you send larger or smaller text by holding down the send button; “invisible ink” will hide text and images until you swipe the message bubble; and users will be able to send handwritten messages as well.
The Photos app will have facial and scene recognition, and a new “Memories” feature will automatically recognize photos taken in the same location over the span of a few days, arranging them in a slideshow with background music to share with friends.
Apple’s much maligned Maps gets a bit smarter, suggesting the shortest route on your commute while also acquiring the power to suggest nearby restaurants or service stations. The app will also be open to developers.
Also maligned, the one-year-old Apple Music is getting an interface overhaul that’s easier to use, along with song lyrics in case you want to sing along.
The iOS 10 is available to developers now, the Beta launches in July, and the public will have the opportunity to download the update this fall.