Since its launch in 2007, Apple has been refreshing its operating system with one major update (and a few smaller ones) every year. Unlike an Android update that takes time to roll out, an iOS update is available for download across the world on the day of the release. Though the recently announced iOS 10 will be officially released later this year, in sync with the launch of the iPhone 7, the Cupertino-based technology giant has already released the iOS 10 public beta.
The iOS 10 brings in some much needed changes; refreshing and still familiar. The new Raise to Wake feature changes the way we interact with the lock screen. It automatically turns on the display showing notifications on the lock screen (for latest iPhones) when you raise your iPhone, and 3D Touch lets you take quick actions. A new lease of life has been added to the left side of the lock screen where a page full of widgets has been added. This includes quick access to weather, calendar, Siri suggested apps, news, reminders and favourite contacts, from the lock screen itself. Swiping in the other direction launches the camera. These features are available on many Android smartphones already. Also, there is a new way to unlock the phone as the iconic 'swipe to unlock' is gone for good - pressing the home button does the job.
While the iOS UI is neat, minus much bloatware, there are several default apps that remain unused. Some of the apps can now be removed. Given the increasing shift towards third-party messaging apps with fancy features, Apple has completely revamped its messaging app. iMessage now has bigger emojis, handwritten messages on photos, stickers and more. There is a dedicated app store for iMessage, too, as the platform has been opened to developers; more apps will be added in the future.
One of my favourite features on the iOS 10 is Bedtime within the clock app. This feature allows you to select bedtime and wake-up time, and records the activity during this time and updates the health app. There is also an option to choose from nine soothing wake-up tunes. The Photos app has been redone; now images can be sorted based on date and location. Searching for images has become easier as it can be done by keying in names of people, places, panoramas, etc, in the search bar. Apple is also opening Siri to developers, which will allow the voice assistant app to work across apps. The default Maps app has also been redesigned and opened to developers.
This iOS update comes with many small, hidden features, some of which I am still exploring. However, this beta release has some bugs that need to be fixed before the official release.