This week is going to be an exciting one in Apple world! The new iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch models are set to be released this Friday, September 16.
Right now, it looks like the initial batch of pre-orders has sold out and all online orders have been pushed back to November. If you weren't lucky enough to pre-order, the only way to get an iPhone 7 on release day is to brave the crowds and line up at retail outlets on Friday.
Due to the strong initial demand for every new iPhone model, once this initial stock of phones is depleted, getting your hands on your own iPhone 7 may require a bit of a wait.
In the meantime, late hopefuls shouldn't feel so down. Apple's much-awaited iOS 10 update for iPhones and iPads is set to be released tomorrow, September 13, bringing with it new features and enhancements that should be enough to stem the tide for older iPhone owners.
iOS 10's new features we love
We have covered and tested iOS 10's new features extensively since it was announced. To recap, here are the major enhancements we like:
- 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 now more than ever since they'll 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.
- Siri updates: 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.
- Brand 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.
- Raise to wake: 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.
- More 3D Touch options: 3D Touch is also taking a more prominent role on 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.
- Smart home integration: 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.
- Voicemail transcription: The Phone app gets one great enhancement in iOS 10. 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.
- Apple maps: 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.
How to update
If you're one of the lucky ones to get an iPhone 7 early, then there's no need to update, iOS 10 comes preinstalled.
For owners of older iPhones and iPads, as usual, before any major system upgrades, we suggest that you perform a backup of your gadget either on iTunes on your computer or on iCloud.
Note: iOS 10 will only work on iPhone 5 models and later, iPad 4th-gen and later, iPad mini 2 and later, iPad Pro and iPod Touch 6th generation. This time around, we'll have to say goodbye to the iPhone 4s, the iPad 2 and the first iPad mini and the 5th-generation iPod Touch.
Starting tomorrow, when iOS 10 finally becomes available for your gadget (you should get a notification about a new software update) go to Settings >> General >> Software Update. Your device will then automatically check for the latest version of iOS.
If the iOS 10 update for your device is not available yet, just be patient and try later. Apple usually deploys major updates in waves based on an iPhone or iPad's location and/or time zone.
Before updating, since this is a large download, we recommend that you connect your phone or tablet to Wi-Fi and make sure it is plugged into its charger to be safe. You may be required to enter your iPhone passcode during the installation but beyond that, everything should be automatic. Important note: Do not turn off your device during the update process.
Bonus: WatchOS 3
Another update dropping tomorrow is WatchOS 3 for Apple Watch Generation 1 owners.
Watch OS3 will bring with it instant app access, new watch faces, workout activity sharing with additional stats, text messaging enhancements similar to iOS 10, and a new relaxation app called Breath.
To update your Apple Watch to WatchOS3, open your paired iPhone's Watch App, go to General >> Software Update >> Download and install. Make sure your Apple Watch is in range, has at least a 50 percent charge and is docked on its charger.