Every year there are plenty of predictable things, Christmas, New Years Eve, your Birthday, a new iPhone and new iPhone software. We’re about to hit that time of the year when ever iPhone in the world starts telling its owner there is a new version of iOS available, nagging you until you cave in and upgrade. This year – some things may take some adjusting to.
Announced in June, the 2016 version of iOS has been in “beta testing” now for a month or two with app developers and early adopters giving it a go to help iron out any bugs. Some – like me, took the risky step of installing it on their primary device just to see how big a difference it would make.
The new iOS will be available around the same day the next iPhone launches in stores – you can expect that to be mid-September.
I’d describe it as visually very similar if not hard to tell apart, however some of the ways you interact with your phone change quite radically.
Top two things that will make you ask “what’s happened to my iPhone” or “why is my iPhone doing” [insert thing here] – in my view are the auto-on screen, and the removal of slide to unlock.
Auto On or “Raise to Wake”
This is equal parts excellent and really off-putting at the same time – though I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
Basically, your phone is pretty smart. It has sensors in it that no if it’s being held up, lying flat, face down, or moving.
So Apple has included a “raise to wake” feature in iOS10 which means now, if your phone is lying face down on a table, and you turn it over, the screen will come on.
Likewise if the phone is lying down screen up, but off, and you pick it up and look at the screen – the screen will come on.
Great for glancing at the time, or notifications that may have come in.
But a bit off-putting when you’re just holding your phone and the screen comes on, you wonder – why did that come on? Did I get a message and now it’s gone?
After a while, you’ll get used to it.
RIP Slide to Unlock
This should probably be first on the list, and you read it right – Rest In Peace one of the most iconic iPhone features of all time. In decades to come kids of today will be talking about how “kids today will never know what it’s like to slide to unlock” just like us oldies are saying about playing music off cassettes. Well, perhaps not that extreme, but – it’s an iconic feature, a standard way to unlock a phone. And it’s gone. As of iOS 10 – slide to unlock is no more.
No more YouTube videos of babies who are “so smart!” they can unlock their parent’s phones. Nope, they better have their fingerprint registered or know dad’s passcode or it’s no iPhone for you young fella.
And again, this is a touch confusing.
If you’ve been using fingerprint unlock on your phone (as you should for security if nothing else) then you may not notice directly, but on that occasion where you don’t use your fingerprint it will baffle you.
There are now several ways to unlock an iPhone screen.
Firstly, place your registered finger on the home button and press will both unlock and open the phone.
If the screen is on (from raise to wake, or pressing the power button) placing your finger on the home button will unlock the phone, but if you don’t press it won’t open the phone to the icons.
And you can also press the home button and put in your passcode.
Swipe right and you’ll now see the “Today” screen and widgets.
Yep, Slide to Unlock is gone, dead, finished. RIP Slide to Unlock.
Oh, and your new trick – swipe LEFT to get straight to your camera. You’re welcome.
“Today” screen now available on a locked iPhone.
You may not have used this much, but it’s probably one of the most nifty iPhone features. On your current iPhone, swiping down from the top edge of the screen brings up the date, time, your upcoming appointments and widgets.
The Widgets are nothing in comparison to the home-screen widgets on an Android phone, but they are useful.
In reality I always found the iPhones predictive suggestions here excellent. Based on repeat frequent visits to a location the Today screen will suggest transit times to your next destination or home just based on your normal activity.
Well, it’s still there – but it’s also now available without unlocking the phone.
Pick the phone up (Raise to Wake) and swipe right (RIP Slide to unlock) and you’ll see your “today” screen.
Simple, and effective.
3D touch enabled interaction with locked notifications
If you have a 3D Touch enabled phone (iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and we assume iPhone 7) you can now raise to wake your phone see a notification and use that harder press on the screen to interact with messages. Reply on the lock screen.
Simple, easy and effective – though I think unlikely to dominate usage patterns.
iMessage gets fancy!
This feels a lot like Apple trying to keep Messages relevant and useful. With Whats App, Facebook messenger and many, many others dominating the instant message app ecosystem there’s a real challenge to keep people using Messages.
So, there are now “reactions” available to you to choose against iMessages you’ve received, from Love, to HA HA, thumbs up, thumbs down etc.
If you “react” to a message the person at the other end will also see that reaction – though be careful, if they don’t have iOS 10 they will get their message back, quoted, with “Trevor Long Loved: “your message here”” and that will confuse the heck out of people. (It certainly did my wife!)
You can also send little sketches or kisses like Apple have in the Apple Watch, and though I haven’t worked out where it is there are also message themes too.
Remember, this only works iPhone to iPhone on iMessage, you can’t do it in those evil “green” messages:)
Oh, and while you’re having text message fun, you can type all your message then press the Emoji button on the keyboard to have iOS suggest Emoji replacements for you.
Control Centre overhaul
You don’t know what Control Centre is do you? That’s ok.
So you know when you swipe your finger from the home button up into the screen and that half-screen menu appears with the WiFi button, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Camera, Calculator and audio controls?
No? Ok, well, you’re missing out – get on it.
It’s been changed a fair bit. Music controls are gone (don’t stress, read on), and the whole thing simplified and spaced out.
Night Shift mode is added here for you, as well as screen brightness and airplay/airdrop options.
For music controls, Swipe left a larger music player for you.
This works in all apps, anywhere on the iPhone and is the quickest way to access your music controls, as well as Bluetooth, WiFi and Aeroplane Mode toggles.
Facial Recognition – Photos
Ok this is cool, and while there are LOADS of other iOS 10 features I wanted to tell you to look for this one.
iOS scans your photo library and puts people in bundles, you name them and quick as anything you can find pics of people you know.
This is just one of many great features coming to photos.
Don’t fight it.
Ok, so you hate it? You will at first. But there’s no point fighting it. That would be like the Aussie banks thinking Apple are going to change everything about Apple Pay just for them – nope.
These are new features of iOS, and not upgrading will render some apps useless over time. Plus, the nagging update notifications will drive you insane.