The newly-announced Apple iOS 10 will bring a wide array of enhancements, including improvements to many of the applications that come bundled on all iPhone models. In addition, Apple is giving app developers access to Siri.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives took to the stage on the first day of the latest World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) to talk about these changes, starting with a new raise-to-wake feature. Just lifting an iPhone will activate the screen. Apple has redesigned the Lock Screen so that users can interact with notifications from third-party applications.
Apple is working to make the keyboard more contextual. For example, if someone chatting in Messages is asked “Where are you?”, one of the automatic reply suggestions will be the user’s current location.
With iOS 10, Apple is opening the Siri voice-controlled personal assistant to third-party developers for the first time. This means users will be able to, for example, request a car from UberX with a voice command. This will require developers to add Siri support to their software, of course.
Another feature developers will be able to interact with is Maps. After searching for a restaurant, users will be able to make a reservation with OpenTable, for example.
Messages is one of the most used iOS applications, and Apple is adding a plethora of new features. The app will suggest words that can be easily replaced with emoji, which will appear significantly larger in the next version. Users will be able to hand write messages if they wish, and make text messages larger or smaller to express their emotions. And this is another application that’s being opened up to third-party developers.
Smartphones have replaced point-and-shoot cameras, and Apple is improving its application for displaying users’ images and videos. On-device facial recognition will be part of the next version of Photos, as will the ability to automatically combine pictures and videos from an event into a highlights reel.
Apple Music is getting facelift, and so is the News app. People will be able to interact with all their HomeKit home-automation items through a new application. Finally, users will be able to delete stock Apple apps like Stocks and others, which will be made available in the App Store.
Apple might have called its next operating system version iOS 9.5 instead; there are numerous changes being made to the system software and the associated apps, and these will surely be welcome to users, but none are particularly profound.