Apple‘s annual WWDC 2016 developer conference has kicked off at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The annual conference is attended by developers from across the globe, and this year, the conference sees its youngest-ever attendee — a nine-year-old girl. CEO Tim Cook started things off by announcing that the App Store now has over two million apps, with over 130 billion app downloads till date. As expected, Apple has today taken the wraps off iOS 10, by announcing 10 new features. Also Read - Top gaming smartphones in August 2021 under Rs 40,000: iQOO 7 Legend, Poco F3 GT and moreAlso Read - Apple Arcade brings MasterChef: Let’s Cook, “Ad-free” Super Stickman Golf 3 and more
Since its launch last year, iOS 9 is currently running on 84 percent of active Apple devices. In comparison, Android’s Marshmallow has only now managed to breach the 10 percent mark. As is tradition, today Apple is only giving us a glimpse at some of the features on the upcoming iOS 10. Developer beta of iOS 10 will be launched tonight followed by public beta before the final launch. The latest iOS version will be released for the iPhones, iPads and iPod touch.
Apple says with iOS 10 it is announcing a bunch of new features, including a redesigned lock screen, rich notifications, quick interactions with apps and expanded 3D Touch. One of the new features on iOS 10 is the ability to just raise the iPhone 6s to wake up the device and show the lock screen. Apple iPhone 6s users can also use 3D Touch to directly interact with notifications on the lock screen itself.
The Control Center has become simpler in terms of design, and there is now a dedicated audio pane. Camera is now easier to access from the lock screen by swiping right, while widgets can be accessed on the lock screen by swiping the other way.
Another big announcement tonight was the opening up of Siri to third-party developers. With third-party integrations, one will now be able to ask Siri to send a WeChat message to someone, and it will open the app UI. Apple is also using Siri’s intelligence to keyboards, and using deep learning, the digital assistant will be able to offer contact information, or read messages among others.
The Photos app on iOS 10 is also becoming a whole lot smarter with features like facial, object and scene recognition. Using advanced computer vision, the app makes over 11 billion computations per photo, and can basically do most of the things Google Photos does, albeit on the iPhone itself. The app will be able to sort photos based on dates, places and people. There is also a new button called ‘Memories’, which shows you highlights from a date by showing people, a map of the locations and related memories as well.
iOS 10 also gets an updated Maps app with a cleaner UI and a new feature called Dynamic View. While navigating to a location, you will also be able to search for pit stops or petrol pumps along the way. Apple Maps has also been opened to third-party app developers. Apple today announced that Apple Music now has over 15 million paid subscribers. In line with earlier reports, the Apple Music UI has been completely overhauled with focus on simplicity and intuitiveness. While most of the tabs at the bottom are the same, each of the interface corresponding to the tab has become easier to use.
The Apple News app too has been given a redesign, and the company today also added Breaking News notifications right onto the lock screen. Apple will also be introducing a subscription option on Apple News. There’s also a new Home app on iOS 10, which lets you control smart devices at your home individually or through scenes. The Home app has also been added to the Control Center.
Changes are also coming to the Phone app on iOS 10. One of the big features is voice transcriptions, which are coming to voice mails. The iMessage app too is getting a bunch of new upgrades that include features like rich link previews, up to three times bigger emojis, and better word and emojis predictions. There is also a neat little feature that turns simple words into emojis with just a tap.
Further improvements to iMessage include new bubble effects, which lets you either shrink words to depict a whisper or increase the size to depict happiness. Users will also be able to send a surprise message, which is basically an invisible bubble, which reveals an image on swiping it. One will also be able to send handwritten messages on iMessage.
Apple Music too has been integrated into iMessage, and users will be able to share and play music tracks right from the messaging app. Apple is also opening iMessage to developers, and there will now be a new App Drawer. Similar to Facebook’s Messenger, you will be able to add stickers, and GIFs among others to your messages.
Some of the other new features coming to iOS 10, include Notes collaboration, live photos editing, and split-view on Safari among others. Apple is not only bringing end-to-end encryption to its messaging platforms, but is also implementing differential privacy across the platform, which enables crowd sourced learning without breaching privacy.
iOS 10 developer beta will be released today, and public beta will be released sometime in July.