Apple's shiny new operating system for mobile devices is just around the corner! If you are as excited as we are, it is worth knowing that iOS 10 is slated for release in September.
Buzzing with new features and functions, here's what you'll love and one thing you might hate.
1. LOVE: Messages revamp
iOS 10's messaging app is getting a total makeover, putting more expressive and personal control over your texts.
Apple knows everyone loves emojis (right? RIGHT?) so they are making them three times bigger! They are also easier to insert more than ever since they'll now be integrated into predictive texting. Now, you could practically compose full sentences purely with emojis and people won't just think it's cute ... it is necessary.
You could even write your own texts in your own handwriting and put your own personal flourish on your messages. Text messages in hard to read, angry cursive? Check.
How about applying expressive bubble effects, stickers and full screen animations to your texts? iOS 10 will let you do that. Slam your message bubbles loudly or virtually whisper them. Add fireworks to your celebratory messages or send kisses and balloons for birthdays. Pick the right sticker to express the perfect emotion. You could even send sketches or draw over your videos.
You want to add extra suspense and the element of surprise to your texts? iOS 10's invisible ink will hide your message until the recipient swipes to unveil it.
Potentially the best addition though is third-party apps. This opens iMessage to all sorts of possibilities for third-party developers to incorporate cool content and functions to your texts. An example of this is Square Cash, where you could text and pay vendors all done through the messaging app.
Overall, iOS 10's iMessaging app gets huge love (heart emoji here).
2. LOVE: Siri playing nice
For the first time, Siri will be open to certain third-party apps. This means you could now order Siri to hail you a ride or reply in Slack or even make payments.
iOS 10's Siri may be warming up to others but Siri's third-party integration will still be limited to these six different functions: payments (i.e. SquareCash), messaging (i.e. Slack), photo and video searching in apps, ride booking, VoIP calling (i.e. Skype) and starting workouts in fitness apps.
Apple is still restricting data to third-party apps and is locked down to these specific functions but maybe they will open up to more integration in time. It will be nice to have Siri order pizza in the future.
3. LOVE: New Lock Screen
The lock screen will also get big changes in iOS 10. For one, say farewell to the ever familiar "Slide To Unlock" ritual. Now, it goes straight to a "Press home to unlock" screen where you will have to merely press the home button to unlock your device via Touch ID or with the passcode.
Mitigating this big change, iOS 10 will have a "Raise To Wake" feature. Obviously taking its cue from the Apple Watch, merely picking up your device will activate the lock screen automatically. No more physical presses needed to wake up your phone.
Replacing "Slide To Unlock", swiping the lock screen from the left will give you access to a brand new Widget screen. These are the widgets that used to be on the Today section of the Notification Center in iOS 9 but now, in iOS 10, they are getting their own home. Included are new widgets for Maps, Favorite Contacts, Mail, Music, Notes, and Memories.
Swiping from the right of the lock screen will now activate the camera. This is definitely going to be much faster than the press lower corner then swipe up gesture of old, but accidental camera activation may be a bigger issue than before.
3D Touch is also taking a more prominent role in the lock screen. Almost every element of the Notification Center, the Control Center and Widgets have 3D touch features built in. You could now 3D Touch notifications, say a message, then respond and view attached photos and videos without leaving the lock screen. 3D Touch the Control Center icons and you get preset shortcuts like flashlight intensity, camera options or preset timers.
4. LOVE: Home
iOS 10 expands on Apple's promise for better smart home integration. With the new dedicated Home app, smart home enthusiasts will now have a single location for controlling their HomeKit compatible smart appliances regardless of brand and manufacturer.
By firing up the Home app, you could control lights, lock or unlock doors, adjust your thermostat without the need for separate, dedicated apps. Think of it as a central hub for your smart home. It is even integrated into the Control Center for even quicker smart home control.
5. LOVE: Voicemail Transcription
The Phone app gets one great enhancement in iOS 10. You could now read your voicemails via voice transcription!
Via speech to text, iOS 10 will try and transcribe your received voicemails for you so you won't have to listen to them. In a meeting and someone left you a voicemail? Just take a quick peek at the transcribed voicemail to see what it's all about.
6. LOVE: Apple Maps
Apple Maps is also getting quite an overhaul in iOS 10. Like Siri, the Maps app is now open to third-party developers in iOS 10. Expect to see more instant navigation and location suggestions in non-Apple apps. For example, you could now hail a ride and book a reservation in OpenTable without leaving the Maps app.
Apple Maps in iOS 10 will also start suggesting routes based on real-time traffic and guide you on the fly.
7: HATE: Say goodbye to older devices
There is not a lot to hate about iOS 10 but as always, with every brand new iOS version, some older devices will be left out in the cold due to the fact that their processors and memory are not capable enough to run the newer bells and whistles.
This time around, we'll have to say goodbye to the iPhone 4s, the iPad 2 and the first iPad mini and the fifth generation iPod Touch.
These will not support iOS 10 nor will they get any iOS updates beyond that. Don't worry though, these devices and your apps will still work fine with older iOS versions.
Verdict: Lotsa Love
iOS 10 packs a lot of new improvements and features that we definitely love and we barely skimmed the surface!
There are features we skipped over, like QuickType, a new photo feature called Memories, improvements in the HomeScreen, Apple Music, Apple News and Apple Pay, but they are definitely worth mentioning. All in all, this is an update that was worth the wait! If your device supports it, that is.